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Mazda CX-8 2022: diesel now AWD only for Sorento and Santa Fe rival


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.

Mazda CX-8 2021 engine
The CX-8 diesel is now paired exclusively to an all-wheel-drive system

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.

Mazda CX-8 Asaki LE 2022 rear 3/4
The range-topping CX-8 Asaki LE remains diesel-only in 2022

What does each grade of the CX-8 include?

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.

2020 Mazda CX-8 - 4
Prices start at $39,990 before on-road costs for the CX-8 Sport petrol

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:

  • Forwards AEB with pedestrian detection
  • Lane keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reversing camera and parking sensors
Mazda CX-8 2021 infotainment
The 10.25-inch display incorporates wired Apple CarPlay

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.

Mazda CX-8 2021 rear light
Mazda says the CX-8 will have a long life in Australia

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.

Mazda CX-8 2021 captain's chairs
The top-spec Asaki LE features captain’s chairs in the second row

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. 

Mazda CX-8 2022: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • CX-8 Sport Petrol FWD: $39,990 (+$80)
  • CX-8 Touring Petrol FWD: $46,890 (+$300)
  • CX-8 Touring SP Petrol FWD: $47,890 (+$100)
  • CX-8 GT Petrol FWD: $56,390 (new)
  • CX-8 Asaki Petrol FWD: $59,790 (new)
  • CX-8 Sport Diesel AWD: $46,990 (+$80) 
  • CX-8 Touring Diesel AWD: $53,890 (+$300)
  • CX-8 Touring SP Diesel AWD: $54,890 (+$100) 
  • CX-8 GT Diesel AWD: $63,390 (+$100)
  • CX-8 Asaki Diesel AWD: $66,890 (+$100)
  • CX-8 Asaki LE Diesel AWD: $69,390 (-$530)