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Mazda reveals new CX-8 diesel crossover

Round 8: Mazda’s CX-8 crossover would give buyers another option in the diesel-powered, large SUV segment with competitors including the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.

Australian decision imminent as Mazda Japan unveils diesel-only, three-row CX-8

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Mazda logo15 Sep 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

MAZDA Australia is nearing a decision on whether to import the recently-revealed CX-8 crossover to local showrooms, which will slot in as a seven-seat, diesel-powered alternative to its petrol-only CX-9 large SUV.

Speaking to GoAuto, Mazda Australia public relations senior manager Sonia Singh said the CX-8 is still under evaluation for the local market.

“This car is now available for the Australian market, we will be reviewing whether or not we will be taking this up over the coming months,” she said.

Shown off in its home market, Mazda Motor Corporation Japan is already taking pre-orders for the three-row CX-8 with first deliveries expected in December this year with a starting price of ¥3,196,800 ($A36,315) before on-roads.

Without access to the US-built CX-9, the CX-8 will sit atop Mazda Japan’s SUV line-up and continues the brand’s trademark ‘Kodo’ design language with the focus on “creating a look of class and quality”.

Wearing near identical styling to its CX-9 sibling, the CX-8 can be differentiated by a sharper window positioned between the C- and D-pillar and slightly-sloped roofline, as well as its smaller dimensions.

Although built on the same platform, the CX-8 measures 4900mm long, 1840mm wide and 1730mm high compared with the 5075mm, 1969mm and 1747mm dimensions its CX-9 counterpart.

Inside, the CX-8 is offered with four interior packages mixing genuine Nappa leather and fabric upholstery with two-tone finishes and real wood trim in various colours.

Available in six- or seven-seat configuration, the CX-8 sports 239 litres of boot storage capacity with all pews in place that expands to 572L with the third row stowed.

Mazda says that “even adults can sit comfortably in the third row” with enough space to accommodate passengers up to 170cm tall.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have also been reduced thanks to the inclusion added sound-absorbing materials in the headliner and around the D-pillar, while “wind noise while driving is reduced thanks to a parting seal around the upper section of the liftgate and aerodynamic roof rails”.

Powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel Skyactiv four-cylinder engine that was first introduced in 2012 with the Mazda6, the CX-8 raises outputs from 129kW/420Nm to 140kW/450Nm and is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Front- and all-wheel-drive configurations are available, with both featuring Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control and the same suspension componentry as the CX-9 with specific tuning in the damping and springs for the CX-8.

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

In Japan, three trim levels are available – XD, XD Proactive and XD L Package – and Mazda is targeting 1200 sales per month.

If the CX-8 materialises in local showrooms, it would compete directly against other seven-seat diesel SUVs including the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, and likely kick-off from a circa-$40,000 pricetag, placing it between the CX-5 mid-sizer and related CX-9.

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