In a bit of a surprising turn, Mazda Australia has announced that a new SUV will be joining the local line-up. The CX-8, which debuted midway through last year as Japan-exclusive model, will be bridging the gap between the CX-5 and CX-9 upon its launch planned for the second half of 2018.
Despite looking far more like the CX-9, representatives from Mazda’s local arm intend to position it more like a CX-5 Plus despite offering the same 7 seat capacity and similar dimensions to Mazda’s flagship SUV. In fact, the whole reasoning behind the CX-8’s initial Japanese introduction was to fill the same gap in the market as the CX-9, a model that ironically was not sold there.
In the attempts to distance the two models, Mazda is only offering the CX-8 with a single engine: their familiar 2.2-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-D turbodiesel. This similar to the CX-9’s availability with a sole engine, acting as the springboard to debut Mazda’s still-new 2.5-litre turbocharged SkyActiv Turbo unit.
Should the tunes remain unchanged from what we’ve grown accustomed to in such cars as the CX-5, the diesel should be good for 129kW and 420Nm, able to keep pace with the petrol-powered CX-9 and its 170kW but identical peak torque.
There will surely be more to follow about the CX-8 as the launch date approaches, but the indications seem to point at it being just as luxurious and well equipped as the CX-9, arriving with a host of advanced safety and technology functions as standard in the base trim.
Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE will be equipped, naturally, replete with the same premium pre-collision features found elsewhere, presumed to include autonomous emergency braking, rear collision alert, bling spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.
The CX-8 and the decisions that have lead to it being a forthcoming addition to our roads, at least from what we can glean with this early announcement, is that it will fill two clear purposes. Rather, it serves as an alternative to two types of Mazda buyer:
- Those who like the CX-5 but need more space.
- Those who like the CX-9 but want a diesel engine.
Managing Director of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, said the Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel will meet Australia’s demand for seven seat diesel SUV’s. “More and more, Australians are opting for larger SUV’s to suit the demands of their busy lives; the Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel is the perfect fit for those who need the versatility of seven seats and the economy that diesel affords."