Mazda adds new CX-8 to SUV line-up

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The re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of the CX-8 means Mazda is now across the SUV mar­ket with four — ei­ther rel­a­tively fresh or brand-new — model lines.

Con­sid­er­ing that SUVS now ac­count for al­most two-thirds of all pas­sen­ger car sales, it’s a strong foun­da­tion for mar­ket share and a key rea­son why Mazda ranks a clear sec­ond in New Zealand pas­sen­ger car sales be­hind Toy­ota and well ahead of Holden.

The new CX-8 is an in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tion to Mazda show­rooms. It gives Mazda dual so­lu­tions for buy­ers re­quir­ing seven-seat SUVS with the diesel-only CX-8 po­si­tioned just be­low the petrolonly CX-9 in terms of both di­men­sions and pric­ing.

Some re­search re­veals the CX8 is a mix of fa­mil­iar Mazda mea­sure­ments with iden­ti­cal 1840mm body width to the CX-5 but a 230mm wheel­base ex­ten­sion which is ac­tu­ally iden­ti­cal to the CX-9. It’s 350mm longer over­all than the CX-5 but 175mm shorter than the CX-9 and a sig­nif­i­cant 159mm nar­rower than the CX-9.

The CX-8 line-up com­prises GSX spec­i­fi­ca­tion mod­els in fron­twheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vari­ants and a top-of-the-line Limited AWD model.

I find mod­ern Mazda mod­els usu­ally de­liver the strong­est value ap­peal at the GSX grade. Pric­ing po­si­tions the CX-8 GSX mod­els at $53,495 and $55,995 for front-drive and AWD re­spec­tively.

You miss out on the 19-inch al­loy wheels, Bose pre­mium au­dio, leather seat trim, shift pad­dles, pow­ered tail­gate and some other de­tail con­tent of the Limited but the price dif­fer­ence is quite sig­nif­i­cant at $6500. And if it’s seven seats for fam­ily use then the GSX has pretty much all of the nec­es­sary con­tent and com­forts plus al­most the full ar­ray of i-ac­tivsense safety fea­tures.

The GSX spec­i­fi­ca­tion high­lights in­clude three-zone air con­di­tion­ing (fan and tem­per­a­ture ad­just­ment in the rear), satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion on the 7.0-inch MZD Con­nect colour dis­play, LED head­lights with high beam con­trol, key­less en­try and en­gine start, an elec­tric park brake plus a leather steer­ing wheel.

The CX-8 is one of the first ve­hi­cles to achieve a 2018 AN­CAP 5-star safety rat­ing and the driver as­sist and ac­tive safety con­tent in­cludes the Dy­namic Radar Cruise Con­trol with stop and go func­tion, Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing and Lane Keep­ing As­sist, For­ward Ob­sta­cle Warn­ing, the for­ward fac­ing Smart City Brake Sup­port Sys­tem.

Mazda’s G-vec­tor­ing Con­trol han­dling dy­nam­ics sys­tem and the In­tel­li­gent Speed As­sis­tance and Traf­fic Sign Recog­ni­tion fea­tures 2191cc, 16-valve four-cylin­der in-line, di­rect in­jec­tion and tur­bocharged diesel 140kw at 4500pm 450Nm at 2000rpm 4900mm 1840mm 1720m 2930mm 1957kg 74 litres Al­loy, 7.0 x 17-inch Yoko­hama Ge­olan­der G98 225/65 R 17 ra­dial

THE NUM­BERS

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Max­i­mum out­put Max­i­mum torque Length .. .. Width .. .. Height .. .. Wheel­base .. Kerb weight .. Fuel tank ca­pac­ity Wheels .. .. Tyres .. .. ..

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are also stan­dard.

Blind Spot Mon­i­tor­ing and Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert, a re­verse cam­era and Hill launch As­sist are stan­dard and the CX-8 has

pow­er­ful LED head­lights with au­to­matic high beam con­trol and the screen pro­jected Ac­tive Driv­ing Dis­play Head-up dis­play.

It may be mid-grade but the GSX spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­cludes a smart in­te­rior with cloth seat up­hol­stery, a black roofliner, stylish metal­lic trim, pi­ano black sur­faces and a stitched leather fin­ish across the dash­top, the doors and as a trim high­light on the cen­tre con­sole.

The com­fort­ably bol­stered driver’s seat has a slim de­sign with

En­gine .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. I FIND MOD­ERN MAZDA MOD­ELS USU­ALLY DE­LIVER THE STRONG­EST VALUE AP­PEAL AT THE GSX GRADE. PRIC­ING PO­SI­TIONS THE CX-8 GSX MOD­ELS AT $53,495 AND $55,995 FOR FRONT-DRIVE AND AWD RE­SPEC­TIVELY.

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