Published on December 6th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Mazda CX-8 SKYACTIV-G Turbo Klang Valley Drive Impression

A wet weekend with the all wheel drive CX-8 SKYACTIV-G Turbo.

The rain has been relentless in Klang Valley for the past month and on this particular weekend and it was probably the best time to have a large four-wheel drive SUV to test drive.

We have already test driven the Mazda CX-8 2.5 Skyactiv-G Petrol and also the CX-8 2.2L Diesel version. Now comes a new engine variant (well not all new as it was first introduced to us in the recently launched CX-5 Turbo) that gives this large SUV the needed ‘grunt’ by some SUV buyers.

A little history lesson first. Mazda in Malaysia launched the CX-8 back in late 2019 as a family SUV above the very popular CX-5 and just below the larger CX-9.

Well, in our books, a family SUV, especially a 3-row family SUV does not need to be very powerful as it is mostly used in city commuting and the average 4 times a year long weekend balik kampong trip or local cuti-cuti Malaysia getaway.

Interestingly, buyers in this segment will initially agree with me, however after visiting a showroom selling a rival product that has a turbocharged 3-row SUV, they will be drawn to the added power, to be used or not is not the question, but on the ‘test drive’ it will put a smile on their face. This is the ‘salespersons’ way of inking the deal.

So, now comes a CX-8 with the same 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine that was used in the CX-5 Turbo. Now, this 1,781kg SUV appreciates the added power delivery and its drivers will like the 420Nm torque delivery which starts from a low 2,000rpm.

With 6 full sized adults we had little hesitation at traffic lights, climbing steep hills and parking ramps and managed to even take beyond legal limits (just for a couple of minutes) to enjoy its well insulates cabin and firm driving feel.

Standstill to 100km/h acceleration time is like the CX-5 at 7.7 seconds and top speed is reduced from 226km/h in the CX-5 Turbo to 200km/h with this heavier CX-8.

Meanwhile, touch and feel points around the cabin are very good with quality finishing that rival European vehicles. In fact, in some areas, this Mazda feels more premium. Knobs, buttons have a very high quality feel at the tip of your fingers and padded areas around the cabin reflect Mazda’s intention to be a premium car manufacturer.

Below are some important points to take note about this latest CX-8.

  1. This 2.5L turbocharged SKYACTIV-G engine boasts one of the highest compression ratios of any four-cylinder turbocharged engine, at 10.5:1, achieved through a series of innovative SKYACTIV technologies.
  • Drive dynamics is improved with G-Vectoring Plus (GVC Plus), an evolution in SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS that enhances vehicle stability through using the brakes to add direct yaw moment control for a more assured ride.
  • Also there is improved performance of front and rear dampers and stabilizers, directed at enhancing ease of control during low g-force maneuvers and stability during high g-force maneuvers.
  • New across the range is the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard with this Mazda CX-8. By adding Apple® CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ as standard equipment, it allows the driver or passenger to connect their mobile device to the MZD Connect infotainment system.
  • The safety arsenal is the equal of, or better than, most luxury premium brands. Features include lane departure warning with steering assistance, radar cruise control, auto high-beam dipping, driver attention alert and rear cross traffic alert with braking.

All that is left is for you to take a test drive and decide if this new family SUV offers the value you have been looking for.

Mazda CX-8 2.5 Turbo SKYACTIV-G 4WD Specifications

Engine: Turbocharged Petrol 16V DOHC SKYACTIV-G

Capacity: 2488cc

Gearbox: 6-speed Automatic

Max power: 228hp @ 5,000rpm

Max torque: 420Nm @ 2,000rpm

Top Speed: 200 km/h

0-100 km/h: 7.7 seconds

Price: From RM205,000

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