They’re falling like flies now.
Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus diesel – dead. Every Renault diesel car – dead. Volvo XC40 diesel – dead. Even BMW has killed off much of its diesel range, including former mainstays like the 330d and 530d, citing falling demand.
A bizarre time, then, to develop and launch a car built on an all-new platform designed for longitudinal inline four- and six-cylinder engines, including an equally brand-new 3.3-litre diesel unit.
It seems that the Mazda CX-60 diesel comes about 20 years too late, but Mazda says it demonstrates a “commitment to a multi-solution approach to sustainable mobility and the principle of the right solution at the right time”. The idea is that the CX-60 also offers plug-in hybrid and petrol options, but that there is still a place in the range for a torquey, frugal powerplant to satisfy high-mileage private buyers, and people who need to tow.
That makes sense in theory, but the reality is that diesels always used to be the darlings of the European fleet market, which has now switched more or less wholesale to plug-in hybrids and EVs owing to incentives and rising diesel prices.
The other problem is that although the CX-60 PHEV impressed us on the launch, we subsequently ran one as a long-term test car and found it wasn’t very efficient, the gearbox was clunky, it felt nowhere near as quick as the figures suggest and the ride and general refinement were poor. Can the diesel version save the CX-60 range?