The new Mazda CX-8 has been revealed.
The new Mazda CX-8 has been revealed. Kathleen McMahon

Mazda reveals seven-seat CX-8 SUV

WRAPS have been taken off the Mazda CX-8 crossover sports utility vehicle vehicle.

It's not a genuine off-roader, hence the 'crossover' tag, but the first generation model has just been unveiled globally.

There are three rows of seating is forecast to be the flagship of the brand's SUV line up in Japan where it's scheduled to go on sale exclusively before the end of the year. Mazda Australia has not revealed whether it will be offered here.

Seven seats are standard and there is an optional six-seat (2-2-2) configuration.

In releasing the new model, Mazda said "it's a new kind of crossover SUV for people who both appreciate quality and need to seat more than five”.

"It has the looks, performance and high-end feel customers expect from a Mazda, yet even adults can sit comfortably in the third row,” a statement said.

Mazda has become an SUV powerhouse Down Under.

The compact CX-3, mid-size CX-5 and large CX-9 have all struck a chord with the Australian public.

This new CX-8, if it comes here, would slot in between the CX-5 and CX-9. The CX-8 is slightly smaller in all directions than the CX-9, but shares the same wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheels).

During June, Mazda has had the biggest month of sales in its history after selling 12,501 vehicles in June (according to VFACTS figures).

The CX-3 had its best month ever, while CX-9 had its second best month on record.

The CX-5 remains the country's most popular SUV.

External dimensions: 4900mm (length) x 1840mm (width) x 1730mm (height)

Wheelbase: 2930mm

Engine: Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre new-generation diesel.

Transmission: Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic.

Seating capacity: 6/7.