As fate would have it, the very reason why we have the Mazda CX-8 available in the Philippine market is the very same reason why we’ll never be getting a diesel version of it.
The CX-8 was originally envisioned by Mazda as a Japan only product—similar to how the Mazda6 based CX-4 is a China-only product. It was, for all intents and purposes, the CX-9 shrunk down to fit Japanese dimension regulations. With a variety of seating configurations on offer, and a choice of three powertrains, including a diesel, it’s a very successful SUV for Mazda. It holds the distinction of being the best-selling three-row SUV in Japan for every year it has been sold.
The success led to other right-hand drive markets clamoring to get the CX-8 as well, and this proved fairly easy for Mazda to accommodate. Engineering a left-hand drive version through proved to be a bigger challenge since Mazda already had the CX-9 on offer there. In short, this is how it ended up: right-hand drive markets got the CX-8, while left-hand drive markets (including the Philippines) got the CX-9.
That is, until China also wanted a piece of the CX-8 pie.
With the potential of the world’s largest car market dangled in front of them, Mazda finally couldn’t ignore engineering a left-hand drive CX-8. This engineering investment in China, in turn, worked to the Philippines’s favor because there’s finally a configuration that suited our market.
Unfortunately for us, because China’s not really big on diesels, Mazda’s investment to make a left-hand drive CX-8 concentrated on the powertrain that the Chinese wanted: the normally-aspirated 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G. This effectively shuts the door to any possibility for a diesel-powered CX-8.
Sad as it may seem, the Philippines is still spoilt for choice. Compared to other markets, including the U.S., Japan, and China, Mazda buyers here can choose between the CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, CX-8, and CX-9. CX-4 aside, this makes our market one of the most complete in the world when it comes to Mazda’s crossover line-up.