Just recently, Mazda Malaysia launched the locally assembled CX-8, a three-row SUV that seats up to seven individuals. Prices start from RM180k to RM218k, and the car you see here is of the 2WD Mid Plus (RM186k), which is the third rung model positioned above the entry-level 2WD Mid.

Out of all four CX-8s available, only the base 2WD Mid comes with a seven-seating configuration. The remaining three are six-seaters, though both the 2WD Mid and Mid Plus get fabric upholstery – the pair also gets silver 19-inch alloys as opposed to the dark chrome units on the more expensive 2.5 2WD High and 2.2D AWD High. No roof rails here, too.

Speaking of which, there are two engines available, starting with the 2.5 litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G engine (no 2.5L Turbo mills here, unfortunately), producing 192 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The range-topping 2.2D AWD High is the only one that gets a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive system. Power comes from the 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D engine making 188 hp at 4,500 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. A six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic is standard across the board.

For equipment, this 2WD Mid Plus gets LED headlights with LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, LED combination tail lights, and keyless entry with push-start button. Inside, it gets the same updated instrument cluster with an integrated 4.6-inch digital info display, three-zone climate control (no vents in the third row), seven-inch MZD Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as six speakers as standard.

For safety, there’s ABS with EBD, dynamic stability control, hill launch assist, emergency brake assist, traction control system, six SRS airbags, as well as Isofix child seat anchoring points with top tethers. The CX-8 was also awarded five stars in the ANCAP crash safety test.

The 2WD Mid also gets several functions in the automaker’s i-ActivSense advanced safety system, notably front Smart City Brake Support (SCBS; otherwise known as AEB) with pedestrian detection (more expensive models get rear SCBS also), adaptive front lighting system, blind spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alert. Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC, active cruise control) is not available, unfortunately.

Lastly, included in the price list are add-ons such as window tinting (RM2,000), illuminated sill plates (RM400), optional leather seat upholstery for the Mid and Mid Plus variants (RM4,500), as well as a RM3,000 option for premium metallic colours such as Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, and Snowflake Pearl White. Bundled with the price is a five-year or 100,000 km manufacturer’s warranty with five-years free maintenance.

GALLERY: Mada CX-8 2WD Mid Plus – RM186k