Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever?

Shaun · Apr 3, 2021 11:00 AM

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 01

The Mazda CX-8 is a 7-seater SUV that competes against the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, Toyota Fortuner and Hyundai Santa Fe. If you're considering the Mazda CX-8, we've rounded up the list of pros and cons for you here.

To recap, there are 4 variants of the Mazda CX-8, priced from RM 173,038 to RM 206,465 (OTR without insurance and SST).

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 02

The variant we’re discussing here is the range-topping 2.2D 4WD High, and here’s a quick overview of its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Plush interior
  • Soothing driving experience
  • Comfortable third-row seats

Cons

  • Not as efficient as expected
  • Dated-looking infotainment system
  • Lacks adaptive cruise control

Pros – Plush interior

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 01

The Mazda CX-8’s interior borrows heavily from the Mazda CX-5. Selection of material and build quality are top notch. All touch points are either covered in supple leather or soft plastics. Seats are upholstered in supple Nappa leather.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 02

Compared to rivals like the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and Toyota Fortuner, the Mazda CX-8 feels properly premium.

Pros – Soothing driving experience

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 03

Cabin insulation is exceptional. The front windows are laminated, which significantly reduces exterior noises and wind noise at high speeds. Engine noise is present when accelerating, but quickly fades into the background at a cruise.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 04

Laminated glass on the front windows.

The 2.2-litre Skyactiv D engine is supremely flexible in its power band by diesel standards. Power is delivered in a linear manner, pulling healthily from about 1,500 onwards. This makes getting up to speed and keeping up with traffic an effortless affair.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 05

While the suspension may not iron out sharp edges like the Toyota Fortuner, it’s composed on highways and glides over larger undulations, making this a comfortable cruiser.

Pros – Comfortable third-row seats

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 06

More often than not, third-row seats in 7-seater SUVs are rather tight and more suited to children. In the Mazda CX-8, the third-row seats are one of the most comfortable ones in an SUV.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 07

Thigh support is unavoidably sacrificed, but the cushion is sufficiently supple and the backrest can be adjusted to a comfortable angle.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 08

As for space, with the front and second-row seats set at 25 cm apart - which is our set distance for “normal legroom” – there’s one tennis ball of kneeroom and just enough headroom for a 177 cm tall adult. Getting into the third row is no longer like drawing a short straw.

Cons – Not as efficient as expected

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 09

Generally speaking, diesel engines are inherently more fuel-efficient than petrol engines. Mazda claims a fuel consumption figure of 6.0-litre/100 km in the NEDC cycle for the CX-8 2.2D.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 10

However, the tested fuel consumption figure we achieved is 9.1-litre/100 km. Bear in mind that there was only one driver onboard, so expect the fuel consumption to rise with more passengers.

Cons – Dated-looking infotainment system

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 11

The 7-inch infotainment display looks dated compared to the newer systems seen in the Mazda 3 and CX-30. The bezels surrounding the screen are large and causes the screen to appear smaller. Also, the resolution of the 360-degree camera is quite poor.

Cons – Lacks adaptive cruise control

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 12

One final niggle is the lack of adaptive cruise control, even in this range-topping Mazda CX-8 2.2D High variant. It’s far from a deal-breaker, but it would’ve been a more compelling package with adaptive cruise control.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 13

That being said, it does feature Smart City Brake Support (AEB) with Pedestrain Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Keep Assist. The Mazda CX-8 is just one feature away from a complete suite of ADAS.

Conclusion

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 14

To sum up, the Mazda CX-8 has an upmarket interior, a relaxing driving experience, and one of the most comfortable third-row seats in an SUV. However, the fuel consumption is not as low as expected from a diesel engine, the infotainment system looks dated, and the lack adaptive cruise control.

Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High - Dated infotainment, but best 3rd-row seats in an SUV ever? 15

If you’re looking for an SUV that can seat 6/7 comfortably and has a premium cabin, then the Mazda CX-8 should be at the top of your shortlist.

Also read: Review: Mazda CX-8 2.2D High – This over the VW Tiguan Allspace R-Line?

Shaun

Writer

The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.

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