If you’re after a diesel-powered, seven-seat Mazda SUV, the CX-8 is the name of the game. For 2019, Mazda CX-8 pricing has been given a gentle upward bump, matched by commensurately improved specification. There’s now modern smartphone functionality in the cabin, plus a sprinkling of other updates.
The CX-8 continues to stand apart from the larger CX-9 by offering a diesel powertrain – a 2.2-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder producing 140kW/450Nm. The CX-9, on the other hand, uses a 2.5-litre single turbo petrol four that produces 170kW/420Nm.
The CX-8’s compact range, which is made up of just two models, both see equipment improvements, with both variants gaining smartphone mirroring with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus tyre pressure monitoring.
At the entry level, the CX-8 Sport rises by $920, now priced at $43,410 in front-wheel-drive and $46,490 in all-wheel-drive form (driveaway pricing not yet available). The Sport’s 17-inch alloys switch to a darker grey metallic colour while – in a very niche change – number plate lighting changes from halogen to LED.
The high-end Akari grade, which is exclusively available with AWD, jumps by $1,100 to $62,590 (driveaway pricing not yet available). This flagship CX-8 gains a seven-inch digital driver display, along with ventilated front seats (in addition to the existing heating function), LED ambient cabin lighting, and a frameless rear view mirror.
Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi told media “the 2019 upgrade adds more practicality and panache” to the CX-8, designed to give it a “sharper edge” in this competitive segment.