The teasing process of the new Mazda CX-8 seven-seat SUV, which is due for release in Japan by the end of 2017. The CX-8 will be the largest product Mazda offers in its home market of Japan, where the larger CX-9 is not sold.
Cars such as the Mazda 5 and Mazda 8 MPVs are no longer offered for sale in Japan, where the market has gravitated away from traditional MPVs towards cooler SUVs and more fuel efficient cars with hybrid or diesel powertrains. The CX-8 appears on the outside as a larger CX-5, much like the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, which is due for Australia in March 2018.
Speaking to Chasing Cars at the launch of the updated CX-3 in May, Managing Director of Mazda Australia Vinesh Bhindi said that Mazda are “always evaluating new possibilities for the Australian market.”
“Mazda Australia would consider an Australian spec with ADR compliance CX-8 if it were ever made available to us.” Mr Bhindi said.
The CX-8 presents a large sales opportunity for Mazda Australia, where a lack of a diesel engine for the CX-9 has always been lamented to further broaden its appeal in the large SUV segment. The CX-8 is diesel-only in Japan, using the same grunty 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre unit found in the Mazda 6 and CX-5. Rivals such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, Skoda Kodiaq, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail all offer seven-seat variants in their lineups, something that Mazda does not offer with the CX-5.
The CX-5 is still the highest selling SUV in Australia however, narrowly outselling the Hyundai Tucson so far in 2017 (12,924 vs 12,836 units). The addition of the CX-8 would only help Mazda’s SUV lineup, which so far including the CX-3 has sold 26,847 units for second place behind Toyota so far in 2017.
The teaser image today shows the CX-8’s profile, and as predicted, appears to be a mix of CX-5 and CX-9 parts incorporating the CX-5’s face with a similar body shape to the CX-9. CX-9 tailights feature at the rear, and large 20-inch wheels appear to have been largely borrowed from the CX-9 as well.
Dimensionally, the CX-8 sits almost perfectly between the CX-5 and CX-9, with a an identical 2,930mm wheelbase as the CX-9. However, the CX-8’s overall length is 175mm shorter than the CX-9 at 4,900mm, its width is 129mm narrower at 1,840mm and it is just 17mm lower at 1,730mm, perfect for families that don’t always need seven seats or dislike the extra size of the CX-9.
If offered in Australia, we’d expect the Mazda CX-8 to command a reasonable price increase over a CX-5, but not so much as to hijack sales of the CX-9, which is selling strongly. 4,567 CX-9’s have been sold in 2017 so far – a massive 545 percent increase over the same time last year due to limited stock of the old-generation of CX-9. This places it fifth overall in the large SUV segment.
The Mazda CX-8 follows the CX-4 as the latest addition to the Mazda SUV lineup, though that model is unfortunately limited to China. The latest teaser for the Mazda CX-8 follows a picture released earlier this year of the car’s seat layout – both six and seven-seat layouts will be available with the six. We’d expect that if the car were offered for sale in Australia, only the seven-seat layout would be made available.
We predict that the Mazda CX-8 will be sold in Australia, and sooner rather than later. Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for information regarding the Mazda CX-8.