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Mazda Australia confirms no plans for CX-8

Mazda’s upcoming six or seven-seat SUV, the CX-8, will not be coming to Australia.

MAZDA AUSTRALIA HAS CONFIRMED there are no plans to introduce the CX-8 to the Australian market. The more-than-five-seat CX-8 model is slated to go on-sale later this year in Japan.

Details are light and Mazda has so far only released one interior image showing off the extra row in the back, along with a few details.

Dimensionally, the CX-8 is similar to the CX-5 in terms of width and length, but it shares the same wheelbase as the larger (and seven-seat) CX-9, and is taller. No further details such as trim level and engine options have been revealed.

The CX-8 slips in-between the five-seat CX-5 and seven-seat CX-9, and would seem a good fit for the Australian market: “Our latest offering, the CX-8 is a new crossover SUV for people who appreciate quality and need a car that seats more than five,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda president and CEO, during the announcement of the CX-8.

The three-row SUV which was announced just under two weeks ago sparked speculation Mazda might import the SUV here as a competitor to the upcoming seven-seat CR-V (due here in July), but Mazda Australia today announced it is not on the radar.

“I would just like to confirm that CX-8 is being produced in Japan for the Japanese market only, very much like the CX-4 is for China only. There are no plans to introduce these SUVs to the Australian market,” said Mazda Australia sales director, Vinesh Bhindi.

Bhindi implied that the current CX-5 and CX-9 are bridging the mid-size SUV and larger seven-seat gap well, even though competitors like the CR-V seven-seat will offer increased passenger capacity at a probably lower price (than the CX-9).

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“We have the five-seat Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 that are both doing very well and our seven-seat alternative, the brand new CX-9, which is performing very strongly.

“These three model offerings give Mazda a very good coverage in the SUV segment here in Australia,” he said.

Bhindi would not state the reason why we won’t be seeing the CX-8 in Australia, but did suggest it is a matter of Mazda not building the CX-8 to comply with Australian Design Regulations: “That being said, if there was ever an ADR appropriate CX8 offered to Australia, we would evaluate this opportunity and consider its viability in this market.”

It leaves circumstances open to change, but for the immediate future, the answer is a definite ‘no’.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae