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Build Quality
4.0 ( 2 )
Value for Money
4.5 ( 2 )
Cleaning & Maintenance
4.5 ( 2 )
Noise Level
3.5 ( 2 )
5.0 ( 2 )
Acceleration / Power
4.0 ( 2 )
Gear Shifting
4.5 ( 2 )
4.0 ( 2 )
Fuel Efficiency
4.5 ( 2 )
4.5 ( 2 )
Interior Design
4.5 ( 2 )
Boot Size
4.0 ( 2 )
4.5 ( 2 )
4.5 ( 2 )
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4.4 out of 5 stars

What is it?

This is Mazda’s second largest SUV, and it seems to bridge the gap between affordable family cars and luxury SUVs.

The CX-8 is the traditional seven-seater competitor, however it’s possibly one of the best options you can choose against key rivals like the Toyota Kluger and the Kia Sorento.

It’s more comfortable and refined than the Kia Sorento, but I think it falls just short of beating the leader of the seven-seater segment.

However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should immediately choose the Kia. Rather, there are plenty of reasons to love the CX-8 over other contenders.


4.6 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8

Mazda’s premium construction of the CX-8 makes it feel more than a budget-friendly SUV option.

The build quality of the doors, leather, stitching, and technology, as well as the noticeable absence of squeaks and rattles all point towards this being built with a high degree of care.

This is the top trim CX-8 I’m rocking here, so there are going to be plenty more premium materials and a bigger infotainment screen.

Oh, and the button feel is next level. The volume knobs, infotainment dial and climate controls are all extremely premium in their operation. The ‘click’ of the climate control dials alone was enough to make the CX-8 stand out as a car that’s been even better than its European rivals, like the Skoda Kodiaq.

How Much Does it Cost?

4.6 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 parked outside

The CX-8 range starts from $44,984 drive-away, but this is range topping ‘Asaki’ trim (not to be mistaken for the Japanese beer). Our tester was priced from $73,072 drive-away.

For that amount, some highlight features include a premium leather interior, upgraded parking cameras, heated/cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear heated seats, rear climate controls, a large infotainment screen, bigger alloy wheels and a set of BOSE speakers.

It’s priced right up against other seven-seat alternatives like the Sorento GT-Line and the Kodiaq RS. I’m a big fan of that entry price for the amount of physical space and seats you’re getting.

Warranty and Servicing

4.3 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 engine bay

Just like every Mazda, the CX-8 is covered by a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Services occur either every 12 months or 10,000km, and are capped for the first five services.

I would have liked to have seen slightly greater intervals, especially considering this is a robust turbo diesel unit and family cars like these will most likely cover more than 50,000km in less than 5 years of ownership.

Total servicing costs amount to $1925 under the capped price service program.

A breakdown of these services are outlined below:

Interval Cost
1 Year or 10,000 km $353.00
2 Years or 20,000 km $433.00
3 Years or 30,000 km $353.00
4 Years or 40,000 km $433.00
5 Years or 50,000 km $353.00
Total $1925.00

Noise Level

4.4 out of 5.
BOSE speaker grill

Adding to the premium feel of the CX-8 was the sound insulation and BOSE audio system.

Closing those doors and windows allowed the cabin to be reduced to silence with a hint of ambient road noise emanating from outside the car.

I did wonder if the petrol version of the CX-8 might be a bit better for sound, as the diesel motor interrupted moments of serenity every time you rolled onto the throttle.

However, you quickly forget about that noise when you utilise the upgraded BOSE audio system. Complete with surround sound capability, the sound from these speakers felt as if it filled the interior with clear highs, unobstructed mids and a strong bass.

It’s not a revolutionary sound when compared to other high-end audio set-ups, but it is a great way to immerse yourself in whatever you’re listening to.


4.8 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 wheel, tyres and brakes

I was already deeply impressed by the braking tune on the Mazda MX-30 Electric, so I was keen to see if the same finesse had been applied to the CX-8.

To my surprise, it had. This ‘finesse’ is the way in which the car will roll to a stop without disturbing the occupants inside. Meaning, the brake allows you to control the car with buttery smooth precision, rather than shocking everyone and alerting them that you’re decelerating.

Complete with autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic assist, the CX-8 not only is capable of safely stopping; it does so in a way that prevents car sickness too.


4.2 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 driver's display

This CX-8 is powered by the optional 2.2L turbo-diesel four cylinder powerplant. This motor pushes out 140kW and 450Nm via a 6-speed automatic through to all four wheels, thanks to the diesel being fitted with an AWD system.

I found the CX-8 to rapidly produce power and allow for a swift yet elegant acceleration from the traffic lights. A healthy amount of torque was enough to enjoy for effortless acceleration and made carrying 5 adults in the car a non-event.

Even in heavy rain and dirt, the CX-8 was perfectly stable and planted thanks to that AWD system.

Sure, a little more power would have been nice. But this motor is enough for whatever most families will throw at it.

Gear Shifting

4.5 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 gear shifter

Surprisingly, Mazda’s gearbox is limited to 6 gears, unlike competitors who offer the likes of 7 speeds or even 9 speeds!

Nonetheless, the CX-8 managed to sling through the gears without interrupting the ride. There’s nothing overcomplicated about selecting a gear too - it’s nice when car manufacturers don’t try to constantly reinvent the wheel.

There are paddle shifters on the wheel, but I found them to be pointless. I never felt like I needed to command the gearbox at will, as it was always in the correct gear I wanted it in.

Suspension & Handling

4.4 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 rear exterior in carpark

Part of my conclusion is that the CX-8 is more refined than its competition. Despite being fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, this massive SUV was able to almost hover above the pavement.

It’s so smooth that a sleeping baby wouldn’t know that you just cruised over a pothole.

This mobile lounge room isn’t just great in the comfort department, but the chassis tune feels capable through tight corners too.

The seating position, steering feel and rigidity in twists and turns means you’re able to maintain a fluid flow rather than having to constantly adjust your speed. It’s a bit of fun to drive too; you can feel a little bit of MX-5 through the chassis. Although, it’s still a large SUV, and it’s hard to mask all that weight compared to a smaller SUV.

Fuel Efficiency

4.5 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 fuel door

The diesel engine option is the way to go when looking for the most fuel efficient CX-8.

Claimed fuel consumption is 6.0L per 100km. Around town, I averaged around 9-10L per 100km and out on the highway I saw figures as low as 6.5L per 100km.

It’s an efficient diesel engine, but the trade-off is that it’s a bit louder than the petrol alternative.

Interior Design

4.4 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 interior

In its top trim, the CX-8 is a masterclass in Japanese luxury and design.

Opening the door, you’re greeted with deep brown leather, helping set the tone for what’s to come.

The stitching on the dash highlights the width of this SUV, and is flanked by a large 10.25-inch centre infotainment screen and carefully designed climate vents.

It’s worth noting that despite the centre screen lacking touch inputs, the UI and UX of this infotainment was certainly easy to master and calming to interact with.

The centre console area around the gear selector is starting to look a little aged, and I’m not a massive fan of the piano black plastics that were already showing signs of wear.

The split centre console was nicely trimmed, along with other sections of this interior. The materials felt premium, and complemented the minimalist design.

I appreciated the restraint in the design here, which didn’t feel too basic.

Boot Size & Comfort

4.3 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 boot space

The CX-8 misses out on joining the 2000L club, and offers just over 1740L with all the seats folded flat.

With the third row folded (the most common set-up), you’ll have access to 775L of boot space. It’s a logical family option, thanks to the wide and flat boot space and automatic tailgate.

Mazda CX-8 rear seats

If you need all the seats folded up, Mazda believes you’ll still be able to fit two golf bags in the back. It’s a nice touch to see not all your practicality go out the window the second you want to actually carry 7 people with you.

Mazda’s front seats are a great place to spend hours and hours when out on the road. The large footwells and plush seats mean you’re unlikely to get a sore back

Second row comfort is supreme too. Access to heated rear seats and climate controls help elevate your riding experience. With window blinds and reclining seats, it’s also a great place to catch up on some sleep. Not to mention, the large rear doors make ingress and egress almost effortless.

Third row comfort is fine for adults and a lot better than some other 7-seaters. Although, I wouldn’t recommend extended seat time back here for taller adults.


4.5 out of 5.
Mazda CX-8 rear climate controls

Despite looking a little minimalist, the CX-8 is packed full of features in this top trim.

Standouts are the 360 degree parking cameras (complete with a view of your wheels when parking), heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats - which are lovely to have year-round. Finally, the simple fact that the rear doors open to 90 degrees to allow easier access to the rear seats makes it even easier to live with as a family car.

Here’s a full list of what you can expect when you buy a CX-8 Asaki:


  • 2.2L turbo-diesel four cylinder
  • 140kW and 450Nm
  • All-wheel drive


  • 10.25 inch infotainment
  • 7-inch TFT LCD multi-information drivers display
  • Heads up display
  • BOSE audio


  • 360 View Monitor
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Advanced keyless push-button engine start
  • Airbags SRS Front (Driver & passenger); Side (front); Curtain (Front & rear)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Auto Door Lock (ADL)
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Child restraint anchor points ISOFIX x2, top tether x5
  • Childproof rear door locks
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW)
  • High mount stop lamp
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
  • Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
  • Intrusion-minimising brake pedal
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Left-hand-side convex (wide angle) exterior mirror
  • Parking sensors Front & rear
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Remote central locking, 2 transmitters
  • Reverse camera
  • Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • Seat-belt warning Driver & all passengers
  • Seat-belts (front) 3-point lap-sash with pretensioners, load limiters and height adjustable shoulder anchorages
  • Seat-belts (second row) 3x 3-point lap-sash, outboard with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Seat-belts (third row) 2x 3-point lap-sash
  • Side impact door beams
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)
  • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) Forward & reverse
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
  • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Whiplash-minimising front seats


  • Dual-exit exhausts
  • 1.8T towing capacity (brake)


  • Tri-zone climate controls
  • x2 12V power outlets
  • Rear sunshades
  • USB charging ports (all three rows)
  • Rear heated seats
  • Front cooled and heated seats

Buy it, Consider it, or Leave it?

Mazda CX-8 parked near river

It’s well known that I’m a sucker for attention to detail. I prefer the small things to be perfect than to be overwhelmed with a bunch of half-baked gimmicks for the sake of calling them features.

The CX-8 is in the ‘Buy’ category for me as something that’s not just easy to live with, but an absolute pleasure to interact with day to day.

Whether it’s adjusting the climate controls or driving through the Alpine Way through to Thredbo, the CX-8 will do that with Lexus-like refinement.

However, you should check out the Kia Sorento as a direct rival, which offers a slightly larger second and third row and more boot space. It’s packed full of similar features, and might appeal to you more than the CX-8.

To me, the CX-8 feels a little more finessed in its execution from its design both inside and out, and in the engineering behind its handling and driving experience. However, it can’t finesse more space in the second row like the Kia can.


About the author Cameron is our resident car expert. Aside being a source of knowledge about the automotive industry, he has also driven a wide variety of cars - from a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, through to a 1998 Toyota RAV4.


Tom M.
Tom M.
CX-8 Asaki

Awesome but has its faults

Have owned for 10 months and done 9500kms
It has had 2 oil changes and both rear pads and rotors replaced under warranty. It has also had infotainment system and rear speakers fixed under warranty.

Is and amazing car when it's not in the shop.
This is my 5th brand new mazda and the one I have had most trouble with.

It's used daily and never goes offroad.

Would still recommend but I feel I may have just been unlucky so far.

Purchased in at AHG (Automotive Holdings Group) for $65,000 .

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  • Value for Money
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Janelle B
Janelle B Sydney, NSW · 4 posts
CX-8 Asaki

Great value for money with all the features you can imagine

Great for family transport with a third row. Economical on Deisel, service costs are great value for money. This car is a great all round option, stylish yet full of features like Navigation, great sound system, mats, and comfortable seating for all passengers.

Purchased in at Mazda Dealers for $60,000 .

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  • Value for Money
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Mazda CX-8 Asaki


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Mazda CX-8 Sport AWD
Mazda CX-8 Sport AWD No reviews yet
Category Large / 7 Seater SUVs Large / 7 Seater SUVs Large / 7 Seater SUVs Large / 7 Seater SUVs
Starting Price $61,490 $42,490 $46,490
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Drive Type Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Front Wheel Drive (FWD) All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Fuel Type Diesel Diesel Diesel Diesel
Wheels 19" Alloy 17" Alloy 17" Alloy
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Fuel Consumption 6 L/100km 5.7 L/100km 6 L/100km
Fuel Tank Capacity 74 L 72 L 72 L
Engine 4 Cylinder 2.2L 4 Cylinder 2.2L 4 Cylinder 2.2L
Max Power 140kW @ 4500rpm 140kW @ 4500rpm 140kW @ 4500rpm
Max Torque 450Nm @ 2000rpm 450Nm @ 2000rpm 450Nm @ 2000rpm
Country of Manufacture Japan Japan Japan Japan
Manufacturer Warranty 5 year(s) 5 year(s) 5 year(s) 5 year(s)
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