Three-row crossover SUVs are all the buzz right now especially among families. One such example is the Mazda CX-9 with its seating system along with outstanding options. The only problem is that the CX-9 is a bit too large to be a good fit in selected markets. This is what led the Japanese automaker to arrive at a nifty solution-- a more compact and dynamically designed 3-row SUV revealed as the CX-8.
The CX-9 has not been made available to Japanese auto dealers. There actually wasn’t a three-row SUV from Mazda until the CX-8. The needs of certain Japanese consumers weren’t being met. But all these will change as Mazda has said that by the latter part of the year, it will be launching the CX-8 in the Land of the Rising Sun. A single image stands as our first peek into the cabin of the six-seater CX-8. It revealed that the roof bends more as it approaches the rear compared to the CX-9.
The design is closely similar to that of the CX-4 on sale in China, but is built on a larger scale. The wheelbase of the CX-8 measures around 2,930 mm (115 inches) akin to the CX-9; however, the new SUV is 175 mm shorter overall. Moreover, the CX-8 is narrower, averaging around 129 mm. CX-8 has a similar width as the CX-5, measuring bout 1,840mm. Regarding the new SUV's height, it is much lower than the CX-9 as the CX-8 stands around 1,730 mm tall. However, the CX-8 is 55 mm taller than that of the CX-5. The buyers can choose from a six or seven seat vehicle. Revealed in the teaser image is a six-seat configuration in which the second row has an armrest and cup holders resting in the middle seat.
The Japanese automaker is also planning to offer the Japan-exclusive CX-8 with a turbo diesel 2.2 L engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive will possibly be offered as standard, but consumers can choose an all-wheel drive option. Mazda is still mum about the actual details of the inline-four Skyactiv-D's output, but with the CX-5, it produces around 150 hp (110 kW) and 280 lb-ft of torque (380 Nm) and can also belt out a beefier tune of an estimated 173 hp (129 kW) and 310 lb-ft of torque (420 Nm).
Moreover, the said engine will also be found underneath the hood of the CX-5 and is geared to be sold in the latter part of the year. This will be Mazda's first ever diesel vehicle to be made available in the United States. Furthermore, it will feature Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control technologies.
For now, it’s anyone’s guess if the CX-8 will only be a Japan-exclusive release or if the 3-row SUV will be made available in other global markets as well.