The FINANCIAL — Mazda Motor Corporation started taking orders for its new three-row crossover SUV, Mazda CX-8, at dealerships throughout Japan today with sales to start on December 14. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including taxes) range from 3,196,800 to 4,190,400 yen. The target sales volume is 1,200 units per month.
The CX-8 will be the flagship of Mazda’s SUV lineup in Japan. As a crossover SUV with three rows of seating, it represents a new people-moving option for customers who want to enjoy outings with family and friends but don’t want to sacrifice design or driving performance. The model features the full suite of SKYACTIV technology and a sophisticated design, courtesy of Mazda’s KODO design language, imparts a premium feel. Performance is effortless around town and on the highway, and all passengers, including those in the third row, will appreciate the quiet cabin and comfortable ride. Developed under the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies support safety and peace of mind, essential for an enjoyable driving experience, according to Mazda.
The styling brings new depth and maturity to KODO design. The idea was to create a look both timeless and edgy, something that would continue to excite owners even after many years. As the flagship model in the SUV lineup for Japan, the focus was on creating a look of class and quality, and every interior part was chosen in careful consideration of its color and material.
The CX-8 is powered by an advanced version of the SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine. The most significant upgrades since the engine’s introduction in 2012 realize powerful driving performance that defies the traditional image of a people mover and excellent environmental performance. With Mazda’s unique G-Vectoring Control technology on board, the CX-8 is a car that drivers and passengers alike will enjoy both around town and on long drives.
Packaging was developed under the human-centered design philosophy, with a focus on ease-of-use as a three-row SUV. Three different seat types are available for the second row, providing seating for up to six or seven and allowing customers to prioritize space or numbers, depending on their needs. Seats can be folded down in a variety of arrangements to accommodate items of different sizes in the trunk. And the cabin is quiet enough that conversation is possible between the first and third rows, making the trip enjoyable for all passengers.
Some i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features, designed to support the driver’s recognition, judgment and operation, come as standard equipment.2 All model grades qualify for a “Safety Support Car S – Wide” rating3 under the public awareness campaign being run by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. A new 360° View Monitor is also available, enhancing safety and peace of mind in various situations from backing into a parking space to passing oncoming traffic on narrow streets.
“Under our Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 vision for technology development.4 Mazda aims to bring about a beautiful earth, enrich people’s lives as well as society and inspire people through the value found in cars,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “We designed the CX-8, flagship of our SUV lineup in Japan, to provide driving pleasure based on this new long-term vision, and in development we were driven by a desire to create a new market together with customers who are seeking new lifestyle options. Moving forward, we want to create a strong bond with our customers so they will stick with the Mazda brand even as their lifestyle evolves throughout the different stages of their lives.”
■ Features of the Mazda CX-8
● A maturing KODO design theme delivers one-of-a-kind SUV styling
Mazda designers chose “timeless” and “edgy” as keywords for the design, hoping that a beautiful and premium-feeling design would add excitement to customers’ lives for many years. With a focus on genuine materials for a high-class look and feel, they created a new SUV design that speaks of driving pleasure, luxury and meticulous attention to detail, a perfect fit for the flagship of Mazda’s SUV lineup in Japan.
A new SUV style based on a flowing horizontal theme presents a strong and powerful form with a look of maturity and dignity.
The contrast between the compact cabin and the body upon which it sits creates proportions that evoke spirited driving, a refreshing departure from the boxy look of most people movers. The bulge in the shoulder area and other touches produce a look of toughness befitting an SUV while the reflections that flow over the body surface add an air of dignity.
Seven exterior body colors are available, including Machine Gray and Soul Red Crystal, which were developed specifically for KODO design.
Designers focused on creating an inviting interior that imparts a pleasing sense of tension for all on board. Specially selected Nappa leather upholstery and real wood trim5 add warmth and an air of authenticity that improves with age. Surrounding occupants with refinements, the cabin feels like a comfortable study and exudes an air of quality and maturity.
Meters and controls are laid out symmetrically, creating a pleasant sense of tension that helps the driver focus on the road ahead. Decorative trim spreads horizontally across the dash, creating an expansive feel. Colors and textures were chosen to produce an atmosphere of affluence and composure.
Four interior packages are available, two featuring genuine leather and two featuring fabric. With the XD L Package, the upper section of the interior is black and the lower section matches the color of the seats. This chic, two-tone design creates an atmosphere of composure and warmth.
Smooth driving, powerful performance
With a Jinba-ittai driving feel tailored to match human senses, the CX-8 provides smooth and powerful performance that defies the image of a people mover
An updated SKYACTIV-D 2.2 clean diesel engine
Updates to the SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine maintain the engine’s exceptional fuel economy while raising maximum output from 129 to 140 kilowatts and maximum torque from 420 to 450 Newton meters. Rapid Multi-stage Combustion, a technology which injects small bursts of high-pressure and extremely fine fuel spray into the cylinder in quick succession, improves combustion efficiency, reduces harmful emissions and makes for a quieter engine. Other new technologies include stepped, egg-shaped piston heads, ultra-high-response multi-hole piezo injectors, and a variable geometry turbocharger.
Transmission and drivetrain
All models come with the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. Customers can choose between front-wheel drive and the i-ACTIV AWD all-wheel drive system. G-Vectoring Control, which improves stability by controlling engine torque in response to steering inputs, is standard on all model grades.
Suspension and brakes
The suspension is structurally the same as that of the larger CX-9 (only available outside Japan), but damping and other parameters have been tuned especially for the CX-8. A rebound spring in the front damper enhances stability in cornering.
Seventeen-inch ventilated (in the front) and solid (in the back) disc brakes paired with a large master cylinder provide strong braking and excellent control.
● A high-quality and flexible cabin space
The cabin was designed for ease-of-use as a three-row SUV and to provide a comfortable and high-quality space for all occupants. Entry and exit are easy and even adults can sit comfortably in the third row. A flexible luggage compartment and variety of storage spaces cater to a wide range of purposes. The cabin is comfortable and quiet enough that all passengers can enjoy conversing while on the move.
Packaging was designed in line with ergonomic principles. The first row allows the driver to find the ideal driving position, the second row is comfortable for people of larger builds and the third row can easily accommodate adults up to 170 cm tall. External dimensions suit Japan’s roads and parking lots, with overall length, width and height at 4,900 mm, 1,840 mm and 1,730 mm respectively.
Depending on model grade, customers can choose between two different types of captain’s chair seats (6-passenger layout) or a bench seat (7-passenger layout) for the second row. In the XD L Package model grade, a large console box with USB charging ports separates the captain’s chair seats.
With all three rows of seats in use, the luggage compartment offers 239 liters of space, enough for a rear-facing baby stroller or two golf club bags.6 Folding down the third row increases the space to 572 liters and a multi-purpose sub-trunk 307 millimeters deep sits below the floor of the luggage compartment. (All measurements are VDA, include 65 liters for the sub-trunk and assume no Bose® sound system.)
A quiet cabin
Sound absorbing materials in the headliner and around the D pillar help create a cabin quiet enough for all occupants to converse without raising their voices.
Wind noise while driving is reduced thanks to a parting seal around the upper section of the liftgate and aerodynamic roof rails (standard with the XD L Package) designed not to disturb the air flow.
A dynamic damper in the front suspension and damping materials in the rear wheel fender panel help to suppress resonance in the vehicle body, a major cause of road noise.
● Excellent safety performance helps everyone on board enjoy the drive
From reducing risk factors to mitigating damage in a collision, the CX-8 was designed to provide excellent safety performance in every area so friends and families can enjoy the driving experience with peace of mind. i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features2 come standard in every model grade.
Available with a new 360° View Monitor2 that displays vision from cameras mounted on the front, back and sides of the car on the center display. The view changes for each driving scene, helping drivers to avoid hazards by enabling them to check their blind spots and distance from any obstruction.
A bifurcated structure is used below the C pillar for the first time in the lightweight and rigid SKYACTIV-Body.
An active bonnet comes standard on all models. The rear end of the bonnet pops up about 10 centimeters the instant that a collision with a pedestrian is detected, creating a space between the bonnet and engine that can reduce the impact on the pedestrian.
■ Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing for the Mazda CX-8
All model grades are exempt from vehicle weight and acquisition taxes7 and the CX-8 is eligible for a subsidy of up to 64,000 yen (XD L Package with AWD) under the government’s clean energy vehicle subsidy program.