By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: November 15, 2019 at 2:30 am
This year has seen a great result for Mazda’s front-wheel-drive SUVs. Its CX-8 has taken out the top spot and its CX-9 has come in third.
Winner: Mazda CX-8 Sport
Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Transmission: 6-speed auto
ANCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars
Second place went to the Kia Carnival Platinum and the Mazda CX-9 placed third.
What sets it apart from the rest
The volume-selling people mover models tend to be those with higher specifications as buyers prefer to shell out more dollars for vehicles with all the bells and whistles. The Mazda has a huge advantage costing $17,000 less than the Kia Carnival – its closest competitor.
Being large vehicles, none of our competitors will be at home on a race track, but the CX-8 has a surprisingly dynamic ability for its size.
Third row seating will accommodate children with little fuss and there’s room for carting any extras to the sports field on the weekend.
- A punchy 2.2 litre diesel engine
- Plenty of room with 3 rows of seating
- A modern, sporty design
- Great value for money
- A 5 star ANCAP Safety Rating
- Excellent fuel economy
What it’s like to drive
On-road, the gap narrows between our podium finishers. The CX-8 and Carnival use the same capacity 2.2 litre diesel engine, with a 6-speed auto in the Mazda and 8-speed in the Carnival. The CX-9 uses a 2.5-litre petrol turbo and leads them in terms of performance. Being large vehicles, none will be at home on a race track, but the CX-9 and CX-8 do have a surprisingly dynamic ability for their size.
How the finalists compared (scores for each category from 1-10)
|Family wagons||Mazda CX-8 Sport||Kia Carnival Platinum||Mazda CX-9|
|Cost of depreciation ($)||7||1||2|
|Running & repair costs||8||5||6|
|Warranty & dealer access||7||9||7|
|Seating comfort (all rows)||5||7||6|
|Build & finish quality||7||8||8|
|Smoothness & quietness||7||7||9|
Images: Mark Rogers, Magnum Photography Australia