For the latest model year, Mazda has given it a mild makeover, more technology and some new suspension hardware underneath, making for the best-equipped CX-8 range to date.
Just how good is the latest Mazda CX-8, then, and how does it stack up against its competitors? Let’s take a closer look at Mazda’s seven-seat SUV to find out.
Mazda CX-8 Competition
|Hyundai Santa Fe|
|Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace|
Starting Price: $42,660
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Mazda CX-8 range kicks off from $42,660 for the entry-level CX-8 G25 Sport FWD, with prices rising up to $48,960 for the G25 Touring FWD, and up to $49,060 for the D35 Sport AWD.
From here, the range jumps up to $58,910 for the G25 GT SP FWD, with the D35 GT SP AWD priced at $65,560.
Finally, Mazda’s premium D35 Asaki AWD is priced at $68,810 and the range-topping D35 Asaki LE AWD is priced at $71,410.
Keep in mind that these are retail prices, and do not include on-road costs.
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Mazda CX-8 - ASAKI LE (AWD) Specifications
|Variant||ASAKI LE (AWD)|
|Transmission||6 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||4500 / 2000|
|Fuel tank size||74.0|
|Fuel usage specs||6.0 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
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What Features Does the Mazda CX-8 Have?
Mazda’s entry-level CX-8 Sport range comes riding on 17-inch alloys and receives LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, black cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, three-zone climate control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, keyless start, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.25-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, which is paired with a six-speaker sound system.
Stepping up to the CX-8 Touring range adds black leather upholstery, powered front seats, keyless entry, front parking sensors, and a pair of USB chargers in the second row.
The CX-8 GT SP range receives adaptive headlights with LED daytime running lamps, a powered boot lift, panoramic sunroof, rear sunshades and some LED interior lighting.
The CX-8 Asaki picks up a surround-view camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, ambient lighting and a heated steering wheel, while the range-topping Asaki LE picks up a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row, with some added storage and USB charging points in the cabin.
Adaptive cruise control
Black cloth upholstery with leather steering wheel & gear lever
Three-zone climate control
Rear-view camera with parking sensors
7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
10.25-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Black leather upholstery (Touring)
Adaptive headlights with LED daytime running lamps (GT SP)
Panoramic sunroof (GT SP)
Surround-view camera (Asaki)
Second-row captain’s chairs with added storage (Asaki LE)
Is the Mazda CX-8 Comfortable to Drive?
For quite a substantial package, Mazda has done a great job in making its large seven-seat SUV package very approachable and user-friendly for all levels of drivers.
Power comes supplied by a choice of two engines for the latest model year, with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 140kW/252Nm in base models, and a more potent 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel offering 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque.
Power is thrown to the ground via a six-speed automatic, with both front-wheel and all-wheel drive layouts on offer.
The driving experience in the CX-8 is particularly smooth, and while the base model doesn’t offer a heap of power for its size, it’s a more than adequate starting point.
This makes the twin-turbo diesel by far the engine of choice for a large package like the CX-8 thanks to its superior torque that makes for more effortless acceleration.
A major part of Mazda’s upgrade for the CX-8 was some new suspension hardware underneath, which has made it far more versatile.
Around town, the CX-8 skips happily along bumps and makes quick turns without an issue, while becoming more stable at higher speeds, which is a particularly nice touch for FWD variants.
For those interested, the CX-8 in petrol form has braked towing figures capped at 1800kg, while the CX-8 diesel can tow up to 2000kg braked.
As a complete package, the CX-8 ticks all the important family motoring boxes, offering a smooth and user-friendly platform for all levels of drivers that is more manageable around town and even more comfortable on long-distance tours.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
As per usual with a petrol vs diesel comparison, fuel efficiency figures are far more impressive in Mazda’s 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel unit, which consumes fuel at 6.0L/100km on a combined cycle.
Compared with Mazda’s claimed 8.1L/100km economy figures for the G25 petrol engine, you can see a clear winner when it comes to fuel efficiency.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The Mazda CX-8 has been designed with family-friendly motoring as perhaps its most important consideration, and in this respect, it doesn’t disappoint.
What’s more, Mazda’s clever interior packaging is combined with the company’s class-leading expertise when it comes to stylish interior designs, making for one of the most attractive cabins on the market at its price point.
Up front, the driver and front passenger pick up a digital instrument cluster and upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment display even in the base model, bringing the CX-8 in line with key rivals when it comes to tech.
The driving position is fully-adjustable, with a decent amount of headroom in the front of the cabin meaning tall drivers and front passengers won’t feel constrained up front.
There’s a large centre console separating the driver from the front passenger, with the gear lever, handbrake and infotainment control dial taking up most of the real estate, flanked by cup holders and a split-folding armrest with storage inside.
Move to the rear of the cabin and buyers have two options for the interior layout, with a conventional seven-seat layout offered as standard, while higher variants pick up a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row making for a super spacious six seater.
Regardless of the configuration, the second row’s outboard seats come fitted with ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts and three top tether mounts on the seven-seater.
Boot space figures stand at a compact 209L with all three rows of seats standing, expanding to a very healthy 775L of boot space with the third row folded.
Is it Safe?
Mazda’s CX-8 has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, scoring 96% for adult protection, 87% for child protection, 72% for pedestrian protection and 73% for safety assist.
Thankfully for buyers, even the entry-level CX-8 picks up a generous safety equipment list which includes adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure alerts, driver attention monitoring and curtain airbags.
Stepping up to Touring adds a set of front-mounted parking sensors, while the range-topping Asaki picks up a surround-view monitor.
Our Verdict: Is The Mazda CX-8 Worth it?
While the CX-8 might be overshadowed by its next-gen successors, Mazda’s latest update has given the CX-8 platform some substantial comfort, entertainment and safety equipment upgrades that make it a great value pick within the world of large SUVs.
With a healthy amount of choice within the range, combined with Mazda’s class-leading interior designs, the CX-8 is more than up for the task of handling your family on daily errands and holiday road trips alike.
If you’re searching high and low for your next seven-seat SUV, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.
Five Mazda CX-8 Specs You Need to Know
2.5-litre petrol (140kW/252Nm) & 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel (140kW/450Nm) engines available
Six and seven-seat layouts
209L boot space expands to 775L with third-row folded
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
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