Hello and welcome to the latest Car Review by The Car Guy. I’m Bob Aldons, Car Expert, trying my hardest to speak simple English to those of you are who are looking for a new car and in this case, a larger than normal 7-seat SUV. Enter the new Mazda CX-8, 7-seater diesel wagon and in this particular review the top of the range AWD Asaki
Every now and again a car manufacturer comes up with a design that just sets the market on its head. Mazda has succeded with the CX-8.
From the first drive, I was so impressed that I’ve been talking about the Mazda CX-8 extensively to prospective SUV buyers.
You’ll probably know that I’m a fan of Kia – particularly the Sportage and Sorento – but this new Mazda, along with it’s recently introduced 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty gets the tick.
What Is It?
“Brand-New Mazda CX-8 Diesel is a 7-seater diesel only SUV available in 2WD or AWD. It’s smaller than the CX-9, bigger than a CX-5 but does the job with 7 people beautifully.
Competition: Whilst there’s a plethora of 7-seat SUV’s in the market today, my personal opinion is that this Mazda CX-8 Asaki slots into the Luxury and Prestige segment rather than with all the price conscious cattle.
Compare Mazda CX-8 Asaki ($61990) to Audi Q7 ($97800), Mercedes Benz GLE ($92,900), BMW X5 ($112990),Land Rover Discovery ($89,850) Lexus RX350 ($93350), Infiniti QX70 ($77900) and perhaps a Toyota Kluger Grande ($69246)if you have to, but you’ll see that with this price differentiation, the Mazda CX-8 is a no-brainer if you can get around the badge snobbery
Price: Without the various state on-road costs, Mazda CX-8 Asaki lists at $61490. Drive away in Queensland, you’re paying around $66. 575.
True to form, Mazda CX-8 sits nicely in the 5-star ancap safety regime. And that it was tested in 2018, suggests that it packs as much safety tech as you can possibly get in a car. Incidentally, there seems to be a nomenclature mistake in the ANCAP report below. The top of the range in the Mazda CX-8 is Asaki, not Akera. Oops?
At the Front
The Mazda CX-8 sports the Mazda family front end with LED daytime running lamps, LED front fog-lamps and Adaptive LED Headlamps with auto on/off function. Unlike other CX models, the CX-8 is only available in diesel.
The engine is Mazda’s 2.2 litre inline 4 cylinder 16-valve DOHC S-VT intercooled twin turbo diesel with i-stop. It develops the maximum power of 140kW @ 4,500rpm and maximum torque 450Nm @ 2,000rpm. What does this mean? Simply there’s plenty of power on tap even with a full load on board. It runs Mazda’s 6-speed SKYACTIVE auto transmission.
One great feature of this engine is how quiet it is. Even at startup, you’d be hard pressed to know whether it’s a petrol or diesel. Mazda’s engineers have spent a lot of time and effort to minimize the NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness) in the CX-8 and it really shows. Well done guys.
Down the Side
Mazda CX-8 Asaki is the top of the line in the Mazda range – everything that opens and shuts from a comfort, convenience and as importantly a safety viewpoint. I’ve taken what I consider to be the important data from Mazda’s specification page on their website, but if you want to know more, short of visiting a dealer and pouring over the car yourself, here’s a link. Mazda CX-8 Specification
Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW) Standard
Hill Launch Assist (HLA) Standard
Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) Standard
Intrusion-minimising brake pedal Standard
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Standard
Lane-keep Assist System (LAS) Standard
Parking Sensors Front & rear, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) Standard, Remote central locking Standard, 2 transmitters, Reverse camera Standard
N.B. Unlike most other importers, Mazda only charges extra for the Crystal Mica colours – Deep Crystal Blue and Soul Red Crystal. Other metallics are a no-cost option.
The Rear End
Being a 3-row vehicle, the storage capacity in the Mazda CX-8 is as flexible as you want. With all seats being used, cargo volume is only 209 litres. But flexibility is key in the Mazda and storage space can be increased to a massive 742 litres with the rear seats folded down. Split row second row seating allows passengers to be carried along with luggage.
Drivers Side and Driver’s Seat
Mazda has done a stellar job with the interior of the CX-8. Driver’s seat is particularly comfortable, and all controls fall easily to hand. I thoroughly enjoyed my week with this car. The Bose premium audio package is a bonus – crisp and clear sound whether it’s music, podcasts or the like. Apple Car Play or Android auto aren’t available as yet, but Mazda suggests that it will be available as an accessory option later in the year
Mazda CX-8 – On the Road
What a magnificent vehicle in all aspects! With my overseas family on board (Daughter, Son-in-law, 3 Grandchildren and Suzi), we had a leisurely drive up to our place at Peachester, on to Maleny and then back to Redcliffe. Everyone was comfortable and there was a real argument between the two older children to see who’d get the 3rd-row seat. Given we were a family of 7, they both did and had plenty of room even for the taller 13-year-old.
Plenty of room, quite as a church mouse, all of us felt the quietness and comfort of the Mazda CX-8. On the highway, the adaptive cruise control meant that I didn’t really have to accelerate and brake, although it’s always advisable to keep your right foot resting lightly on the accelerator pedal and close to the brake, just in case.
I’m comfortable with this modern tech. Adaptive cruise, emergency braking and lane assist is standard so it’s not so unfamiliar as it once was. As with all semi-autonomous features, you just need to be careful.
If you’re in the market for a 7-seat SUV, you MUST test drive the Mazda CX-8. For badge snobs, get over it and evaluate the Mazda. It’s just that good a vehicle.
The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide website uses politically correct terminology to determine fuel economy. Urban, extra urban and combined. I’ll call it the way it is – City and suburbs, Highway and still use their definition of combined.
You might recall that these tests are conducted in a laboratory to Australian Standards so don’t expect to achieve City and Suburb results the same as these. In my experience, I’ve found that the highway test is closest to the actual economy you’ll get, but the city results can be undercooked by as much as 20%. Hopefully, real-world tests and results will be provided this year.
City Cycle 6.9 litres per 100klm
Highway Cycle 5.5 litres per 100klm
Combined 6.0 litres per 100klm
Air Pollution Standard Euro 5
Tailpipe CO2 158 grams per kilometre
The Mazda CX-8 has a fuel tank capacity of 74 litres, which is one of the larger fuel tanks in this class of vehicle. During my time with the Mazda, I achieved 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres which was about 4% more than the Green Vehicle Guide indicated. Kilometres covered were generally around Redcliffe, my home base.
With the introduction of real-world testing in Australia and worldwide shortly, consumption figures will be closer to the mark, but in anyone’s language, a 4% variation is pretty damn close to the published figures.
I used the CX-8 to transport my daughter and her family, who were visiting from Switzerland, so we were at capacity with people.
Warranty and Service
Over the last few months, more of the larger importers have moved to a 5-year warranty. That just leaves Toyota, Nissan, and Volkswagen still at 3 years. Kia remains the industry leader with a 7-year warranty.
The Mazda New Car Warranty is now 5 years with unlimited kilometres so well done to them. The brand has a capped price service program for 5 years or 50,000km. Expect to pay $1737 for those first 5 services or an average of $347.40 per service on the Mazda CX-8. As always my very firm suggestion is that you maintain your Mazda with a Mazda dealer for at least 1 year after the factory warranty has expired. Why? Quite simply, if something goes awry with your car, having a full Mazda service history makes it much easier for your dealer to apply for and get any goodwill available from the manufacturer. That alone is surely worth the small extra cost of dealer service.
And another aspect of dealer service that currently isn’t available from the aftermarket companies is software updates. Typically whenever an owner takes their car into a franchised dealership the car is hooked into the diagnostic computer for analysis. Any updates are performed during the service. Aftermarket companies can’t do that presently.
Mazda, along with all manufacturers have a responsibility under Australian Consumer Law to rectify ANY issue (apart from wear and tear items) that a reasonable person wouldn’t expect to fail, even when it’s out of warranty.
Heere’s a couple of other service items that need your attention periodically.
Replace brake fluid (every 40k or 2 years) $69
Replace cabin air filter (every 40k) $91
Another suggestion from a service perspective. Dealers will try hard to upsell you on various bits and pieces from Air Conditioning Services, Power Steering Services and such. Just don’t. Your owner manual and service handbook will tell you what’s required and when.
The Mazda CX-8 has a comfortable 2000kg towing capacity with electric brakes fitted and 750kg without. Unfortunately, the towball download maximum is a 150kg which will require further investigation depending on what you plan to tow.
The best source of information about general towing and towball download weight, is the boat or caravan dealer you’re discussing your purchase with.
I generally use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions precedent for this cover are:
- A male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
- Bronze member of RACQ with 2 other insurance policies
- Has paid cash for the car for private use with the car parked in a garage overnight and another quote for business use
- The driver resides in postcode 4019
- The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer
- 1 at fault claim in the last 3 years, with no license suspensions
- Rating 1 currently having held that rating 1 between 5 and 9 years
- No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.
The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance is: Private Use – No Finance: $490.90 with a $750 excess
Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote.
My Opinion on Mazda CX-8
What I Like
- Spacious and classy interior, quietness
- Great turbo diesel engine and 6-speed auto transmission
- Good warranty and service intervals
- Automatic Door locking when you leave the vehicle.
What I Don’t
- NOTHING – This is one truly excellent SUV, up there with the best that Europe has to offer.
Where to Buy – Dealers
One of the biggest dilemmas my customers find is choosing a dealer to purchase their new car from. To compile my recommendations, I use Google. Just type in the brand name (Mazda Dealer Brisbane for example) where the brand is the one you’re considering and the location (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast etc) is the one where you reside.
In all cases, in my reviews, I only include dealers who have a Google Star Rating over 4 and a minimum of 20 reviews. It pays to look through the reviews – you’ll find honest and compelling comments from actual people who deal with the dealer. If I’ve indicated ‘None Recommended’, that simply means that there are no dealers in the area of focus which comply with the Star Rating and Minimum Reviews. Best to look elsewhere even if you need to drive a distance.
Northside: Grand Prix Mazda Caboolture 4.2 Stars from 51 Google Reviews
Southside: Oldmac Mazda Springwood 4.4 Stars from 176 Google Reviews
Eastside: Oldmac Mazda Cleveland 4.4 Stars from 66 Google Reviews
Westside: Ipswich Mazda 4.2 Stars from 82 Google Reviews
Gold Coast: None recommended
Sunshine Coast: Sunshine Coast Mazda 4.2 Stars from 80 Google Reviews
I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and founder of The Car Guy, and Car Business. I Review Cars, report on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech, Motorsport, but particualrly Formula 1 and the automotive world at large. I’ve spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership and now as a Car Broker. I know cars.
I’m also the ‘Car Expert’ on Channel 9 from time to time. Here’s a link to my latest story.
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