Mazda CX-8 may add fourth SUV to line-up

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Mazda is gearing up to add a fourth SUV to its range in the form of the CX-8.

While not official – for now the CX-8 is reserved for Japan – Mazda insiders suggest the move to bring the six- and seven-seat model to Australia is a done deal.

To slot between the CX-5 and CX-9, the new CX-8 would give Mazda a large diesel-powered SUV to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.

The news comes as Mazda confirms some minor CX-9 updates, picking up G-Vectoring Control that apportions slightly more drive to the outside wheel in corners with the aim of improving dynamics.

The CX-9’s cabin is claimed to be quieter courtesy of minor tweaks, including revised sound deadening in things such as the roof lining and floor.

There’s also some changes to seats, including a middle-row seat that tilts further forward and a third row that incorporates a second child-seat tether point.

BMW speeds up

Things are heating up at BMW with the imminent arrival of the brand’s fastest model, the new M5. 

Using an updated version of the previous car’s 4.4-litre V8, the new M5, due in March, pumps out 441kW and 750Nm.

Like the rival Mercedes-AMG E63, the M5 will switch to four-wheel drive, boosting the chances of getting all that V8 grunt to the ground.

The combination makes it the fastest-accelerating BMW ever produced, launching to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds.

A new Haval

Fledgling Chinese SUV brand Haval is set to expand its range with the arrival of the H7 early in 2018.

To be priced from about $40K, the new seven-seat SUV will tackle the mid-sized seven-seat SUV segment that includes versions of the Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo – like other Havals it requires premium unleaded – making a hearty 170kW/350Nm.

Sitting between the H6 and off-road-focused H8, the H7 joins a line-up taking on the traditional SUV players locally.

On the wagon 

Despite the slump in wagon sales in Australia, Subaru is expanding its Levorg line-up.

Based on the previous-generation Impreza, the Levorg now comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine option as part of a tweaked line-up that includes fresh bumpers and more features.

With 125kW/250Nm it’s well down on the 2.0-litre WRX powerplant used in other Levorgs (197kW/350Nm).

But with pricing starting from $35,990 it makes a tempting alternative to the mid-sized SUVs so popular in the suburbs.

Written by Toby Hagon
September 15, 2017

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