In Brief: Mazda CX-8 - Is it worth buying this RM 200k SUV?

Eric/Jan 31, 2020 03:01 PM

(Mazda CX-8 Price and Specs | Gallery)

The Mazda CX-8 made its public debut back at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Initially, the 7-seater CX-8 was mooted as a Japan-only model, positioned above the CX-5 as the much larger CX-9 isn’t sold there. Japan taxes cars based on the car's body size and the USA-focused CX-9 is just too big for most Japanese buyers, hence the CX-8.

2019 Mazda CX-8 front view

Looks curiously like the larger CX-9, no?

However Mazda distributors outside of Japan noticed the big price gap between the CX-5 and CX-9 and given that the SUV segment is a flourishing one, all raised their hands to Mazda saying that they want the CX-8 for their local markets as well, which leads us to this topic for today.

They could've called this the CX-9 Lite..

What’s the price of the Mazda CX-8?

There are 4 variants of the Mazda CX-8 offered on sale in Malaysia, with the CX-8 2.5G Mid kicking things off from RM 179,660.

What are the pros and cons of the Mazda CX-8?

As mentioned earlier, the Mazda CX-8 is actually a shrunken-down CX-9, instead of an enlarged CX-5.

The Mazda CX-8's length is 4,900 mm, just 175 mm shorter than the CX-9 and its 2,930 mm wheelbase is identical to the CX-9. Being a smaller car, legroom for the third row is obviously less than the CX-9 but curiously, it's the CX-8 that has a slightly better headroom than the CX-9, simply because the CX-8's roofline doesn't slant as much towards the rear. 

Mazda offers two seating arrangements for the CX-8 – a 6- and 7-seater option, with the former offering second-row captain seats. All except the entry variant comes as a 6-seater.

Standard equipment is also rather generous, as all variants of the Mazda CX-8 get automatic LED headlights, LED tail lights, a powered tailgate, 19-inch alloy wheels, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, tri-zone automatic climate control and a power-adjustable driver seat with memory function.

2019 Mazda CX-8 dashboard

Typical Mazda and their upmarket cabin - nothing much to fault here

All variants of the Mazda CX-8 get 6 airbags, stability control, traction control, walk away auto lock, emergency stop signal, and speed sensing auto lock.

Mazda Connect

Now with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Climbing up the variant ladder gets adds Adaptive LED Headlights, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane-keep Assist System (LAS), Driver Attention Alert (DAA), and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).

2019 Mazda CX-8 front grille

No MRCC to be found

That said, unlike the all-new Mazda 3 and CX-30, the CX-8 misses out on Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC).

Despite its premium positioning, variants fitted with the 360-degree camera have poor image resolution and the image is stitched rather poorly.

2019 Mazda CX-8 front view


Just like other Mazda models, the CX-8 also lacks a master lock door lock switch and lacks ambient lighting.

With that said, at the price point the CX-8 is sold at, its closest rivals are the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sportage


While both rivals are priced similarly as the CX-8, they cannot match the CX-8's extensive kit count and ADAS features. 

What are the alternatives?