Mazda CX-8 2021 evaluate – Revised mannequin vary sees six and 7 seater choices!
Everyone needs an SUV lately, so to cater to a rapidly rising and various viewers, automobile manufacturers want to supply extra than simply the standard small, medium and enormous varieties.
Enter Mazda’s CX-8 SUV, which slides in between the CX-5 and CX-9, providing the seven seats of the latter in a footprint nearer in measurement to the previous.
It’s a neat trick that Mazda pulls off, however are there any compromises to packaging, high quality, worth or consolation in consequence? We spent a while within the new 2021 CX-8 Touring SP to search out out.
Does it symbolize good worth for the worth? What options does it include? 9/10
Mazda’s CX-8 has modified quite a bit because it was first launched to native showrooms in mid-2018.
Again then, it was a diesel-only vary, accessible in two grades, however now Mazda Australia affords the CX-8 throughout 5 trim ranges, two engine selections and front- or all-wheel drive, for a complete of 11 variants.
Opening the vary is the Sport grade, accessible in petrol front-drive and diesel all-wheel-drive kinds for $39,990 earlier than on-road prices for the petrol and $46,990 for the diesel AWD.
The Touring can also be accessible in petrol FWD and diesel AWD variations, priced at $46,790 and $53,790, whereas new for 2021 is the Touring SP, which builds on the second-to-bottom grade for an additional $1000.
In the meantime, the GT trim is a diesel-only affair, in entrance ($59,290) and all-wheel-drive ($64,290) flavours.
The diesel-only Asaki tops the CX-8 line-up, in FWD ($62,790) and AWD ($66,790), however Mazda has additionally launched the brand new Asaki LE range-topper that bumps up pricing to $69,920.
We’ll dig into the engine specs a bit additional down, however customary gear is spectacular, because of the likes of tri-zone local weather management, a head-up show, and an 8.0-inch multimedia system with satellite tv for pc navigation, digital radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto help.
Much less spectacular on the bottom Sport grade are the 17-inch wheels and black-cloth inside, however a sub-$40,000 seven-seat SUV must make compromises someplace.
Stepping as much as the Touring provides extra upmarket options reminiscent of keyless entry, push-button begin, power-adjustable entrance seats, heated entrance seats and leather-based inside.
Our check automobile, the Touring SP, differs because of red-contrast stitching for the inside, suede accents for the seats and dashboard, and heated rear seats, in addition to blacked-out exterior parts (extra on that under).
The GT grade scores a bigger 10.25-inch multimedia system, wi-fi smartphone charger, powered tailgate, wooden inside trim, sunroof, 10-speaker Bose sound system and steering wheel paddle shifters.
Lastly, the Asaki nabs a 7.0-inch driver show, Nappa leather-based inside, cooled entrance seats and a heated steering wheel, whereas the Asaki LE swaps out the second-row bench seat for 2 heated captain’s chairs and a bespoke centre console with cupholders and USB ports.
Regardless of the way you slice it, that is a powerful gear checklist, on any grade you go for, however we are going to level out that costs are up this yr (from $80-$1350) throughout the line-up.
Discover the 2021 Mazda CX-8 vary
Is there something attention-grabbing about its design? 8/10
The CX-8 clearly belongs within the Mazda SUV household, carrying the identical understated but elegant design language discovered on the smaller CX-5 and bigger CX-9.
In truth, the CX-8 generally is a little laborious to distinguish from both of its siblings from a distance, so in the event you like what Mazda has completed with its crossovers, you’ll just like the look of the CX-8.
Personally, I just like the styling of the CX-8, with its glossy headlights and taillights including a little bit of aggression to the aesthetic, whereas the chrome-trim discovered on the grille and window surrounds provides a contact of sophistication.
The 19-inch wheels discovered within the costlier grades do look significantly better than the 17-inch items on the Sport and Touring, nonetheless, and fill the wheel arches significantly better.
Our Touring SP additionally sports activities plenty of blacked-out parts on the outside to set it aside, together with across the grille, the home windows and the wheels.
We expect it appears to be like nice, particularly when contrasting towards our check automobile’s Polymetal Gray color, however we are going to level out that larger grades just like the GT and Asaki nab a brand new grille that appears far more upmarket than the one fitted right here.
It’s not simply the skin that will likely be acquainted to Mazda clients, as the inside mirrors a lot of the CX-5 and CX-8 as effectively.
Every part is specified by a transparent and simple to make use of style, and controls and ergonomics are spot on for the motive force.
The Touring SP scores plenty of good touches on the within, too, together with suede accents and red-stitched highlights that do quite a bit to raise the usual black-cloth inside.
Out check automobile can also be fitted with an 8.0-inch multimedia system, however having skilled the bigger 10.25-inch unit of upper grades not too long ago, the larger model is an unlimited enchancment when it comes to appears to be like.
Total, the CX-8 performs it a bit protected with design, nevertheless it nonetheless appears to be like distinct and upmarket, like all Mazda SUVs.
How sensible is the house inside? 9/10
Measuring 4900mm lengthy, 1840mm huge, 1725mm tall and with a 2930mm wheelbase, the CX-8 is classed as a big SUV, however its width is definitely the identical as a one-size-smaller CX-5.
The size is nearer to a CX-9, whereas the wheelbase is an identical to its bigger sibling, which suggests the CX-8 affords the practicality and house of a seven seater, however is simpler to manoeuvre round city.
From the entrance seats, the cabin feels mild and ethereal, because of a big glasshouse, whereas storage choices lengthen to massive door bins, a deep centre-storage cubby, two cupholders and a small tray in your telephone/pockets.
The second-row seats additionally provide loads of room for adults and can even slide ahead and recline to get into the proper place.
There may be loads of head and legroom, even for these sitting within the center seat, however shoulder room generally is a little compromised.
For those who seldom use the second-row center seat, the Asaki LE options two captains’ chairs which might be far more snug for adults, and even options ISOFIX and top-tether factors for baby seats.
Within the second row, there are small door bins, a fold-down armrest with cupholders and air vents with local weather controls, whereas the Asaki LE scores its personal distinctive centre console with features for seat heating.
The second-row doorways are additionally a bit larger than a CX-5, making ingress/egress to the third row a bit simpler, nevertheless it additionally means it may be trickier to get out and in of tighter parking areas.
However in case you are contemplating a CX-8, it’s in all probability as a result of there’s a third row of seats, and they’re simply what you’d anticipate.
It’s a bit cramped in seats six and 7 for my six-foot-tall body, however there’s respectable legroom if the second-road seats scooch up a bit.
Youngsters shouldn’t have an issue being snug again there although, however charging factors are solely accessible on larger grades.
The boot of the CX-8 can swallow an honest quantity of quantity with all seats in place (290L), sufficient for a medium-sized suitcase and greater than sufficient for some groceries or college luggage.
Fold the third-row flat and that expands to 775L, making it simpler to haul a complete household’s baggage for a vacation.
Tucked beneath the boot can also be a space-saver spare wheel for a bit peace of thoughts on lengthy street journeys.
What are the important thing stats for the engine and transmission? 8/10
Our Touring SP petrol is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which drives the entrance wheels by way of a six-speed automated transmission.
The petrol engine outputs 140kW at 6000rpm and 252Nm at 4000rpm for a zero-to-100km/h run in a torpid 10.9 seconds.
Choosing the diesel does liven issues up a bit, with the two.2-litre turbocharged unit delivering 140kW/450Nm at 4500rpm and 2000rpm respectively.
And relying on configuration, FWD or AWD, the oil-burning CX-8 can attain triple-digit speeds in as little as 9.6s.
A 3rd-row of seats is just not mild, after all, with our Touring SP grade tipping the scales at just below 1800kg, whereas the Asaki LE weighs in at a positively porky 1977kg.
How a lot gasoline does it eat? 7/10
The CX-8 in front-drive petrol type will return an official fuel-consumption determine of 8.1 litres per 100km, whereas choosing a diesel will decrease that to five.9L and 6.0L/100km for entrance and all-wheel-drive variations.
In my temporary time with the Touring SP petrol, I averaged 9.4L/100km, principally resulting from remaining within the inner-city and lugging round child paraphernalia like a pram and automobile seat. Oh, and a child.
The beginning-stop engine expertise does assist maintain consumption down, however the close to two-tonne kerb weight (1799-1978kg) doesn’t assist gasoline economic system.
What security gear is fitted? What security ranking? 9/10
The Mazda CX-8 was awarded a most five-star ANCAP security ranking from its check in mid-2018, with notably excessive scores for grownup and baby occupant safety.
As customary, the CX-8 is fitted with essential security methods that you’d need in a household automobile, reminiscent of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane-keep help, adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert with automated braking, a reversing digicam, traffic-sign recognition and rear parking sensors.
Stepping as much as the Touring grade provides entrance parking sensors, whereas the Asaki nabs a surround-view monitor – each options which might be good to have, however not important.
In response to ANCAP, the CX-8’s AEB system is operational from 4-160km/h and is deemed ‘good’ for total efficiency, whereas its lane-keep and lane-departure tech works from 60-180km/h and was given a ‘marginal’ grade.
Guarantee & Security Ranking
5 years / limitless km
ANCAP Security Ranking
What does it value to personal? What guarantee is obtainable? 8/10
Like all new Mazda’s offered in 2021, the CX-8 comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre guarantee, with roadside help over that interval.
Scheduled service intervals for the CX-8, no matter petrol or diesel, are each 12 months or 10,000km, whichever happens first.
Some rivals just like the Hyundai Santa Fe want servicing each 12 months/15,000km, so those that wish to rack up the mileage in a yr must take observe.
The price of servicing over 5 years works out to be $2057 for the petrol engine and $2237 for the diesel, which averages out to about $411 and $447 each year respectively.
Upkeep prices are a bit on the costly facet for the CX-8 when in comparison with one thing just like the Toyota Kluger, which asks $200 for each 12 month/10,000km service within the first 5 years.
What’s it wish to drive? 8/10
From the skin, you’d be forgiven for pondering the CX-8 is a CX-9, however behind the wheel there is no such thing as a doubting its smaller dimensions and distinctive promoting level.
With the CX-8 being as huge as a CX-5, it makes manoeuvring via the tight inner-city streets of Melbourne a breeze.
In our time with the automobile, we by no means turned down a good laneway with vehicles parked on each side and panicked about squeezing via with our mirrors intact.
This additionally helps with navigating streets shared with cyclists , with the CX-8 remaining comfortably in its lane always.
Our Touring SP grade was fitted with the 140kW/252Nm 2.5-litre petrol engine, which does an admirable job at transferring the near-two-tonne automobile to metropolis speeds, however struggled a bit because the speedo climbed in the direction of 100km/h.
That is particularly evident in some freeway on-ramp conditions that require you to stand up to hurry to merge, with the engine feeling out of breath – and even a bit coarse – in the direction of the top-end of the rev vary.
Fortunately, peak torque is on faucet from pretty low down, so when navigating the CX-8 to the grocery store or purchasing centre, it’s a delight to cruise from visitors mild to visitors mild.
We additionally sampled the diesel-powered Asaki LE not too long ago, which affords up noticeably extra pep because of its turbo-diesel engine’s 140kW/450Nm – which matches the BT-50 workhorse’s 3.0-litre unit.
The diesel engine is little question a greater possibility for those who take lengthy street journeys or frequent the freeway, and likewise stands the CX-8 even additional other than the turbo-petrol-only CX-9.
As with different fashions in its secure, Mazda has nailed the driving place and really feel with the CX-8, with the motive force’s seat providing heaps of all-round visibility, sufficient adjustability to get snug, and a steering wheel that serves up delicate cues as to what’s taking place on the street.
Don’t get us incorrect, the CX-8 isn’t as participating or sharp as an AMG SUV, nevertheless it’s definitely one of many higher mainstream SUVs for enjoyable and really feel behind the wheel.
Mazda’s up to date CX-8 doesn’t actually change a lot from the earlier mannequin, nevertheless it didn’t really want to repair what wasn’t damaged.
The added Touring SP grade affords one other alternative for consumers who may be after some extra upmarket options with out the standard related prices, whereas the Asaki LE’s captain’s chairs are genuinely an awesome characteristic.
The sensible house and good-looking appears to be like are additionally large factors in its favour, and even when the petrol engine can run out of huff in the direction of the highest finish, the CX-8 stays a stable alternative for these after a household hauler.