Mazda Australia’s newest addition to the line-up, the CX-8, has officially begun its sale period to local prospective buyers. The seven-seat SUV does indeed arrive exclusively as a diesel, undercutting the similarly sized CX-9 flagship dimensionally (slightly) and in price.
Starting from $42,490, the range kicks off roughly $2,500 more than the least expensive CX-5 diesel. With the CX-8 Sport (FWD), despite it being an entry-level variant, Mazda does have it load up on some generous equipment levels, putting it in good stead against other diesel-powered SUVs of its class such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
Factoring that the diesel engine produces very similar performance to the CX-9’s newer 2.5-litre turbo-petrol while sipping less fuel and that the larger size puts it about on par in terms of pure practicality, it’s difficult to see the CX-8 as anything but a ‘CX-5 Plus’. Take the naming conventions out of the equation, though, and you’re left with quite the value proposition.
Each CX-8 will come as standard with tri-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, piano black and chrome interior trim accents. Meanwhile, Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE is also included, meaning every variant will arrive with Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Radar Cruise Control, and of course, Autonomous Emergency Braking.
The range expands to the mid-spec Sport (AWD) and finally the CX-8 Asaki, which will go on to add niceties like 19-inch wheels, Nappa leather upholstery, wooden trim inserts, a 360-degree monitor, Adaptive LED headlamps, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, heated seats, and even a heated steering wheel.
Each CX-8 is powered by a 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder, able to deliver 140kW and 450Nm from as early as 2,000rpm all while returning a claimed combined cycle consumption figure of just 5.7-litres/100km, rising to just 6.0-litres/100km in the AWD variants. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
- CX-8 Sport (FWD) - $42,490
- CX-8 Sport (AWD) - $46,490
- CX-8 Asaki (AWD) - $61,490