A lightly facelifted Mazda CX-8 has been unveiled in Japan with styling, handling, and tech tweaks.

    UPDATE, 3/11/2022 10:00AM – Mazda Australia has confirmed the facelifted CX-8 range will land in March, headlined by the range-wide inclusion of the 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Read more here

    As has been Mazda’s norm of late, the CX-8 facelift is a light visual update featuring a refreshed grille. The overall shape is roughly the same as before, but the chrome border is notably thicker, while the wings which flow into the headlights are considerably smaller.

    The horizontal grille slats seen on the current CX-8 have been replaced by a mesh pattern. The bumper has a cleaner look that emphasises the lower air intake and the fake bash plate beneath that.

    Also reshaped are the headlights, which carry the brand’s latest lighting signature with a pair of L-shaped driving lights. Top-spec models with adaptive LED headlights now have 20, instead of 12, lighting elements.

    Around the back, the tail-lights feature a similar lighting signature with L-shaped elements. The rear bumper is new too, with changes to emphasise the car’s width.

    The CX-8’s colour palette has been updated to include a new offering: Rhodium White Premium Metallic.

    In Japan there are two new design schemes available: Grand Journey which has silver bash plates and black mirror shells to hint at the car’s off-road potential, and a Sports Appearance package that has red or black leather seats, and blacks out the grille, body cladding, mirrors and wheels.

    Top-shelf Exclusive Mode variants now feature body-colour wheel arches and lower body cladding.

    For the Japanese market, the suspension setup for the CX-8 has been tweaked to improve body control on bumpy and undulating roads.

    There no substantial changes to the CX-8’s interior, but the front seats have new cushions and springs to improve stability, and body holding during cornering. USB Type C ports are now available, as is wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity.

    The Mi-Drive selector offers three driving modes, up from the current two, with an off-road mode added alongside normal and sport.

    Cruising and Traffic Support has also been added to range, which allows the CX-8 to accelerate, brake, and keep itself in the same lane at low speeds in heavy traffic.

    Lastly, for models fitted with the 2.5-litre turbo, Mazda has tweaked the accelerator pedal mapping, and changed the transmission shift timing for a punchier feel.

    The CX-8 looks as though it soldiers on with unchanged engines.

    In Australia the three-row crossover is currently available with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder making 140kW and 252Nm, as well as a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel rated at 140kW and 450Nm.

    For Japan there’s also a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the larger CX-9.

    The revised CX-8 will be available from December in Japan.

    MORE: Everything Mazda CX-8

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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