Mazda CX-8 first look: a new 3-row SUV for Japan

2018 Mazda CX-8

2018 Mazda CX-8

Right now, 3-row crossover SUVs are all the rage with families and one of the more handsome options in the mainstream segment is the Mazda CX-9.

However, the CX-9 is just a tad too big for some markets so Mazda is introducing a smaller, more dynamically-styled 3-row SUV to be called the CX-8.

The CX-8 so far has only been confirmed for Japan where the biggest Mazda SUV available is the CX-5.

2016 Mazda CX-4 (Chinese spec)

2016 Mazda CX-4 (Chinese spec)

Teaser shots reveal the profile and cabin of the CX-8. They show that the roof sits lower and arches more towards the rear compared to the CX-9. Expect the overall design to be similar to the CX-4 currently on sale in China, but on a larger scale.

The CX-8 is approximately 193 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 68 inches tall, making it 6.9 inches shorter, 4.9 inches narrower and 0.7 inches lower than the CX-9. The wheelbase of the CX-8 and CX-9 is an identical 115 inches, though.

Power will come from a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-4 diesel engine. This engine normally delivers 173 horsepower and a mightily impressive 310 pound-feet of torque and has been confirmed for sale in the United States later in 2017.

2018 Mazda CX-8

2018 Mazda CX-8

Front-wheel drive will likely be standard though buyers should be able to opt for all-wheel drive. The only transmission will be a 6-speed automatic.

Another option buyers will have is the choice of six or seven seats. Shown above is the six-seat configuration where the second row has an armrest and cupholders taking up the middle seat.

Mazda says the CX-8 is a Japan-only proposition at present. It goes on sale there before the end of the year.

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