The Mazda CX-8 will have its public preview this week at the Malaysia Autoshow from April 11-14. The latest addition to Bermaz’s Mazda SUV range be launched in Malaysia later this year, and prospects can register their interest at the show.

Bermaz says that the specs of the car that will be previewed may vary from the actual Malaysian spec, and that the interior will only be opened during selected hours (11am to 12pm, 1pm to 2pm, 3pm to 4pm, 5pm to 7pm) from April 12-14.

The CX-8 – which is essentially a larger CX-5 SUV with three rows of seats, but smaller than the flagship CX-9 – was first previewed by Bermaz in February. Then, four variants were listed, with one of that powered by a 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D turbodiesel with 188 hp/450 Nm. The range-topping diesel is also the only variant with all-wheel drive.

The three petrol variants come with the 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G naturally-aspirated engine with 192 hp/257 Nm. Drive goes to the front axle via a six-speed automatic transmission, which the whole model range gets.

As for specifications, the tentative spec sheet for all CX-8 variants are almost identical, with the only difference being the seat layout and material.

Standard for all four are 19-inch alloys, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lamps, LED taillights, keyless entry/push start, triple-zone climate control, 10-way powered driver’s seat, MZD Connect and six airbags. Mazda’s i-Activesense driver assist functions may or may not make it, but G-Vectoring Control and i-Stop auto start-stop are included.

The main point of the CX-8 is the extra cabin space it boasts over the CX-5, which it shares a dashboard with. It’s 4,900 mm long, with a wheelbase of 2,930 mm – that’s 350 mm and 230 mm longer than the CX-5, respectively. The base CX-8 will come with seven seats in a 2-3-2 formation. The next variant is a six-seater (2-2-2) with two captain chairs in the middle row to replace the bench. Both these come with fabric upholstery.

The top petrol and diesel variants are also six-seaters, but with added leather and a centre console (armrest and cupholders) between the second row individual chairs. These preliminary specs weren’t finalised when they were released in February – we’ll see if there’s anything new at the public preview.

As Malaysia is Mazda’s regional CX-5 assembly hub, the CX-8 is set to be a CKD locally assembled model when it debuts, with plans to export it to other ASEAN markets. The CX-5 range is priced from RM132k for the base 2.0L 2WD to RM174k for the top 2.2D AWD – for you, what’s a fair price for this larger SUV?

GALLERY: Mazda CX-8 2.5L (seven-seater)

GALLERY: Mazda CX-8 2.2D (six-seater)