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February 15, 2019

Mazda CX-8 Inches Its Way to ASEAN; Previewed for Malaysian Market

Almost a year and a half since Mazda’s announcement that they’ll be bringing the CX-8 to ASEAN markets, the first concrete steps have finally happened as the 7-seater SUV has been previewed in Malaysia.

A report from Malaysian automotive website reveals that the CX-8 will be assembled at the Mazda Kulim Assembly Plant alongside the CX-5 compact crossover. The article hasn’t revealed any specific timeline for when this would be happening, but sources say it could happen by the middle of this year.

Whetting the appetite for the Malaysian market, Mazda held a preview of the CX-8 crossover. While the units displayed are all completely built-up units from Japan, they are the first indication of what possible specs and variants the ASEAN built units may have.

There were four variants shown, powered by either the normally-aspirated 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline or 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. The diesel motor is pretty much the same one in the 2019 Mazda6 and for that, it has 190 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. Interestingly, the gasoline motor has a slight bump in power. For use in this three-row crossover, it has 195 horsepower and 257 Nm of torque—an increase of 5 horsepower and 5 Nm of torque respectively compared to its application in the Mazda6. All models have the i-Stop system.

For handling, all CX-8 models previewed have Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC), but only the diesel comes with all-wheel drive.

The four variants shown in Malaysia come well-equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, LED taillights, a passive keyless entry with push-button start/stop, and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

So where do the variants differ? It’s in the seating. The base variant comes with 7 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration covered in fabric. Moving up, it comes a 6-seater with a 2-2-2 layout, still with fabric seats. The remaining two variants offer the same middle Captain’s Chair layout but are swathed in leather and come with a center armrest console.

For the Philippine market, it’s unlikely that Bermaz Auto Philippines will bring in 4 variants of the CX-8 given they have to slot this three-row crossover between the CX-5 and CX-9. It’s more likely that they’ll bring in a maximum of 2 variants—one powered by a gasoline and the other, by a diesel engine. While the safest bet would be to give it the 7-seater configuration, they may think out of the box and opt for the 6-seater configuration instead given the CX-9 currently fulfills its role at the brand’s 7-seater.

For the Malaysian market, reports are saying that Mazda is targeting a price below RM 180,000 (~ P 2,311,000). This makes sense because the entry-model CX-9 is currently priced at P 2,380,000 already.


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