Mazda has confirmed the new model will arrive in Australian showrooms from the second half of 2018 and will confirm full pricing and specifications for the new model closer to launch. Sitting between the CX-5 and CX-9 in terms of size, the SUV features three rows and seven seats, offering the versatility of a larger auto with a smaller footprint.
Originally only designed for the Japanese market, Mazda Australia CEO Vinesh Bhindi went so far as to rule it out for Australia in May 2017, but did suggest at the time that if a version were made available for Australia the brand would consider adding it. In a statement, Mazda said: “Sitting between Mazda’s CX-5 and CX-9 on the sizing scale, the Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel is narrower and shorter than its elder sibling”.
The answer is the CX-8, a seven-seat SUV powered by a turbo diesel engine. It will join Mazda’s SUV line-up, which also includes the Mazda CX-5 – Australia’s most popular SUV previous year – and the smaller CX-3. A 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D engine sits under the bonnet, a revised unit to the one found in the CX-5 with outputs of 140kw and 450Nm.
As for the design, it incorporates Mazda’s latest Kodo styling philosophy, with a sophisticated front end using sculpted headlight housings and a big premium grille, with a similar rear end to the CX-9 only with a sportier tailgate and a pointed rear quarter window like on the CX-5.
Built on the CX-5’s platform, the three-row CX-8 is powered by an updated version of that car’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, and includes the same G Vectoring Control – the engine can momentarily reduce performance to help weigh up a tyre to improve cornering grip – as rolled out to other Mazda models.