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Mazda CX-90 eight-seater ruled out

Biggest Mazda SUV will not score eight-seat version locally due to ADR restrictions

15 Feb 2023

MAZDA Australia will not offer an eight-seat version of the all-new CX-90 large SUV, despite the fact that such a layout is offered in other markets.

The CX-90 – which is the brand’s largest, most luxurious SUV model to date – will launch in Australia as a six-seat or seven-seat model, despite provisions for a three-row, eight-seat configuration.

Such versions will be sold in the North American market, but Mazda Australia has confirmed that, due to the design of the third-row seating and the requirements under the Australian Design Rules, the three back seats would be “too narrow … in terms of occupant space”.


That is no doubt a shame for Mazda, which would have otherwise been able to offer buyers who are after an eight-seat family SUV an alternative to the models that currently offer such a layout: The Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Palisade, Nissan Patrol and Land Rover Defender 130.


However, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said that the brand would not be missing out on much by lacking an eight-seat version.


“We were never really pushing for an eight-seat version here,” he said. “We’d rather have the same standard of safety in every single seat. So we’re quite happy with seven.


“I’m not aware of us losing any sales of our current range for people who are saying ‘well, it’s eight seats or nothing’,” he said.


Mr Doak added that the brand may also follow its recent strategy of offering a three-row version with six seats (in a 2+2+2 layout) for the CX-90, with a set of second-row captain’s chairs for those who do not need all seven seats.


“We offer six-seat versions of CX-8 and CX-9, and you can surmise that we will do the same (with CX-90). That will be there, so we’re quite happy with six or seven.”


Mr Doak stated that, from memory, the six-seat take-up rate for CX-8 and CX-9 is “around 20 per cent”.


“It’s done what we expected it to do; Australians are a pretty practical bunch when it comes to cars. People usually want to maximise the utility of their vehicle, which would be the bench seat in the middle, but there are definitely people who will take (the six-seat arrangement), and the fact we’re suggesting it will be offered for this, would suggest that the take-up rate is decent.”

The Mazda CX-90 large SUV will arrive on sale in the second half of 2023, where it will sit above the existing CX-9 range, at least until the end of this year.


Built on the brand’s new, rear/all-wheel drive large vehicle architecture, the CX-90 will be offered with six-cylinder mild-hybrid diesel and petrol engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid version due in 2024.

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