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Mazda CX-8 SUV arrives

Mazda launched their 4 th SUV model this week – the CX-8, fitting between their mid-size CX-5 and larger CX-9. The seven-seat CX-8 arrives in a market hungry for SUV’s and after an extensive drive this week it offers much in this family-skewed area of the market. While much of the SUV market has shown a marked preference for petrol power the Mazda CX-8 comes only in 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel. This contrasts with the CX-9 seven-seater that comes only in 2.5-litre turbo-petrol. Like the CX-9 the CX-8 comes in front drive and all-wheel-drive – the front–drive Sport $42,490, another $4,000 in all-wheel-drive and in the high-grade all-wheel-drive only Asaki, $61,490. All models six-speed automatic. The CX-8 sits on the same wheelbase as the CX-9 with less overhang front and rear, with the same width as the smaller CX-5. It’s roomy in the first two seat rows, tight in the third row but then not designed there for long journeys. The all-wheel-drive Mazda CX-8 Sport at $46,490 is the value buy – I managed 7.9L/100 over 300 km this week mainly fast cruising on the open road – the high-level CX8 Asaki model at $61,490 may add power front seats, full leather trim, an around view camera, heated second row seats and a heated steering wheel but to my way of thinking it’s a little expensive. Nevertheless it displays Mazda’s excellent build quality and fit and finish. I’m David Berthon

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