2021 Mazda CX-8 update now on sale, SP & Asaki LE variants added

Some updates have been announced for the introduction of the 2021 Mazda CX-8 in Australia, including the debut of new Touring SP and Asaki LE variants.

As before, the 2021 Mazda CX-8 is based on the CX-5 mid-sizer only its wheelbase is stretched by 230mm to help facilitate three rows of seats (not available on CX-5). It was first launched in Australia in 2018, and since then it has been a reasonably popular model, although not as popular as the CX-5 or the larger, more traditional seven-seat model, the CX-9. During 2020, Mazda Australia sold 3738 CX-8s, against 21,979 CX-5s and 6747 CX-9s.

For the 2021 model the SUV is receiving just a mild update. A 10.25-inch wide-screen media interface is introduced for the GT grade and above, coinciding with wireless phone charging and a remote and hands-free power tailgate. The Touring variant and above welcome paddle shifters and black leather, and there are two new metallic exterior colour options; Platinum Quartz and Polymetal Grey.

The biggest change though is the launch of the Touring SP and Asaki LE. The SP badge is slowly being reintroduced on Mazda models, with the recent introduction of the CX-5 GT SP and Mazda6 GT SP. For the CX-8 the SP badge brings in unique black 19-inch alloy wheels, black front grille trimmings and side mirrors, and black honeycomb interior decorations with red stitching in various places. It also includes second row heated seats, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

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At the very top of the range is the new Asaki LE. Like the CX-3 and CX-9 LE models, this is all about absolute comfort. Second row passengers are treated to captain’s chairs with two seats, complete with a second row centre console and USB ports. The seat trim can also be had in Chroma Brown or Pure White Nappa quilted leather.

All variants continue to offer a very high level of safety tech, with range-wide blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and a rear-view camera, along with autonomous emergency braking in forward and reverse, and nighttime pedestrian detection (forward). Traffic sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring are also standard. Speaking about the update, Mazda Australia managing director, Vinesh Bhindi, said:

“Through its life we’ve continually refined the customer proposition, adding petrol and front-drive variants in response to dealer and customer feedback. With this latest update we add some key technology updates as well as two excitingly-specified new models in the Touring SP and Asaki LE, making the CX-8 model range more enticing than ever.”

Depending on the variant, the 2021 CX-8 is available with either a 2.5-litre petrol engine producing 140kW and 252Nm, hooked up to front-wheel drive only, or a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel developing 140kW and 450Nm, available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

The new model is on sale in Australia now with prices starting from the following (excluding on-road costs). The CX-8 is covered by Mazda’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Grade

MRLP (ex. on-road costs)

Sport Petrol FWD

$39,990

Touring Petrol FWD

$46,790

Sport Diesel AWD

$46,990

Touring SP Petrol FWD

$47,790

Touring Diesel AWD

$53,790

Touring SP Diesel AWD

$54,790

GT Diesel FWD

$59,290

Asaki Diesel FWD

$62,790

GT Diesel AWD

$63,290

Asaki Diesel AWD

$66,790

Asaki LE Diesel AWD

$69,920

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.