Slotting in between the CX-5 and bigger not-for-South Africa CX-9, the CX-8 measures 4 900 mm in overall length, 1 840 mm in width and 1 730 mm in height, with the newcomer also being 130 mm narrower than the latter to suit Japanese road conditions.
As well as incorporating Mazda's KODO design language and mirroring the interior layout of its siblings, the extra gain in size over the CX-5, according to Mazda, translates to a total cargo capacity of 239-litres with all seven seats up, and 572-litres with the third row down. In addition to its seven-seat layout, the CX-8 can also be had with six-seats with the middle row gaining a central armrest with cupholders, and two captain's chairs.
Underneath the bonnet, the CX-8 drops the CX-9's 170 kW / 420 Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol for a reworked version of the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D powering the CX-5, which develops 140 kW and 450 Nm of torque. Available with either front or all-wheel drive, both incorporating G-Torque Vectoring, the powerunit comes paired exclusively to a six-speed automatic gearbox, with a claimed fuel consumption figure from 6.3 L/100 km.
Pricing starts at ¥3 196 800 (R379 671) for the base spec front-wheel drive six-seat XD and rises to ¥4 190 400 (R497 678) for the flagship six-seat XD L AWD.