– By Rod Fuller –
Goldilocks and her family were looking for a new SUV and decided wanted something with a Mazda badge. They drove the CX-9 and thought it was too big. They sat in a CX-5 but it was too small. Then they saw CX-8. And they thought – Just Right.
Available in two models, ‘Sport’ and ‘Asaki’ (which I drove). Both are powered by a 2.2lt four cylinder 16V DOHC twin turbo SKYACTIV-D diesel engine (140kW/450Nm) with six speed auto transmission. CX-8 Asaki is AWD, Sport is offered in FWD or AWD. The engine feels powerful providing excellent responsiveness and acceleration in all situations and for a diesel it has a nice sounding growl as well, which makes CX-8 even more pleasing to drive.
Power though doesn’t cost in this case with fuel economy listed at 6.0lt/100km combined, which is quite good for a seven seat SUV. No doubt helped by the engine’s i-stop function, which I found to be much smoother on restart than previously experienced.
Riding on 225/55R19 tyres (Toyo) the CX-8 Asaki is quiet, comfortable and a pleasure to drive. In either city or highway driving conditions it provides a safe and enjoyable ride for driver and passengers alike.
CX-8 Asaki’s many standard equipment safety features and driver aids include:-
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Smart City Brake Support (Forward and Reverse) and Forward Obstruction Warning
- Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
- Radar Cruise Control
- Driver Attention Alert
- 360⁰ View monitor
- Adaptive LED headlamps
From the outside CX-8 is a sculptured and sleek design that’s well proportioned, giving it an attractive look and strong road presence. Inside, CX-8 Asaki has a real quality feel about it. Leather seats all round, heated in first and second rows, 10 speaker Bose stereo, with Mazda’s outstanding MZD connect system (just love that tactile controller) as you’d expect in the ‘top of the line’ model. Strangely though a sunroof isn’t offered.
Mazda has come in from the cold when it comes to Apple Car Play/Android Auto and will fit this going forward to all new models released. It also is now available to be retro-fitted to all Mazda models with the MZD Connect system dating back to 2014. Although the cost for this is around the $500 mark.
Inside CX-8 there is plenty of space for driver and passengers. With very good head and leg room for all. The 3rd row seats however would best be kept for the kids, as head room is a little compromised, remembering it’s not as big as the CX-9.
CX-8’s design makes it easier to live with every day. The rear doors open REALLY wide, providing not only good access for rear or 3rd row seat passengers getting into/out of the vehicle, but also plenty of space for mum/dad fitting a baby capsule into the car – clever! Also the split lid design of the centre console, allows easier ‘one handed’ access without the lid in the way. Multiple USB points are provided and a 12V outlet in the cargo area.
Cargo space is good with 209lt capacity (3rdrow seats up) and 742lt (3rdrow folded down). Space comes at a price though, and in Mazda’s case it’s that only a temporary spare can be provided.
Pricing is around $46K for Sport and $64K for Asaki. Mazda offers a five year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance packages are available.
CX-8 is a versatile family friendly seven seat SUV, that has a ‘next level’ quality feel about it. It’s easy to live with and pleasurable to drive. For your next novated lease get ‘Future Ready’ – CX-8 may be Just Right for you.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$61,490|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$3,047|
This data is from the 2019 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.