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Mazda CX-8 2018 confirmed for second-half launch


Mazda Australia has announced that the diesel-powered, seven-seat CX-8 will be added to its three-model SUV line-up in the second half of this year.

According to Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi, the decision to import the CX-8 was inspired by local demand for similar models.

“More and more, Australians are opting for larger SUVs 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,” he said.

Claimed by the Japanese carmaker to provide ''the spacious versatility of a large car, with smaller dimensions that won’t compromise on cabin comfort, drive or power'', the CX-8 will sit just below the CX-9 in the model range. It was revealed at the Tokyo motor show in October.

The latest Mazda SUV is narrower and shorter than its similar-looking big brother, meaning it will be more agile on the go while retaining three-row seating for up to seven occupants.

The CX-8 will have three-row seating for up to seven occupants. The CX-8 will have three-row seating for up to seven occupants.

Specifically, it measures in at 4900mm long, 1840mm wide and 1730mm high, as opposed to the respective 5075mm, 1969mm and 1747mm dimensions of its counterpart. Both have the same 2930mm wheelbase.

However, the CX-8 will truly set itself apart from the CX-9 with its diesel powertrain, a 2.2-litre 'SkyActiv-D' turbocharged four-cylinder engine also seen in the smaller CX-5 and Mazda6.

Unlike its existing siblings, which develop 129kW of power and 420Nm of torque, the CX-8 will have a more potent 140kW/450Nm tune.

Comparatively, the petrol-powered CX-9's 2.5-litre 'SkyActiv-G' turbo four-pot unit produces 170kW/420Nm, making the CX-8 less powerful but torquier. All these aforementioned powerplants are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda Australia said the CX-8 will come loaded with the brand's 'i-ActivSense' safety and driver-assist technologies as standard across all grades, including entry-level variants.

Such systems should include 360-degree cameras, an active bonnet, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

Mazda Australia said the CX-8 will come loaded with the brand's 'i-ActivSense' safety and driver-assist technologies. Mazda Australia said the CX-8 will come loaded with the brand's 'i-ActivSense' safety and driver-assist technologies.

Initially sold in native Japan, where the CX-9 is not offered, the CX-8 is available in front- or all-wheel-drive and six- or seven-seat configurations, but the six-seat version has already been ruled out for Australia.

Pricing-wise, the CX-8 should slot between the CX-5 and CX-9 in the line-up, with a likely starting price of around $40,000 before on-road costs. Official pricing and specification will be confirmed closer to launch.

Key competitors for the CX-8 will be other diesel seven-seaters, including the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, among others.

Did Mazda need to add the CX-8 to its established SUV range? Tell us what you think in the comments below.