Mazda has recently said they would like to have AWD in most models, but the current generation has some space/packaging constraints. I was scratching my head over this statement trying to figure out why the existing model Mazda 6 is offered in AWD in Europe with the Skyactiv diesel engine and Mazda is saying they cannot get it to fit.
I think I may have stumbled onto the answer after having a conversation with a friend recently. It is no secret Mazda is working on offering the diesel Cx5 to the US market, but it has been held up in government regulations with the EPA courtesy of VW and FIAT cheating on their engine mapping and emissions. Mazda has the setup which will pass and get the power they want to offer but here lies the problem.
Say you were going to offer a Mazda 6 diesel model that now meets the US emissions with the urea injection. Where are you going to put the tank to hold in the car? In the Cx5, which has more space to put something like a urea tank, it is not as much of a problem with packaging to find a spot. The Mazda 6 doesn’t sit off the ground as high and allow you a space to get everything to work out and be able to still fit the transfer case, drive shaft, and rear differential.
Why doesn’t Mazda offer both? This is a question I wish I could sort out. It wouldn’t be the first time Mazda would have models with different floor plans. Mazda has done this in the past with the 323s and Protégé, so I don’t think this is the reason why. This could be a possible play on the overall strategy with North America and only offer the AWD as a diesel model. This goes against what we have already with the Cx5 2.5 gas engine and the Cx9 gas 2.5 turbo motor, so I don’t think this is it which leaves this question for me to puzzle over a bit longer.