Following many, many months of anticipation, Mazda Malaysia has finally rolled out their 2019 CX-8 from their plant up in Kulim, Kedah. This coincides with the opening of bookings for the model, and there are four variants for potential buyers to choose from.
As a quick rundown, the CX-8 can best be summed up as a snazzier, sleeker CX-9, being a fair bit larger and longer than the CX-5, and only a little bit smaller overall than its CX-9 sibling. It is available as a seven seater in the base 2.5L 2WD Mid variant, and a six seater for the remaining three variants where the second row is replaced with captain chairs.
Two engines are available – buyers can opt for a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which pushes out 192 hp and 258 Nm of torque, or a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine which makes a substantial 450 Nm of torque and 188 hp. Only the top of the range variant gets the diesel engine and all-wheel drive, while the rest deliver power solely to the front wheels.
The most potent 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s available in both the CX-5 and CX-9 is not offered here – most likely as a means to distinguish the CX-8 in product positioning and as a matter of exports to other markets. The demographic that’s expected to be interested in the CX-8 would be the same growing families that were drawn to the CX-5 – a strategy that’s highly effective when customers have faith in a brand and grow along with it.
We’ll run through the different variants as quickly as we can. Even the entry level 2.5L 2WD Mid variant is generously equipped with standout features such as:
From here, the next level up is the 2.5L 2WD Mid Plus variant. It adds LED daytime running lights although it loses two USB ports as it replaces the second row bench seat with captain seats. It also gets the adaptive front-lighting system and Smart City Brake Support for both the front and rear.
Going up to the 2.5L 2WD High variant sees the return of the USB ports for the second row as a centre console is added, as well as a 360-degree panoramic view monitor. The interior trim is replaced with Nappa Leather, and Adaptive LED Headlights along with Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist System, Driver Attention Alert, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are added.
The options list for the top of the line 2.2L AWD turbodiesel variant pretty much mirrors that of the 2.5L 2WD High variant, with the omission of the sport mode switch. You can have your CX-8 in a choice of six colours: Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, Snowflake White Pearl, Deep Crystal Blue, Sonic Silver, or Jet Black.
Even though bookings have opened, we can’t tell you what pricing is like because they have yet to announce it – although with the direction Mazda has picked, you can expect it won’t exactly be on the budget end of things. That being said, Mazda products have been known to punch far above the belt and the CX-8 would be a good dark horse when pit against other seven seaters.
For the best deals on Mazda models, click here.