Diesel seven-seater to start at $48,294
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The incoming Mazda CX-8 will start in Australia from $48,294 drive-away for buyers in the Melbourne metro area, according to dealer documents obtained this week by CarAdvice. Pricing for other areas, and the usual before-charges prices, were not revealed.

These details, still to be made official, suggest the range will kick off with the two-wheel drive Evolve model. Features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, power mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and roof rails. A 7.0-inch touchscreen without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto will be standard inside, along with cloth seats.

On the safety front, the car will come with adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. The only thing it misses out on is adaptive headlamps.

Melbourne metro drive-away pricing is listed in the documents at $48,294 for the front-wheel drive model, or $52,462 for the all-wheel drive variant.

Jumping from the Evolve to the range-topping Akina removes the front-wheel drive option, and bumps the price to $68,092 (again drive-away, Melbourne metro).

Although you get the same 140kW/450Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine in both trim grades, moving to Akina adds rain-sensing wipers, a power tailgate, smart keyless entry and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The front seats are power adjustable, while both front and rear pews are heated. Lucky kids, right? Brown or white leather is standard, along with a 10-speaker Bose audio system. A surround-view camera joins the rear-view setup from the base car, while there are parking sensors at both ends.

Finally, you get wooden trim on the dashboard to tell the world you stumped for the range-topping car.

Metallic paint will be a $300 option across the range.

As for why Mazda is bringing the CX-8, which is very similar in size and design to the CX-9, to Australia? Diesel, baby.

The CX-9 is only offered with a petrol engine, while the (ever so slightly) smaller CX-8 is a diesel. There are also likely buyers after a bigger car than the mid-size CX-5, but not keen for the full-size CX-9.

Both CX-8 and 9 ride on the same 2930mm wheelbase, but the former is 175mm shorter, 129mm narrower and has a 17mm lower roof.

The CX-8 is scheduled to arrive in Australia during the 'second half' of 2018. In January, Vinesh Bhindi, managing director for Mazda Australia, said the car "is the perfect fit for those who need the versatility of seven seats and the economy that diesel affords".

Mazda CX-8 pricing (not official)

As noted in this story's opening, the below prices have not been announced as official. The pricing is described as drive-away, for buyers in the Melbourne metro area.

  • CX-8 Evolve FWD – $48,294
  • CX-8 Evolve AWD – $52,462
  • CX-8 Akina AWD – $68,092