A small but significant announcement from Mazda today: it's bringing a diesel engine to US for the first time in its all-new Mazda CX-5.

The timing may seem rather suspect, given diesel's name has been dragged through the mud frequently in recent months, not only from Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal but also an increasing clampdown on the technology through regulation in major European cities.

So I asked Mazda's European boss, Jeff Guyton, an American himself, why the company was bringing diesel to the US.

"The US for years has had an on/off affair with diesel. In the 1970s oil crisis, diesels got a bad name as they were rushed to market for their fuel economy, but they didn't last long [in terms of reliability]. Only premium brands Volvo and Mercedes-Benz made them work, and they built up a strong and loyal following among their customers."