Since Tesla came out with electric cars, many automakers are making the jump to go green. Whether it’s a fully electric model or a hybrid engine that gives drivers the best of both worlds, everyone is trying to ditch gasoline-powered vehicles in the name of fewer emissions. Well, everyone except Mazda, it seems. The Japanese automaker has made a decision to stick with what they have instead of jumping on the green bandwagon for its SUVs like the CX-5. But is this a mistake, or is Mazda making a wise move? Here’s what The Drive found out.
Mazda already has a fuel efficient engine
One of the main reasons for buying a hybrid is saving money at the pumps. Yes, it helps with fuel emissions, but most people are looking to save money. Saving the planet is just a really cool bonus feature.
With that in mind, Mazda has decided to forgo bringing hybrid vehicles to the U.S., because they already have an engine that saves consumers money. In an interview with The Drive, the Mazda North America CEO Masahiro Moro stated, “The big advantage we have is already a very, very efficient engine, the SkyActiv, so we don’t need to get a very big [hybrid] system to couple with our combustion engine.”
In other words, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
The CX-5 proves that hybrids don’t always sell better
With the decision to forgo a hybrid option, many may have predicted that sales for the CX-5 and other Mazda models would have dropped, especially since so many SUVs are going hybrid. That isn’t quite the case.
The Mazda CX-5 is holding its own with no issues. It gets 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is very competitive for an SUV. It’s quiet ride also helps drivers zip around town without a lot of outside noise invading their sanctum.
According to Good Car, Bad Car, the CX-5 is still pumping out the sales in spite of COVID-19. In 2019, the CX-5 sold 154,543 SUVs, which was a record-breaking year. The CX-5 has sold around 104,277 vehicles between January and September. Unsurprisingly, sales took a massive hit in April and May, but September was another record-breaking month for the CX-5.
Unfortunately, the CX-5 with the Skyactiv-Diesel engine hasn’t been making waves like Mazda thought it would. The market for diesel engines is hard to predict. There are a lot of consumers screaming for it, but then when it’s offered, only a few actually buy it.
Hybrids come with a fleet of their own issues
Hybrids are great vehicles, but like their gasoline powered brethren, they are not without their host of issues. From failing batteries to expensive repairs, hybrids are far from perfect.
One of the biggest problems that new owners face is knowing when your battery is dying. There are a few telltale signs such as not getting the fuel economy you were promised, the battery failing to hold its charge, and strange engine noises that should tip you off, but only if you know what to look for.
Replacing the battery can be extremely expensive. In fact, it might be so expensive, it’s not even worth the effort. So while your vehicle may not be that old in the terms of a gasoline-powered car, it may be time to retire it, especially for older model hybrids.
With this in mind, will Mazda ever give us a hybrid model of the CX-5? It’s possible, but not for at least five years. According to The Drive, “Most recently, Mazda’s Executive Officer for Powertrain Development Ichiro Hirose said the automaker is “considering” using a rotary hybrid engine, but claimed that it would be purely for meeting strict regulations rather than for outright performance.”
In other words, Mazda isn’t going to produce a hybrid option unless regulations in the United States forces its hand. While it may come to that, Mazda is more than happy with the Skyactiv engine, and isn’t looking to produce a hybrid so that it can keep up with other automakers.