The CX-8 is a nifty car because it was only supposed to be sold in Japan, where the roads were too small for the CX-9. However, many Asian countries loved the idea of a CX-5 with two more seats, even though it had the wrong kind of engine.
This SUV made its debut in December 2017 with a 2.2-liter diesel. But because diesel is still a big risk and the CX-8 is selling like hotcakes, Mazda has also added a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G. As the name suggests, the gasoline engine in question is a regular naturally-aspirated one.
But regardless, it’s got the same max output of 190 horsepower as the best 2.2L. Only front-wheel-drive versions will be made, all fitted with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Prices in Japan start from about 2.9 million yen or about $26,000.
But wait, there’s more. The CX-8 Proactiv and L Package are also available with a 2.5L direct-injected turbo engine, which makes 230 HP and 420 Nm of torque. It starts from 3,742,200 yen or $33,400. The equivalent diesel with 4WD is slightly more expensive but gets better gas mileage too.
As is usually the case with Japanese cars, Mazda makes small changes every year to improve the CX-8. For example, it’s added GVC Plus or G-Vectoring Control Plus. It’s said to use the brakes to improve the stability of the car during high-speed emergency maneuvers. The system will also suppress sudden unintended movements from the driver on snowy or icy roads.
Engineers also saw the need to fit a thicker front stabilizer bar and thinner rear one, increasing low G responsiveness and stability at high speeds. Also, to raise the comfort of the interior, the height of the armrest of the front seat was lowered by about 15 mm. And this being a 2019 model, it will come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible with Google Maps after iOS 12.