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Honda HR-V Vs. Mazda CX-3: Blow-by-Blow Comparison With Buyers As Sure Winners



The 2016 Honda HR-V and the 2016 Mazda CX-3 are one of the most anticipated small sport utility vehicles today. It is just right that a comparative review of these two vehicles be written to provide car buyers a good look of the pros and cons of owning either one of these. The truth is there is little differentiation of the two when it comes to value. Both cars can offer unique advantages to car buyers.

Perhaps a good way to sum up the highlights of these vehicles is that the HR-V is leaning more towards space while the CX-3 is more into style. These unique qualities can appeal to different people. These small SUVs are becoming a hit today because of the better viewing angle it provides for drivers on the road. Read on and decide for yourself which one is best for you.


The Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 follows a different design philosophy. In a nutshell the Honda HR-V is like a smaller version of the CR-V and this is why it has these angular edges and lines throughout its body. It may be considered modern-looking but it lacks the design finesse that is more apparent in the Mazda CX-3. The HR-V does look neat but it is not a vehicle that can expect some head turns. There is really nothing special about how it looks.


The CX-3 is a different story entirely. Mazda calls their design philosophy “Kodo” which is really all about beautiful rooflines commonly seen in most Mazda vehicles. The unique grill design and squinty headlights adds to the CX-3’s appeal which makes it a natural head turner.

If both of these vehicles are parked next to each other the Mazda CX-3 would probably have more fans than the Honda HR-V style wise.

The Interior

The Mazda CX-3 has a very similar interior outlay with the Mazda 2 which is really not a bad thing thanks to the comfort level and aesthetics of this interior space design. The biggest drawback for the CX-3 will have to be the space in the back seat. Compared to the HR-V, Mazda failed to provide for more legroom, headroom, and enough allowance for comfortable shoulder room. In fact it is cramped enough that the backseat space is more comparable to that of a car than a small SUV.

The Honda HR-V emerges as the winner on the interior battle. First, Honda made the right decision in placing the fuel tank in the middle of the car and not under the rear seats. This affords for more headroom to the vehicle and allowing its design to provide a better outside view compares to the CX-3. Since the HR-V is based on the Jazz MPV configuration, it also has the magic seat system so that the vertical storage is way roomier than in the CX-3.

Aside from these differences, the interior quality of both vehicles is impressive, an expected attribute of Mazda and Honda-made vehicles.


The Mazda CX-3 comes either with a 1.5 liter diesel or a 2.0 liter gasoline engine. Both can provide for 104 horsepower. The engine can be paired with a manual transmission or with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Honda HR-V on the other hand comes either with a 1.6 liter diesel engine that can provide for 118 horsepower or a 1.5 liter gasoline engine that can provide for 128 horsepower. The engine is paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission but can also be complimented with a CVT auto as an option.

When it comes to fuel efficiency the CX-3 can go for 26 mpg in city drives while the HR-V can go for 25 mpg. In the highway, both cars are very efficient with 35 mpg for the Mazda and 34 mpg for the Honda. It is safe to say that both cars are very fuel efficient.

Interestingly, if you choose to go for the Sport CX-3 you can have the 4 wheel drive configuration on both diesel and gas engines. If you choose to go for the automatic transmission with this one you can still have the fuel efficiency advantage which is a big plus for the Mazda CX-3.

The Driving Experience

If you prefer a more engaged kind of driving then the Mazda CX-3 is your vehicle of choice. This car is more responsive giving drivers a more realistic feel of the road. On the other hand the Honda HR-V caters to the unique driver demographics of the brand which mostly leans towards comfort-seeking drivers. The HR-V has a more superb suspension thereby giving drivers more comfort than fun which the CX3 is more known for. This time the verdict will depend on what kind of driver are you.

The Honda HR-V sells for $24,990 and the Mazda CX-3 sells for $24,390. With the little price difference, it all boils down to driver preference.

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