When Mazda positioned its long-awaited and oft-delayed CX-5 diesel crossover as the “premium” option in the CX-5 trim structure, we were skeptical. After driving one last fall with a $42,045 sticker price, our eyebrows furrowed even deeper. Today, to nobody’s surprise, Mazda dealers are slapping massive discounts on the Skyactiv-D. CarsDirect initially reported on the discounts, pointing out that some dealers are slashing prices by $10,000.
We took a spin through Autotrader to see what was out there, and the results were shocking. There were pages of CX-5 diesels with prices in the low-to-mid $30,000 range. We asked Mazda what kind of incentives it was currently offering on the 2019 CX-5 diesel. Since December, Mazda has offered a $5,000 cash rebate, alongside a 2.9 percent APR for 60 months. However, the other several thousand dollars worth of discounts we’re seeing listed — as much as $5,000 more — are not being accounted for by Mazda.
Just as CarsDirect found, the largest discounts we could find on the web are for a cool $10,000, bringing the price down to $32,045. At that price, you’re looking at a 23.8 percent discount. That’s a discount of nearly a quarter(!) of the car’s original asking price. We thought the Skyactiv-D was overpriced originally, but at this price, we’d strongly consider it as the CX-5 to buy. Since the diesel is only offered in the top-of-the-line Signature trim, it has every gizmo and gadget Mazda offers in addition to the most premium interior materials. It’s also offered in all-wheel drive only, leaving every box with a checkmark in it.
Compared to the gas-engined CX-5 Signature that starts at $38,100 for the 2020 model year, these diesels are a steal. In fact, this price hierarchy makes a lot more sense than the way Mazda had it organized in the first place. The more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the gas-engined Signature can easily be marketed as the most “premium” option in the CX-5 lineup since it’s the fastest and most enjoyable to drive. Moving the slower diesel with the same equipment below it on the food chain sounds like the right move to us. At around $33,000-$35,000, the diesel isn’t such a bad buy anymore. Fuel economy still isn’t where we’d like it to be, but as we opined in our First Drive review, it’s still a wonderfully pleasant car to drive.