Tuesday, October 1, 2019

It's Confirmed: the Mazda CX-8 is Coming to the Philippines


After a premature announcement two years ago and an announcement that it’ll be assembled alongside the CX-5 in Malaysia, Mazda Philippines is confirming that it is expanding its CX-line of vehicles with the 2020 CX-8 (check out our first impressions). Sitting between the CX-5 and CX-9 in size (and likely price), the CX-8 is a new option in the growing number of three-row SUVs in the market.

Manufactured at a dedicated new section at the Inokom Assembly plant located in Kulim, the CX-8 joins the CX-5 as the second model sourced by Mazda Philippines from Malaysia.

Rather than being based off the CX-5, the CX-8 is actually based on the larger CX-9 platform. With that, it promises to offer a comfortable seating space across all three rows. Utilizing a theater-style seating arrangement, the driver maintains an ideal driving position while the third row can accommodate adults with a height of 170 centimeters with no difficulty. Moreover, the third row has 75 mm of space between the floor mat and the bottom of the second-row seat.

Thanks to a new investment in their painting facilities at Inokom, the CX-8 is available in 6 shades including two premium shades: Soul Red Crystal and Machine Gray Metallic.

Regardless of color, the design fits seamlessly into Mazda’s existing line-up. The front uses strong, horizontal lines, including horizontal chrome bars in the grille itself. The width of the front face and sharp LED headlights meanwhile emphasize road presence. At the back, a horizontal chrome bar joins the taillights which are reminiscent of the CX-9. At each corner are standard 19-inch wheels on all variants.

Inside, the CX-8 blends both the CX-5 and CX-9’s design elements. The rear doors open up to 80 degrees allowing easier ingress/egress to all rows or to allow the easy installation or removal of child seats. The Mazda Connect infotainment system features standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while a windshield-projected heads-up display adds convenience for the driver. Other equipment includes triple-zone climate control with rear vents and power seats for the front occupants.

As a family-oriented SUV, the CX-8 put emphasis on creating a refined, quiet cabin allowing a conversation to be made in all three rows. To suppress NVH, vibration damping materials in the rear fenders were used along with a reduction in the gap between the roof molding and roof spoiler as well as application of sound absorbing material at the base of the D-pillars.

Safety features include a full complement of airbags, ABS with EBD, adaptive front lighting, adaptive headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver attention alert, smart city brake support, and a 360-degree parking camera.

As for powertrain, the Malaysian-assembled CX-8 is available with two engines: the normally-aspirated 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G and the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D. The gasoline engine version makes 192 horsepower and 258 Nm of torque, while the diesel does 188 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic.

Mazda Philippines will reveal the local variants and prices of the CX-8 closer to its launch date which is expected in the next few months.

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