Carving up the Crest – All-new Mazda CX-8

Mazda CX-8 New Zealand Launch

There are quite literally, countless inspirational surfing metaphors that can be attributed to life, wellbeing and business and as I’ll point out soon, SUV’s. Everything from refocusing the mind and soul, determination and perseverance, through to spotting opportunities when they arise, or simply put, catching the wave – something it would appear, that Mazda know a thing or two about.

The rise of SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) has been nothing short of phenomenal. It would seem that the road going public prefer these higher-riding vehicles over ‘cars’ at nigh-on a 2:1 ratio and it shows very little sign of slowing down. Several years ago, Mazda donned their wetsuits and raced headlong into the surf, recognising the sea of change that was about to happen, it is now NZ’s #1 SUV brand (ex Rental), with their CX range offering style, comfort, technology and efficiency, all the traits required to tackle NZ tarmac.

However, as the SUV popularity has increased, so had the demand for more specific solutions to individual driver needs, the category is being sliced and diced every which way, and although Mazda has a class-leading CX-5, a smaller CX-3 and a large, all-purpose CX-9, the time has come to offer an ‘all-rounder’, introducing the all-new CX-8.

Built to slot neatly between the 5 and the 9, the CX-8 is a spacious five-seater SUV for the week, that converts into a seven-seat people mover at the weekend. It’s a vehicle that adapts to your lifestyle and your ever-growing needs.

With Kodo design (car as Art) and Jinba Ittai (Horse and rider symbiotic relationship) continuing to be the brand’s driving force, the all-new CX-8 presents a bold yet elegant exterior, with creative use of light play and shadowing, a lower stance and flared shoulders, while ensuring the interior is upmarket and sophisticated in its appearance, has 3rd row seating that is child’s play to access and is overall, very driver-centric.    

We took to the rural Waikato roads that surrounded Hampton Downs Motorsport park and let the 2.2L diesel engine release all of its 140kW and 450Newtons, not that we heard it complain, in fact, we barely heard the engine at all – the soundproofing inside the cabin is most excellent. First impressions are that the CX-8 feels light on its feet and very responsive on the road. The GVC (G-Vectoring Control) keeps the bends in check (and the motion sickness at bay) and the Nappa leather and satin chrome accents make you feel rather special.

With its CX-3, 5, 9, and now the ‘people moving’ CX-8, it’s fair to say that Mazda is riding the crest of the SUV wave, and as far as we are concerned, that’s just swell!

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