Less than two years after it's launch, Mazda's mid-size three-row crossover gets a mild refresh.
The attention at Mazda's pavilion at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show this week is undeniably and justifiably focused on the new MX-30 – the company's first EV. But the electric crossover isn't the only new piece of metal Mazda had to display at this year's show. In fact, it wasn't even the only new crossover. Alongside it, Mazda also unveiled a revised version of the CX-8, complete with subtly revised styling and updated equipment.
Now if you're not familiar with the CX-8, that could be because it's not offered in America. It's sold in markets along the western shores of the Pacific where the larger CX-9 isn't available.
The CX-8 is based closely on the smaller CX-5, stretched to fit in an extra row of seats. But the finished product is far more than a CX-5 "L," receiving its own unique take on Mazda's signature design language, its own equipment, and everything else that goes into a stand-alone model.
Mazda only launched the CX-8 a couple of years ago, so the revisions rolled out here are fairly modest in scope. Buyers (in countries where it's sold) will now be able to spec front- or all-wheel drive with either the naturally aspirated or turbocharged versions of Mazda's Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine or with the Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel.
AWD models also get a new Off-Road Traction Assist system, interior trim (on the available six- or seven-passenger configurations) has been updated, the infotainment display increased from seven inches to eight, there's a new sunroof option, and the equipment has been revised across the various trim levels. That's the long and short of it, but then Mazda didn't need to do much with a model still relatively fresh on the market and which was named Car of the Year by the Japan Automobile Hall of Fame. The order books open at the end of next month.