Local interest in CX-8

Mazda is broadening its well-received CX range – but it’s soon to say if the latest addition will come here.

Potential for Kiwis one day enjoying a new three-row Mazda that appears to be spun off the just-launched CX-5 has not been ruled out.

However, Mazda New Zealand says is making no promises about the CX-8 just announced by Hiroshima, beyond saying that the car might be of interest should it become available outside of its initial market, Japan.

“In the event there was ever a version made available to New Zealand, we would evaluate and consider its viability among our existing CX-series offering,” spokesman Glenn Harris has told MotoringNetwork in respect the variant.

“But until that time, I'm confident that the CX-3 upgrade and new CX-5 together with the seven-seat CX-9 provide very capable representation within the SUV category.”

Mazda Japan is still only offering limited comment about the car, but has signalled it will come with the 2.2-litre SkyActiv turbodiesel and six-speed automatic found in the CX-5 and Mazda6 and be available in Japan by the end of the year.

The only image out of the brand so far is of the interior and seating plan. It seems safe to assume the exterior styling will follow the Kodo design language seen on the rest of the range. 

Mazda has already made strong inroads with its new CX-9, which like the CX-8 seats up to seven people. But the American-built CX-9 is not sold in Japan, because it is considered too big for that market.

Also, the CX-8 seems more akin to being a crossover rather than a fully fledged sports utility.

Interestingly, while the new model - at 4900mm long, 1840mm wide and 1730 high – is not the same physical dimension as the big boy SUV, it has the same 2930mm wheelbase. The width is the identical to the CX-5's, fuelling speculation they are related.

Mazda has had a similar car to this in the past – the Premacy was here for some years and discontinued production in 2015.

Some are suggesting that the CX-8 could have a role here as a rival for the seven-seat versions of the Nissan X-Trail, upcoming Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Mazda Australia has also said it consider the CX-8 should it be offered.

Mazda Japan says the model will appeal to people that need extra space in a high-quality offering.