Straddling the divide between the medium-sized CX-5 and large CX-9, the CX-8 offers a longer wheelbase and overall length than the CX-5 but a narrower width than the CX-9 tailored to the space efficiency demands of the Japanese market where the CX-9 isn’t sold.
Styling is an extension of Mazda’s current ‘Kodo’ themes, with a gently arched window line and kicked-up beltline at the rear giving the CX-8 a more coupe-like rear compared to the CX-5 it is based on.
Mazda Australia has previously stated that the diesel powered CX-8 would not be coming to Australia as the brand was content with its current range of five- and seven-seat SUV offerings.
"There are no plans to introduce these SUVs to the Australian market. We have the five-seat Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 both doing very well, and our seven-seat alternative, the brand new seven-seat Mazda CX-9, which is performing very strongly," said Mazda Australia's managing director, Vinesh Bhindi.
Although Mr Bhindi did leave the door open to a possible introduction for the CX-8, which comes in both six and seven seat configurations, at a later date.
"If there was ever to be an ADR [Australian Design Rules compliant] version of CX-8 offered to Mazda Australia we would evaluate this opportunity and consider its viability in this market and actually ask 'how does it fit amongst the other SUV products we have on offer here?'" he said.
The Mazda CX-8 joins a growing range of three-row medium SUVs from rival automakers, which include the Mitsubishi Outlader, Nissan X-Trail, recently introduced Skoda Kodiaq and Honda CR-V and the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
Although the CX-8’s chances of an Australian arrival are hampered by the brand's existing seven-seat CX-9, the new addition to the range offers an important distinction thanks to its diesel engine, something lacking from the CX-9 range.
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