Think the five-seater Mazda CX-5 is a tad small? Want a seven-seater like the Mazda CX-9 but think it’s, well, pricey? Well then, fret not as Mazda Malaysia (Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd) just unveiled a brand new option that slots in between both, aptly christened as the CX-8.
The new model was unveiled in a special ‘rollout’ ceremony held today at the Inokom Assembly Plant located in Kulim, Kedah where the model is being assembled locally (CKD) alongside its aforementioned CX-5 sibling.
Through this CKD operation in Kulim, Mazda Malaysia will not only produce the CX-8 for the local Malaysian market, but also for export to other markets within the ASEAN region such as Thailand and more.
Locally, four variants were revealed, with three of which powered by Mazda’s signature 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol 4cyl nat-asp powerplant, followed by one that employs Mazda’s other signature mill, that being its 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D 4cyl turbo-diesel.
In typical Mazda fashion, all are mated with Mazda’s Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatics to power the front wheels. The only exception of course is the oil-burning variant – the range-topper – as it benefits further with all-wheel-drive (AWD).
The petrol-powered variants, which boast healthy outputs of 192bhp and 258Nm, promises fuel economy returns of up to 7.9 litres/100km whilst the sole oil-burner in the range, which boasts 188bhp and 450Nm, promises a more frugal 6.0 litres/100km.
A quick glance of the range reveals that all four variants boasts three rows of seats, however only the base CX-8 Skyactiv-G 2WD Mid variant offers seating for up to 7 occupants through its 2-3-2 seating layout.
As for the other variants slotted above it, they get the arguably plusher 2-2-2 seating layout instead thanks to the adoption of second row captain seats instead of a regular three-seat bench.
In typical Mazda fashion, the level of on board kit and creature comforts gets better as you go up the range. For instance, Nappa Leather seats are reserved for both the CX-8 Skyactiv-G 2WD High and flagship CX-8 Skyactiv-D AWD High variants.
Both these variants also benefit with a few other features like a 360-degree parking camera, a built-in centre console for the second row seats, as well as a 6-way power-adjustable front passenger seat amongst many others.
Both the high-spec petrol and diesel variants further benefit with the adoption of Mazda’s i-Activesense intelligent safety suite in full-swing. This adds autonomous city braking (SCBS), driver attention alert (DAA), lane departure warning (LDWS) and lane-keep assist (LAS), blind-spot monitor (BSM), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), as well as adaptive LED headlights (ALH).
Notably though, things aren’t too bad in for the rest of the variants in the range. In typical Mazda fashion, G-Vectoring Control (GVC) and i-Stop engine idling stop-start are both standard across the board. Standard in all too is a three-zone automatic air-conditioning system with independent rear vents.
Also brimmed as standard across the range are things like Mazda’s signature MZD Connect infotainment featuring a 7-inch touschreen display. Said unit is enabled with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reverse camera function and navigation (CX-8 Skyactiv-G 2WD Mid Plus onwards).
As for safety, the CX-8 again follows Mazda’s typical employment of a full swing of features. Highlights include six airbags, ABS + EBD + EBA, traction (TCS) and stability (DSC) control suites, Hill-Launch Assist (HLA), as well as ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Lastly comes the question of price, to which we bear some bad news as Mazda Malaysia have yet to finalise them at the time of writing. Nevertheless, bookings are now open at all authorised Mazda showrooms nationwide. Mazda Malaysia says they will announce the final pricing scheme at a later date.
Once pricing is confirmed, it will include Mazda’s five-year or 100,000km warranty and free maintenance package. Check out more images of the new Mazda CX-8 in the galleries we've prepared below.