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Future models - Mazda - CX-8

Mazda confirms three-row CX-8 SUV

More room: The CX-8 could act as a replacement for the recently discontinued Mazda5/Premacy MPV.

New Mazda CX-8 to be a Japan market only offering, but Australian arm interested

Mazda logo1 May 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

MAZDA will offer a new three-row flagship SUV in its Japanese home market, but it is an unlikely starter for the Australian market, for now.

Dubbed the CX-8, Mazda says the new model will launch in Japan by the end of the year, and while the car-maker has only revealed the interior, the exterior styling is expected to follow the Kodo design language seen on the rest of the range, except the BT-50 ute.

It will offer seating for six or seven people, and is being offered in Japan as something of a stand in for the seven-seat CX-9 which is not sold there as its dimensions are too big.

The CX-8 is 4900mm long, 1840mm wide and 1730 high with a 2930mm wheelbase.

It is unclear what platform the CX-8 will be built on as the wheelbase is identical to the CX-9, but the width is the same as the smaller five-seat CX-5 that was launched in Australia in March.

Rumours have been circulating about a three-row version of the CX-5 that would provide Mazda with a rival for seven-seat versions of the Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander as well as the upcoming Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, but it is unclear if this is the same model.

Mazda previously sold the Mazda5, also called Premacy in some markets, that was a six- or seven-seat MPV, but it was discontinued in 2015 in the US and this year in Japan. Mazda could be using the CX-8 as a replacement for the Mazda5.

Few other details of the CX-8 were revealed, but it will be powered by a SkiActiv-D 2.2-litre diesel engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Karla Leach told GoAuto that while it is a Japan-only model for now, the local arm would consider adding it to the line-up should it be offered to them.

“It hasn’t been confirmed for any other market than Japan at this stage,” she said. “But saying that if it ever did come as an option we would obviously have a look and see if would work.

“Because it is being developed for the Japanese market, we would have to look at the level of spec and how it fits within our existing range, knowing we have a very strong five seater and strong seven seater in CX-5 and CX-9. We would have a look but that isn’t even an option at the moment.” Mazda representative director, president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said the new model would appeal to people that need extra space in a high-quality offering.

“Our latest offering, the CX-8 is a new crossover SUV for people who appreciate quality and need a car that seats more than five,” he said.

“It has the looks, performance and high-end feel customers expect from a Mazda, and even adults can sit comfortably in the third row. Mazda aims to create a strong emotional connection with customers, and we will achieve this by continually advancing our line-up to offer all customers our unique combination of driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.”

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