After previewing it on several occasions since the beginning of the year, Bermaz Auto, which distributes Mazda vehicles in Malaysia, has officially announced the 2019 Mazda CX-8 for the Malaysia market and is now accepting bookings for this SUV. Like the brand’s smaller CX-5 SUV, the CX-8 is locally assembled by Mazda Malaysia at the Inokom facility in Kulim, Kedah.
The CX-8 offers three-row seating like the flagship CX-9, but for the CX-8 there is a choice of getting it in either 6- or 7-seater configuration. Though it looks similar to the CX-5 (they have the same width), the CX-8 is built on a modified CX-9 platform (same wheelbase) in order to practically fit three rows of seats and maintain ride quality. It is however 175 mm shorter and 129 mm narrower than the larger CX-9.
There are two engine choices i.e. SkyActiv-G 2.5L and SkyActiv-D 2.2L, in the form of four variants: 2.5L 2WD Mid, 2.5L 2WD Mid Plus, 2.5L High, and 2.2L AWD High. The SkyActiv-G 2.5L naturally aspirated petrol engine pushes out 192 hp and 258 Nm of torque, while the SkyActiv-D 2.2L is a turbocharged Euro 5 diesel engine capable of 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque. All the variants use the 6-speed SkyActiv Drive automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Also standard for all variants are the 19″ wheel size and G-Vectoring Control. The CX-8 in Malaysia will not get the 2.5L turbocharged petrol engine yet as that will depend on consumer demand. Furthermore, there also needs to be some product differentiation between the CX-8 and the CX-9 (which is a 7-seater powered by the 2.5L turbo).
The base 2.5L Mid variant is the only one with a 7-seater layout while the rest are 6-seaters. The 2.5L Mid High variant features captain seats in the second row with a walk-through cabin; both petrol and diesel High spec variants have captain seats and a dedicated large centre console / armrest with integrated cup holders and USB ports. With the layout choices available, the CX-8 has carved its own niche in the SUV segment.
Compared to the High variants, the 2.5L Mid and Mid Plus variants miss out on leather upholstery (the range-topping High variants get Nappa leather), 6-way powered front passenger seat, 360° view monitor, rear door sunshades, and head-up display.
Further, the 2.5L Mid spec is not equipped with Mazda’s i-ActivSense safety technology. The Mid Plus spec however, does get the Adaptive Front Lighting System, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart City Brake Support (for front collision avoidance, with pedestrian detection). Meanwhile, the 2.5L 2WD High and 2.2L AWD High variants get the addition of Adaptive LED Headlights, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist System, Driver Attention Alert as well as Smart City Brake Support for the rear.
Standard safety kit for all includes six SRS airbags, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Traction Control System, Emergency Stop Signal, Hill Launch Assist, Auto Hold, Walk Away Locking, Mazda i-Stop idling technology, and Impact Absorbing Bonnet.
For passenger comfort and convenience, the CX-8 has a triple-zone climate control system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 7″ touchscreen display, MZD Connect infotainment system with voice command and multi-function Commander control, six speakers and up to four USB ports (the Mid Plus misses out on rear USB ports due to the captain seats.
Body colour choices are Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, Snowflake White Pearl, Deep Crystal Blue, Sonic Silver and Jet Black.
All Mazda vehicles are covered by a 5-year manufacturer warranty with 5 years of free maintenance, or 100,000 km (except for the BT-50 pick-up truck) according to the manufacturer’s standards inclusive of parts, lubricants and labour.
The Mazda CX-8 is open for booking with official prices to be announced soon.