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Mazda CX-8 2021: expanded range adds more tech and luxury

2 months ago

The CX-8 large SUV is the latest in the Mazda line up to receive an update, giving customers more choice with the arrival of two new variants.


Mazda has updated the CX-8 large SUV lineup, with a new range-topping Asaki LE and sporty Touring SP variants along with a suite of equipment upgrades across the board.

The CX-8 Asaki LE echoes new features from the CX-9 large SUV, with a cheaper price tag of $69,920 before on-road costs, and becomes the latest model to adopt the captain’s chair layout.

Mazda CX-8 2021 side
Mazda has updated the CX-8 range adding a new range-topping Asaki LE and sporty Touring SP variant

The six-seater option swaps out the conventional three-seat bench in the second row for two more comfortable bucket-style seats that are both heated and cooled. A centre console also sits between the chairs providing additional cup holders and USB charging ports.

All other grades of the CX-8 are fitted with a traditional seven-seat layout.

Adding to the luxury experience in the CX-8 Asaki LE is the fitment of Nappa leather trim that can be optioned in either Chroma Brown or Pure White colours.

Mazda CX-8 2021 interior
The top-tier CX-8 Asaki LE gains Nappa leather trim which can be optioned in Chroma Brown or Pure White colours

The CX-8 becomes the latest model to adopt the SP nameplate with the arrival of Touring SP following the Mazda 6 sedan and wagon, CX-5 midsize SUV and CX-9 large SUV.

Building off the CX-8 Touring grade, Mazda has priced the CX-8 SP slightly higher with a starting price of $47,790 before on road costs, with a slew of styling upgrades including black metallic 19-inch alloy wheels which are matched to a black grille and exterior mirror caps.

On the inside, Mazda has fitted a combination of black leather-like Maztex material and synthetic suede trim with red stitching while the driver’s seat gains 10-way power adjustability.

Mazda CX-8 2021 rear
The CX-8 features a new power tailgate on the higher variants

What is changed on the inside of the CX-8? 

Mazda’s biggest change to the interior of the CX-8 is the inclusion of the 10.25-inch widescreen, first seen on the CX-30 small SUV, which is fitted on the higher-spec GT, Asaki and Asaki LE models.

The aforementioned grades also receive a new remote-operated power tailgate in 2021, along with larger 19-inch wheels with their own unique design.

Mazda CX-8 2021 captain's chairs
The CX-8 is the latest model to adopt captain’s chairs in the top-spec Asaki LE variant

Mazda has left the eight-inch touchscreen in the CX-8 Sport, Touring and Touring SP variants. Both screens are fitted with wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

From here the changes are more subtle, with the entry-level CX-8 Sport using cloth seat trim, black leather for the Touring grade and GT offered with a choice of burgundy or black leather 

Stepping up to the CX-8 Asaki grade now adds higher quality quilted Nappa leather in Chroma Brown but you’ll need to upgrade to the Asaki LE for the added choice of Pure White.

Mazda CX-8 2021 engine
Buyers can opt for the base 2.5-litre petrol or more torquey 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel

What is powering the CX-8?

The CX-8 continues to be offered with a choice of two four-cylinder engines in either petrol or diesel options. Both coupled to a six-speed torque converter automatic. 

Mazda offers the cheaper 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine making 140kW of power and 252Nm of torque in the entry-level Sport, Touring and new Touring SP grades with power exclusively sent to the front wheels.

The 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel option keeps power the same at 140kW but steps up torque considerably to 450Nm. The diesel option is available across the new range in the choice in front or all-wheel-drive – with the latter the sole layout for the new CX-8 Asaki LE and is available for the CX-8 Touring SP. 

Mazda CX-8 2021 rear light
The CX-8 retains a five-star ANCAP safety rating with more safety features added since

Is the Mazda CX-8 still a safe car?

The safety suite fitted to the CX-8 remains unchanged for 2021 but retains a five-star ANCAP safety rating from when it was tested in 2018.

All CX-8 models are fitted with a reversing camera, front and rear autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist to name a few.

Mazda CX-8 2021 front
Mazda CX-8 is now available in six or seven seat layouts depending on the grade

What does each variant of the CX-8 include?

In addition to the aforementioned tech, safety and performance features the entry-level CX-8 Sport has a healthy list of standard features that should make your life easier.

These include three-zone climate control, auto-folding mirrors, LED headlights, a six-speaker stereo that links up to an eight-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

Stepping up to the CX-8 Touring adds visibility with LED fog lights, front sensors, keyless entry, a one-button walk-in feature to the third row along with heated front seats with eight-way adjustability for the driver and six-way for the passenger. 

Mazda CX-8 2021 infotainment
Mazda offers the CX-8 with the new 10.25-inch display on higher models and the eight-inch on the rest

The Mazda CX-8 GT is where you are starting to get towards the top of the tree, with plush features such as a 10.25-inch display, 10-speaker Bose sound system, wireless charger and power tailgate.

A power sunroof is also fitted along with nice touches such as LED lights in the vanity mirrors and cargo area for cleaner appearance

Selecting the CX-8 Asaki grade adds a 360-degree camera, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, a seven-inch driver’s display, quilted Nappa leather along with a newly redesigned front grille and larger rear tailpipes.

Mazda CX-8 2021: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • CX-8 Sport Petrol FWD: $39,990
  • CX-8 Touring Petrol FWD: $46,790
  • CX-8 Sport Diesel AWD: $46,990
  • CX-8 Touring SP Petrol FWD: $47,790
  • CX-8 Touring Diesel AWD: $53,790
  • CX-8 Touring SP Diesel AWD: $54,790
  • CX-8 GT Diesel FWD: $59,290
  • CX-8 Asaki Diesel FWD: $62,790
  • CX-8 GT Diesel AWD: $63,290
  • CX-8 Asaki Diesel AWD: $66,790
  • CX-8 Asaki LE Diesel AWD: $69,920