Mazda’s popular six- or seven-seat SUV has had a range reshuffle in 2022 to better suit the tastes of Australian buyers
Mazda has updated the CX-8 line-up for 2022 with the front-driven turbo-diesel option now discontinued as Australian buyers flock to the cheaper petrol alternative.
Two in every three CX-8s sold in Australia are fitted with the most affordable engine: a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine making 140kW of power and 252Nm of torque.
Once available exclusively with diesel power, the 2.2-litre twin-turbodiesel four-cylinder is now the clear minority engine in the CX-8, attracting 33 percent of sales.
The petrol CX-8 is front-wheel drive (FWD), while the diesel previously offered a choice of FWD or all-wheel drive (AWD). The diesel FWD has now departed the range, leaving the diesel AWD as the premium powertrain option.
That brings the Mazda CX-8 into alignment with key rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, which come standard with an FWD petrol while offering a torquier diesel for extra cost – bundled with an AWD driveline.
There have been no reported equipment changes for the 2022 model year but prices on most grades have risen by $80 to $300, with the range now kicking off at $39,990 before on-road costs for the CX-8 Sport petrol.
The renewed line-up comes after Mazda Australia declared the CX-8 would have a long life in Australia as it prepares to welcome multiple premium-focused models in the coming years.
The CX-8 range continues to be offered in a choice of five grades, with the upper trim GT and Asaki grades now available to be paired on both the petrol and diesel CX-8.
The two grades are priced above between the entry-level Sport and Touring, but under the range-topping Asaki LE, which remains diesel–only in 2022.
Mazda packs the Sport grade with a healthy amount of equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and auto-folding power mirrors.
While the interior is trimmed in cloth, Mazda does include leather on common touchpoints like the gear shifter and steering wheel alongside. Other features include three-zone climate control, a six-speaker stereo and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
ANCAP awarded the CX-8 five stars back in 2018 thanks not only to its impressive adult protection ability but also due to the standard active-safety systems.
The standard safety suite includes:
Stepping up to the CX-8 Touring adds handy features such as LED fog lights and front parking sensors and a one-touch button to slide the second row out the way to access the third row.
Mazda upgrades the upholstery to black leather and adds an eight-way power seat for the driver and a six-way power seat for the front passenger with both occupants gaining a heating function.
The CX-8 Touring SP functions as a more sporting take on the previous grade and sharpens the exterior with 19-inch alloy wheels and a gloss black front grille design.
The sporting theme carries over to the inside as well, where you’ll find synthetic leather trim with red stitching, a 10-way power adjustable seat for the driver and heating seats for those in the second row.
Building on these features, the CX-8 GT adds a new style of LED headlights but less aggressive interior trim, with the choice of either burgundy or black leather seat material.
Tech also gets an upgrade with Mazda’s new 10.25-inch widescreen display, a 10-speaker Bose sound system, a wireless charging pad and a power tailgate. Plus, those in the second row benefit from sunshades and having extra LED lights dotted around the cabin.
While not the flagship anymore, the CX-8 Asaki grade gets pretty close with a host of extra equipment that makes this a properly lush SUV.
Changes start on the outside where buyers gain larger exhausts and unique front bumper design along with a gun metallic-coloured grille that is flanked by a pair of adaptive LED headlights.
Inside, the seats are trimmed in quilted Chroma Brown Nappa leather with cooled seats in the front row and a heated steering wheel for the driver.
The Asaki grade also includes more tech features like a 360-degree camera, a 7.0-inch screen in the instrument cluster and other niceties such as LED ambient lighting.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
About Chasing cars
Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.
Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.
We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.
This week on Chasing Cars: Mazda CX-60 reviewed, BRZ orders open and Opel potentially heading to Australia