The Mazda CX-8 has been given a facelift in Japan and will go on sale there next month. The three-row SUV comes with several exterior changes, new colour, tweaked suspension and is now equipped with Mazda's intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive).
The 2023 Mazda CX-8 adopts the latest Kodo: soul of motion design, which brings it closer to the design of the current Mazda CX-5.
The front grille has been replaced with a grille that has a thicker chrome finish, along with a mesh pattern inside. The bumper now sports a more simpler design, with a single centre air vent at the bottom and a redesigned decorative skid plate.
The front lights are also new, featuring twin L-shaped LED daytime running lights just like the CX-60. Although the lights still utilise adaptive LED technology, it now comes with 20 light elements, compared to the 12 on the current model.
At the rear, the taillights also feature a similar L-shaped design, joining the look of the car together. The rear bumper is new too, designed to emphasis the width of the car.
There's also a new colour for the CX-8, Rhodium White Premium Metallic.
There's no major changes when it comes to the interior, but the front seats have been bolstered to improve body holding.
USB Type C ports are now available, as is wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity and Mazda has decided to equip the CX-8 with Mazda's intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), which adds off-road mode added alongside normal and sport.
CTS, suspension and powertrain
The 2023 CX-8 has been given Cruising and Traffic Support (CTS) which automatically operates the acceleration and braking system to maintain a proper trailing distance to the vehicle in front. It also assists with steering operations to keep the car in the correct lane.
The suspension setup for the CX-8 has also been tweaked to improve body control on bumpy and undulating roads.
Although it looks like that the CX-8 will soldiers on with unchanged engines, models fitted with the 2.5-litre turbo will come with a punchier feel as Mazda has tweaked the accelerator pedal mapping and changed the transmission shift timing.
In Japan, the CX-8 is offered with several engine options, including a 2.5-liter NA four-cylinder with 190 PS/252 Nm, 2.5-liter turbo engine with 230 PS/420 Nm, and a 2.2-liter turbo four-cylinder with 200 PS/450 Nm. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Japan will be getting the facelift CX-8 in December 2022, Australia will be getting theirs in March 2023, so perhaps we will get ours by Q4 2023.