Mazda adds new CX-8 to line-up
cushion height, slide and recline adjustments but there is no provision for lumbar adjustment which would be welcome on a longer trip.
Along with the 17-inch alloys and Mazda’s signature 3D wing style grille with mesh inserts the appealing looks of the CX-8 GSX exterior boasts LED front fog lamps, a shark fin antenna, power fold mirrors and a rear spoiler.
In terms of space the CX-8 fits the 5+2 template rather than full 7-seat status and if space in the third row is the primary buying priority the CX-9 is a roomier option.
The CX-8 second row seats are a 60/40 split design and offer fold and slide access into the third row which has a 50/50 split configuration. Load space is a tight 209 litres when the third row seats are in use but a generous 742 litres in five-seat configuration.
Performance comes from the recently updated 2.2-litre Skyactiv-d diesel engine which now boasts 140kw (up by 11kw) output at 4500rpm and 450Nm (up by 30Nm) of torque at 2000rpm while also gaining some effective refinement and noise reduction measures in the upgrade process.
The strong torque on offer from the 2191cc diesel and a responsive six-speed automatic are wellmatched to deliver flexible performance and the CX-8 has a highway overtaking response and easy uphill performance that suggests the diesel grunt will also be of use when the seven seats are occupied or the load space crammed.
In typical modern diesel style the main strength of the diesel is its high torque output from easily accessible engine revs which provides smooth part-throttle acceleration. Diesel muscle also gives the CX-8 a 2000kg braked towing capacity.
By introducing the CX-8 Mazda is adding a fourth pillar to its strong SUV model range.
It’s perhaps best described as a seven-seat version of the CX-5 due to increases in wheelbase and overall length and the commonality of width.
But it’s slightly less convincing for buyers who’ve been asking Mazda for a CX-9 with the impressive diesel engine as it comes without the wide-body appearance, feel on the road and cabin space that is a significant contributor to the CX-9 appeal.
IN TERMS OF SPACE THE CX-8 FITS THE 5+2 TEMPLATE RATHER THAN FULL 7-SEAT STATUS AND IF SPACE IN THE THIRD ROW IS THE PRIMARY BUYING PRIORITY THE CX-9 IS A ROOMIER OPTION.