Mazda makes cars for the masses, but it always keeps enthusiasts in mind. That much is evident with the new 2017 CX-5, which, unlike most of its competition, will be offered with a diesel engine and a manual transmission. Mazda hasn't decided whether it'll offer the diesel and the manual in tandem, but regardless, this is good news.
The second-generation CX-5 made its debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show alongside Mazda's newest race car, the gorgeous RT24-P Daytona Prototype. The CX-5 is no race car, but it wears Mazda's Kodo design language similarly well. It's as elegant as any SUV on sale today, including luxury models like the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan.
Like the previous CX-5, the 2017 model will be offered with a choice of 2.0- and 2.5-liter gasoline engines, but it's the diesel that's most intriguing. Dubbed Skyactiv D, it's a twin-turbo, 2.2-liter four-cylinder that was originally supposed to come to the U.S. in the 2014 Mazda6, but couldn't pass emissions tests. Despite increased scrutiny on diesel emissions following Volkswagen's emissions-cheating scandal, Mazda finally managed to get its new diesel into the U.S.
Mazda hasn't confirmed the specifications of the CX-5's diesel, but the 2.2-liter that was made 173 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Since Mazda's engines are shared across multiple models, there's a decent chance the Skyactiv D will find its way into more than the CX-5. Don't expect a diesel Miata, though.
Mazda is rare in offering a manual transmission in this segment, and much to our surprise and delight, they're keeping the option for the 2017 CX-5. Like the current CX-5, the stick will only come in lower trim levels.
The people at Mazda build cars clearly with people like us in mind. We hope it works out for them, because a world without diesel engines and manual transmissions isn't a world we'd like to live in.