Mazda’s SkyActiv-X engine improves on the old unit’s power and efficiency.
The driving dynamics of a gasoline engine with diesel efficiency: That’s what Mazda promised when developing the SkyActiv-X engine. When I test drove the prototype last January, I felt the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-X engine now under the hood of the 2019 Mazda3 was more responsive than the old 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G engine. At the time, the prototype engine wasn’t in its final state of tune, so we didn’t get exact power numbers. Now, thanks to a Slovakian brochure, we have some tangible horsepower numbers.
According to that brochure, Mazda pegs the power for the Slovakian Mazda3 at 133 kW and 222 Newton-meters of torque. Translated to U.S. numbers, that works out to 178 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque. Assuming that it’s a 2.0-liter unit — the only SkyActiv-X engine we’re getting is a 2.0-liter — those figures are on par with what we were expecting.
The outgoing Mazda3 produces 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque from the previous generation 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G unit. Now, these are European specifications, and emissions requirements are different over there than they are in the U.S. Bearing that in mind, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that we’d see a more powerful version. Last year, representatives claimed power figures somewhere in the region of 190 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Even if the Slovakian engine is less powerful, it’s not too different from those quoted figures.
Efficiency and Pricing
Of course, the real question here is how much more efficient SkyActiv-X will be. Mazda aims to improve fuel economy by 20 to 30 percent over the SkyActiv-G engine. Mind you, the 2019 Mazda3 doesn’t get this engine across the range. The 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine that’s currently optional in the Mazda3 carries over as the model’s new base engine.
Pricing for the 2.5-liter Mazda3 will start at $21,000 for the sedan, and $23,600 for the hatchback. Now, Mazda hasn’t announced pricing for SkyActiv-X in the U.S. yet, but we expect a premium over the base-engined model. Mazda Slovakia prices the cheapest SkyActiv-X model at 23,190 euros, or $26,150.
If those prices hold true, the 2019 Mazda3 with the SkyActiv-X engine will likely touch $30,000, particularly with all-wheel drive. Even the base price of $26,150 is $1,000 above where the current Mazda3 prices stop. Will the improved efficiency and dynamics similar to the 2.5-liter make up that difference? We’ll have to wait and see when Mazda USA formally announces pricing.
2019 Mazda3 Photo Gallery (Photos: Mazda)
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