Wait is over for the Mazda8

Published on July 13th, 2010

The Mazda8 has reached our shores is bound to raise the bar in the large MPV segment with more features than you could shake an actuator at.

As always, Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom theme is evident in the Mazda8 with power coming from an updated version of the MZR 2.3-liter DOHC engine that gained fame in the previous version of the sporty Mazda6. Performance figures stand at 161hp and 203Nm of torque from the revised engine. All that power finds its way to the front wheels through a 5-speed auto box with the prerequisite manual override.

Ventilated disc brakes all around mated with the usual suspects in the automotive acronym world like ABS, EBD and BA help stopping prowess.

Of course, the safety aspect stretches into the cabin as well with dual front airbags for the front occupants and side and curtain airbags for the second and third row passengers.

The front headlamps are self-leveling according to the load and rear lighting benefits from combination LED lamps. A reverse camera is mounted right under the garnish for the tailgate lever.

Even the underbody sports a beefed up ladder frame while the pillars have been filled with foam to isolate exterior noise and maintain a quiet cabin for the journey.

A low floor and long wheelbase gives for increased interior space to maximise comfort. While only the driver’s seat is power-adjustable, the second row captain chairs feature 80mm of sliding adjustment together with flip-up leg rests.

Each rows of seats get air-conditioning that is zone-adjustable with vents for the feet as well.

Both the sliding doors are powered, sliding open at the touch of a button or click of a handle. Even the tailgate is powered and can be opened be closed with the touch of a switch. For safety purposes, obstruction sensors ensure that the door doesn’t close on any limbs.

The powered theme is kept all through the interior as well, with the third row seats singing that tune too. Returning the seats to its upright position is done, again, at the touch of a switch.

Cargo space is bountiful, with 357-liters available with the third row up, equivalent to about two sets of golf clubs. An additional deep trunk under the floor offers another 109-liters of storage as well.

As of the launch, 83 bookings have already been received with an approximate waiting period of one and a half to two months. As the Mazda8 is a CBU vehicle, sales here could be determined by the allocation and Mazda Corporation Japan has allocated 160-200 units for the Malaysian market until the year end.

A total of five colours are available for the Mazda8, Crystal White Pearl, Copper Red, Sparkling Black, Metropolitan Grey and Sunlight Silver.

Pricing for the Mazda8 is RM195,404.20 (OTR w/insurance).

Killing two birds with one stone, Mazda also unveiled the facelifted Mazda6 simultaneously. The facelift sees the 2-liter version go up the social scale with tilt and telescopic adjustable steering, paddle shifters, Bi-xenon headlamps, dual-zone climate control and cruise control. All that trimming though will set you back an extra RM5,000 at RM153,016.90 (OTR w/insurance).

The 2.5-liter version is still the one to have though as it comes with a Bose sound system, keyless entry and push start button. The price too has been bumped up ever so slightly to RM179,663.20 (OTR w/insurance).

text & pix: Dinesh Appavu

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