Mazda is pitching the CX-8 at the prestige buyer. Picture: Thomas Wielecki. 2018 Mazda CX-5 updated
Mazda is pitching the CX-8 at the prestige buyer. Picture: Thomas Wielecki. 2018 Mazda CX-5 updated

New Mazda seven-seat CX-8 chases luxury buyers

A SMALLER, smarter, diesel-powered seven-seat Mazda will hit dealerships on July 1 with a starting price of $42,900 before on-road costs.

The CX-8 is physically smaller - 175mm shorter than 129mm slimmer - than its CX-9 petrol-propelled sibling but is priced comparably to the existing big Mazda SUV.

Much of that price difference is due to the fact diesel-engined vehicles are typically $3000 dearer than their regular counterparts but Mazda Australia also says the CX-8 will typify the company's move into "mainstream premium".

The CX-8 slots in between the CX-5 and larger CX-9. Picture: Thomas Wielecki.
The CX-8 slots in between the CX-5 and larger CX-9. Picture: Thomas Wielecki.

Think a top-spec version with nappa leather, real wood, brushed alloy and a head-up display that projects directly onto the windscreen rather than on to a plastic screen that pops up behind the steering column. An eight-inch infotainment screen, smartphone mirroring and satnav is also expected to be default items across the range.

The entry vehicle will be a Sport-badged front-wheel -drive version. The price jumps by $4000 for an all-wheel-drive equivalent, though Mazda won't yet talk about specification levels.

Initially the CX-8 will be available with a diesel engine only. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.
Initially the CX-8 will be available with a diesel engine only. Pic: Thomas Wielecki.

There's no indication whether the step up to AWD - and extra fuel use for carrying the extra weight of off-road underpinnings - will be accompanied by extra gear.

At the top of the tree is the CX-8 Asaki which will start at $61,490 before on-road costs.

The only engine confirmed for now is the 140kW/450Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel matched to a six-speed automatic. That drivetrain is already used to good effect in the mid-sized CX-5 SUV.

Mazda says all versions will be equipped with "a wide range of safety technologies". As such, expect standard autonomous emergency braking, cruise control and reversing camera.

The cabin has an up-market look aimed at attracting prestige badge buyers. Picture: Thomas Wielecki.
The cabin has an up-market look aimed at attracting prestige badge buyers. Picture: Thomas Wielecki.

Cargo capacity will be a svelte 239 litres with the third row seats up, expanding to 572 litres when the back seats are stowed. That's less than the CX-9 but bigger than the mid-sized CX-5 SUV on which the CX-8 is based.

Mazda Australia managing director, Vinesh Bhindi, says the CX-8 will evolve the company's push into "mainstream premium"

"Brand-New Mazda CX-8 shares the uncompromising quality, style, comfort and safety features that customers know and expect of a Mazda," he notes.

Photo of the new 2018 Mazda CX-8
Photo of the new 2018 Mazda CX-8

"This, paired with the efficiency and economy of the most advanced diesel engine on offer, makes the Mazda CX-8 an enticing proposition for Australians needing an added level of versatility."



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