The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain have long had one ace up their sleeves: both offer a thriftier diesel engine to court a different kind of buyer. However, Mazda, after years promising such a vehicle was coming, unveiled its CX-5 diesel at the 2019 New York International Auto Show last week.
The CX-5 diesel arrives with a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine, which Mazda calls the SkyActiv-D engine. It will be available on just one CX-5 trim: the Signature AWD, effectively making it the costliest CX-5 offered. Buyers scouting the CX-5 Signature AWD will be met with a $38,235 with the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The addition of the diesel engine sees the price climb to $42,045.
The least-expensive Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain with GM’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive are $32,495 and $34.795, respectively. Chevy and GMC offer the engine with front-wheel drive as well, which knocks a few thousand dollars off of the price.
However, Mazda has continued to push itself as a more premium brand with high-quality materials, technology, and more bundled at a value compared to brands like Buick, Acura, or Infiniti.
On the specifications front, Mazda’s 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine makes 168 horsepower and peak torque of 290 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. Those are better figures than GM’s 1.6-liter diesel engine, which makes 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. However, both the Equinox and Terrain are more fuel efficient.
The CX-5 will return EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 27 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined with the oil burner. Keeping the comparison apples-to-apples, an Equinox or Terrain with the diesel engine and AWD will net drivers EPA-estimated ratings of 28 mpg city, 38 highway, and 32 combined.
Will the Mazda steal sales from potential Equinox or Terrain buyers? It’s possible. Yet, the market for diesel-powered crossovers is a small one.