2018 Mazda CX-3 vs Honda HR-V

February 28th, 2018 by
2018 Mazda CX-3 vs Subaru Crosstrek

Not that long ago, subcompact crossover SUVs didn’t even exist. But now, they are everywhere with more being launched all the time. Two popular options, the 2018 Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V, are on deck in this comparison. Let’s see which of them is the better buy.

2018 Mazda CX-3 vs Honda HR-V

How they Look: Mazda CX-3

Regardless of what people tell you, a big part of why buyers gravitate toward small crossovers like these is because they like their style. When it comes to the business of style, few, if any, do it quite as well as Mazda does with the CX-3. They say a picture can speak a thousand words, and that’s definitely the case with the Mazda. If there’s a more attractive, stylish, and contemporary design in the market than the CX-3 we aren’t sure what it is.

In this company, we might be tempted to feel sorry for the HR-V. The stubby nose and short silhouette isn’t the most alluring design in its segment, or even in the Honda SUV portfolio. There really is no competition here as the CX-3 is infinitely more stylish than the HR-V.

Interior Quality and Comfort: Mazda CX-3

Honda has been getting a lot better with its interiors recently, with the new Accord and the CR-V as good examples. The HR-V might have come too early to benefit from the same thinking and commitment to interior quality, although it’s certainly not terrible inside the Honda. The interior appears to be designed mainly for comfort and quiet, but engine noise is a little too noticeable, especially when accelerating hard.

Despite the affordable price point, you might mistake the interior of the Mazda for something from a genuine luxury manufacturer. The quality of the design and the materials is much more upscale than the mundane interior of the Honda, so this is another win for the CX-3.

Passenger and Cargo Space: Honda HR-V

Buyers often cite extra passenger and cargo space as reasons to choose a crossover over a similar-size sedan or hatch, but the CX-3 could make you question the validity of that claim. The overall passenger volume in the Mazda is just 87.6 cu.-ft., which is a lot less than the Honda’s 100.1 cu.-ft.

You’ll have a half-inch more leg room in the front of the Mazda, but the Honda has it where it matters with an impressive extra 4.3 inches of leg room more than the CX-3 in the rear seats. You’ll find more front and rear head room in the Honda, and the HR-V has the Mazda beaten on nearly every front.

Performance and Handling: Mazda CX-3

The whole point of a crossover is that it has SUV styling but drives more like a car, and that’s definitely the case with the Mazda CX-3. The 2.0-liter inline-four offers adequate amounts of power for cruising and accelerating, the handling is very good, and the whole driving experience is very pleasant and car-like. A little more power would be welcome, but there’s a lot to like about being the driver or the passenger in the Mazda.

The ride in the Honda is smooth and comfortable, and the engine offers only a little less horsepower than the CX-3. Nobody is going to complain about riding or driving in the HR-V, but it’s not as sporty, engaging, or nimble as the Mazda.

Learn More about the Mazda CX-3

2018 Mazda CX-3 vs Subaru Crosstrek

If Honda is trying to shrug off its image as a manufacturer for older buyers, the Honda HR-V isn’t going to be the vehicle to do it. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with the HR-V, it’s one of those models that is far less than memorable. In contrast, the 2018 Mazda CX-3 is a vehicle you can easily fall in love with at first sight. When you get to know it better, your love affair with the Mazda is likely to just get more intense over time.

Posted in Comparison, New Mazda