The company has also greatly expanded the range from three specification variants, to eight. Where it once previously offered base Sport and luxury Asaki grades, it now also offers Touring and GT spec levels between these bookends to make the spec ‘walk’ more palatable.
It's the second update for the CX-8 since launch, but this one is more substantive than the previous one last March.
Pictured: All images used are of the Asaki (supplied)
The petrol engine in question is the company’s familiar 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder making 140kW and 252Nm. The engine is only available with front-wheel drive (FWD) and a six-speed automatic (6AT).
“The new Skyactiv-G variant is quiet and fuel efficient, and will better suit those families that clock up most of their driving in and around the suburbs,” said Mazda Australia’s marketing director Alastair Doak.
We would also add that sales of diesel SUVs across the entire new vehicle market declined by 15 per cent in 2019, whereas SUV sales as a whole only dipped by 2.4 per cent. Given the CX-8 is an urban-focused family crossover, the decision to offer petrol as an option is in line with market trends.
Nevertheless, most CX-8 modes are still powered by the familiar 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel with FWD or AWD and a 6AT, making the same 140kW but a far greater 450Nm torque output. This engine also slashes fuel use by 25 per cent to 6.0L/100km.
The brand new entry Sport petrol means Mazda has been able to get the list price below $40,000 for the first time - to $39,910 before on-road costs, to be specific.
That means it lines up between the Maxx Sport and Touring grades of the smaller CX-5 five-seater, albeit with all-wheel drive (AWD). It also undercuts the cheapest version of the larger CX-9 seven-seater by $6000. The CX-9 uses a version of the 2.5 petrol uprated with turbocharging to 170kW/420Nm.
The base CX-8 Sport petrol matches up against smaller seven-seater such as the Honda CR-V VTi-L ($38,990), and undercuts the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Comfortline by $580.
What else has changed? The entire lineup gets a revised version of the Smart City Brake Support AEB system with night-time pedestrian protection, plus a larger 8.0-inch central infotainment display in place of the tired old 7.0-inch unit, with “enlarged icons and text to offer better readability”.
For Touring and above, third row functionality is improved by a one touch ‘walk-in’ switch added to the left and right seat cushion sides on the second row. The seats fold down with a single touch. The third row also gets two 2.5A USB power points in the GT and Asaki, and both grades also add a sunroof.
Engineers have apparently further revised NVH quality for this update, adding more damping material to the roof “to reduce noise penetrating the cabin on rainy days”. A new key fob and nameplate badging also feature.
Mazda's SUV range is now one of the market's more substantial. It has the CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, expanded CX-8 range, and the CX-9 flagship.
2020 Mazda CX-8 pricing (before-on roads):
- Sport Petrol/FWD - $39,910 (new variant)
- Sport Diesel/AWD - $46,910 (-$500)
- Touring Petrol/FWD - $46,590 (new variant)
- Touring Diesel/AWD - $53,590 (new variant)
- GT Diesel/FWD - $57,900 (new variant)
- GT Diesel/AWD - $61,900 (new variant)
- Asaki Diesel/FWD - $61,440 (new variant)
- Asaki Diesel/AWD $65,440 (+$2850)
2020 Mazda CX-8 spec walk:
- 17-inch grey metallic alloy wheels
- Power mirrors with heating and auto-folding
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Rear parking sensors
- LED headlights with auto on/off function
- 8.0-inch touchscreen
- Active driving display (HUD)
- Three-zone climate control
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Digital radio (DAB+) and 6 speakers
- Reverse camera
- Satellite navigation
- Leather wrapper gear shifter and steering wheel
- Electric parking brake with Auto Hold
- Black cloth seats
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Auto high beam control
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keep assist system
- Radar cruise control with Stop & Go function
- Rear-cross traffic alert
- Smart Brake Support AEB
- Smart City Brake Support AEB (Forward/Reverse)
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Tyre-pressure monitoring system
- LED fog lights
- ‘Advanced’ keyless entry
- Heated and electric front seats
- Black leather trim
- One touch walk-in switch
- Front parking sensors
- Rear seats centre armrest storage and USB charging ports
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Adaptive front-lighting system
- Front seat memory function
- Power sliding and tilt-glass sunroof
- Bose 273W amplifier and 10 speakers (including subwoofer)
- Rear door window sunshade
- Heated middle row
- Remote-operated power tailgate
- Interior LED lighting
- Third-rown USB charging ports
- Vanity mirror LEDs
- 360-degree parking camera
- 7.0-inch TFT instruments
- Adaptive LED Headlights
- Expanded cabin ambient LED lighting
- Frameless rear-view mirror
- Ventilated front seats
- Dark Russet or Pure White Nappa leather trim
- Heated steering wheel
- Glove box LEDs
- Real wood door and dashboard trim inserts
- Unique 19-inch alloy wheels (Brilliant Dark)
- Overhead console
- 'Premium' steering wheel stitching