Just as quickly as small diesel engines in vehicles in North America saw a resurgence, they appear to be going away. Earlier this week we shared the tragic news that Ford wouldn’t be putting the diesel engine in the Transit Connect. Today we’re sad to report that the Chevrolet Equinox diesel is also going away.
The Car Connection reports that the Equinox is going away for the 2020 model year. Chevrolet told them that the canceling of the oil burner is a result of “slow demand.” While we might all think that we want small diesel engines in our cars and crossovers, we’re not actually shelling out the money to buy them. At least not in the quantities required to make them profitable for the automakers.
Cost plays a role. The Equinox’s non-gas engine was a $2,400 upsell over the base engine. It would take a decent amount of driving to recoup those costs, especially when in many parts of the country diesel is more expensive than gasoline. The 16 road warriors who would love the Equinox diesel are now going to have to settle for the gas engine.
They could also wait for the upcoming Mazda CX-5 diesel. It’s finally going to go on sale in the States, but it’s only available on premium models that start at well over $40,000. The higher MSRP makes it easier for buyers to justify the cost. At least they aren’t priced like the more capable engines in trucks. To get the 1,000 HP high output Cummins in the Ram 3500 it’s over $11,000 extra. That’s the price of a Nissan Versa.
It’ll be interesting to see how customers take to that engine in the CX-5 when it goes on sale. It also depends on how much fuel costs when it does. Some states significantly increased the price of fuel taxes to pay for infrastructure.