Mazda’s family-ready CX-8 is ready to roll, priced from $42,490.

The seven-seater, set for launch next month, will slot between the CX-5 and larger CX-9.

The big drawcard, however, is that it is a diesel.

It shares the same wheelbase as the CX-9, but is 175mm shorter which will probably be confined to the boot.

The diesel engine is the same twin turbo 2.2-litre Skyactiv unit that can be found in the smaller CX-5, with 140kW and 450Nm of torque and outstanding fuel economy.

Offered in two model grades, there are three variants, starting with Sport FWD, Sport AWD and the range topping Asaki AWD.

With a wide range of i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies standard, the value-packed SUV starts from $42,490 for the entry level Sport FWD.

The Sport AWD variant will retail from $46,490*, while the Asaki will start at $61,490*.

Managing Director of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, said the Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel is a compelling offering for customers looking to upsize into an SUV.

“Brand-New Mazda CX-8 shares the uncompromising quality, style, comfort and safety features that customers know and expect of a Mazda,” he said.

“This, paired with the efficiency and economy of the most advanced SKYACTIV diesel engine on offer, makes the Mazda CX-8 an enticing proposition for Australians needing an added level of versatility.”

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.