New Mazda CX-8 revealed

Three-row SUV is based around the CX-9 but gets a tweaked 2.2-litre diesel from the smaller CX-5.

Is this a sportier version of the CX-9?

In one way or another, yes. Mazda has just revealed the new CX-8 in Japan which is the fifth SUV it is making.

Based largely on the CX-9, the CX-8 has slightly more compact dimensions like a 4,900mm length, 1,840mm width and 1,730mm. However, the 2,930mm wheelbase length is the same as in the CX-9.

Although the CX-8 is shorter in height, Mazda says the third-row seats can accommodate people up to 170cm tall. A differentiator between the cabins of the two SUVs is the number of seats: the CX-8 has 2+2+2 layout, while the CX-9 features 2+3+2 matrix.

The exterior is mostly the same between the CX-8 and CX-9, but it's the D-pillar design that separates the two from each other.

Does it get the CX-9’s new 2.5-litre turbo engine?

No it doesn’t. The CX-8 comes with the 2.2-litre diesel-turbo from the smaller CX-5 albeit tweaked from 175hp to 190hp and 420Nm to 450Nm. Transmission is via six-speed automatic and buyers can choose between either 4WD or FWD-only drive system.

The CX-9 comes with 235hp 2.5-litre inline-four petrol-turbo motor which has been downsized from the predecessor’s 274hp 3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6.

Is it cheaper than the CX-9?

That’s difficult to say because Mazda is playing its SUV game a little tricky. It’s like this.

The CX-9 has been conceived as a flagship SUV for markets outside Japan, while the CX-8 has been tailored only for the Japanese market. But assuming they are both sold in the same market, it’s quite obvious that the CX-9 should be dearer given its badging.

Sources say the CX-8 has been made available for Japan because it will eventually fill into the shoes of its seven-seat MPV. SUVs, or crossovers as they are also known, are trendier and easier to sell.

Although Mazda Sales Thailand has a plan to sell the CX-9 in Thailand, it has yet to arrive in local showrooms. In imported form, the CX-9 would cost around three million baht.

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