Dealer documents reveal much.
If you’re not familiar with Mazda’s new three-row SUV, the CX-8, then let’s get you up to speed. It’s essentially a lengthened, posher version of the Mazda CX-5, though jumping to the 8 nets you an extra third row of seats where you can fit two more passengers. It’s also the only three-row Mazda SUV that you can buy that comes with a turbodiesel (exclusively, at that), something that the bigger CX-9 doesn’t have.
The CX-8 was initially designed and conceived for the Japanese market, where the bigger, more powerful CX-9 isn’t available. However, due to overwhelming global demand for the car, Mazda had to renege on their Japan-only promise and bring the CX-8 to wherever it’s been asked for. Australia, is one of those markets.
Thanks to clever digging by our friends at CarAdvice, it’s now been clarified in what form(s) the Mazda CX-8 will arrive on our shores. It’ll be a two-variant lineup, with one 2WD drivetrain and two AWD drivetrains, and kit will be generous. Driveaway prices in the Melbourne metro area will kick off at $48,300 and top-out at $68,092, with all cars getting the same 2.2-litre 4-pot diesel (140kW/450Nm) and eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The Evolve variant marks the entry point into the CX-8 range, available for $48,294 for the 2WD model and $52,462 for the all-wheel drive model. On every Evolve you’ll find things like 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, a 7.0-inch MZD Connect infotainment system, and fabric upholstery.
Evolve cars also continue Mazda’s march on safety, with comprehensive safety features like autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and warning, lane-departure warning, a reversing camera, and rear parking sensors. Not bad, huh?
If you’re feeling plush and can shell out $68,092 drive-away, the top-spec CX-8 Akina might be more your bag. Available solely in all-wheel drive, the Akina adds a raft of convenience features that really make the CX-8 feel posher and plusher. There’s a powered tailgate for starters, keyless entry/go, and 19-inch alloys for starters.
You’ll also find heated front and rear seats, while the pews up front are power adjustable. The leather upholstery can be had in brown or white (both look tasteful, though the latter may be difficult to keep clean), while entertainment is provided by a 10-speaker BOSE audio system. A 360º camera joins the kit list, and the front gains parking sensors.
And to top it off, you get wood trim dotted around the place.
The Mazda CX-8 is expected to arrive here in the second-half of this year, in seven-seater guise (photos shown here show a 6-seater version). Based on the fact that dealer info packets have already been distributed, it’s reasonable to expect that perhaps the CX-8 could arrive sooner rather than later. Regardless, we’re looking forward to giving this a go later this year and see if the diesel CX-8 will complement the turbo-petrol CX-9, or just cannibalise its big brother’s sales.