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The Mazda CX-4 and CX-8 Exist In Other Markets

Here’s something you’ll probably find just as unusual as I do: In America, where we love SUVs, where we buy SUVs by the bushel, where our unquenchable thirst for SUVs makes us seem like we’re a nation that’s been collectively walking through an SUV desert for the last 20 years, Mazda does not sell all their SUVs.

I discovered this a few days ago when I was having dinner with my friend Filippo, whose Kia Spectra I ran over back in June. Filippo told me there’s a Mazda CX-4 and a Mazda CX-8 available for sale in foreign markets. As usual, I did not believe Filippo. As usual, I was wrong.

Here’s what I learned: Mazda does, indeed, sell a CX-4, and it’s basically a sloped-roof little "coupe" version of the CX-5 — in modern parlance, of course, not the traditional usage where "coupe" means "2-door." It’s actually a handsome little vehicle, effectively a sportier CX-5, and I personally like it a lot. Right now, it’s built in China and it’s only offered in the Chinese market, while Americans miss out. It’s offered with a 2.0- or 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.

The CX-8 is even more perplexing. Although Mazda sells a subcompact crossover (CX-3) here in the U.S., along with a compact crossover (CX-5) and midsize crossover (CX-9), they don’t have an entrant in the segment that includes the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano and Ford Edge — basically, the midsize crossover that’s smaller than the increasingly large "midsize" crossover. But they do make such a vehicle, and it’s called the CX-8 — but it’s only offered in Japan. Once again, no U.S. sales for this thing.

I’m surprised by all this. BMW makes six SUVs; they sell all six in the United States. Most other automakers sell basically every SUV they make in the United States — and many make SUVs specifically for the U.S. market, even if they’re foreign brands. Meanwhile, Mazda seems to be ducking away from selling these two perfectly marketable SUVs here in the U.S. market, despite our apparent love for all things SUV and crossover. Find a Mazda SUV for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Doug, it is worthy to note that in China and Japan Mazda offers three CX series models just as we do.  And BMW offers all of their crossover/SUV’s here because they simply make a lot of money on each one.  You would be hard-pressed to find a base model BMW (any model) without options to jack up the MSRP and profit for the manufacturer.  And people who buy new BMW products want that. The more niche-market a BMW crossover gets, the more ridiculous amount of money the consumer is willing to pay.  Mazda keeps their crossover lineup limited to three vehicles for the price control enabled by sheer volume.  And I believe all three CX models are still built in Japan; though I do hear that a Mazda/Toyota plant is being built in the U.S. which could bring a CX-4 to the states.

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