Driven: 7 Ways the Mazda CX-30 Trumps the Honda HR-V

We’ve spent time with the Mazda CX-30 and the Honda HR-V to get some personal research on the tiny SUV battle. While the 2023 Honda HR-V is new with tons of perks, it seems to fall short against the 2023 Mazda CX-30

2023 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2023 Honda HR-V 

A gray 2023 Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The first thing to consider is the price. The 2023 Honda HR-V starts at $23,800 and has three trim levels. The top-spec Honda HR-V EX-L trim brings the price up to about $27,900. 

You can get started with the 2023 Mazda CX-30 for about $22,950, and it has four different trim levels. The top-of-the-line 2.5 S Carbon Edition brings the cost to $29,290. 

So it’s cheaper to get started with the CX-30, and it has more options. But the HR-V could gain more features in time. Plus, the CX-30 could include more value as it comes loaded with valuable standard features such as all-wheel drive. You can add AWD to the HR-V. 

Does the HR-V or the CX-30 have a better performance? 

The 2023 Honda HR-V comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. It’s adequate, but not exactly thrilling. 

With the 2023 Mazda CX-30, the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. It can reach 60 mph in about 8.0 seconds, which is suitable for the class. 

Upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, the CX-30 reaches 60 mph in about 6.4 seconds

The HR-V has a surprisingly smooth ride, but the breaks are a little soft. It feels confident around curves with little body roll, but it’s loud. It’s noisy at highway speeds, and the engine emits a loud wheeze while going uphill or under harsh acceleration. 

The Mazda CX-30 has a Sport Mode, and available steering-wheel-mounted paddled shifters for more engagement. The suspension is a bit stiffer for an athletic performance. You can feel slight impacts from the road, but the tires seem connected for enhanced control. 

Also, the CX-30 is much quieter at highway speeds with a more attractive engine roar. It offers more seat padding, making it more comfortable during longer rides than the HR-V. Plus, it has rear vents for the passengers, while the HR-V doesn’t. 

Both can be well-equipped to fight inclement weather situations. However, during light off-roading tests, the HR-V struggled on gravel inclines a lot more than the CX-30. 

Does the Mazda CX-30 or Honda HR-V have better features? 

2023 Honda HR-V review
2023 Honda HR-V | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

RELATED: First Drive: The 2023 Honda HR-V Is Full of Surprises

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has an 8.8-inch infotainment system that’s controlled by a rotary dial. The 2023 Honda HR-V starts with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that can be upgraded to a 9.0-inch unit. 

The HR-V has an edge because it offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the CX-30 requires a cord. Both SUVs have optional features such as a wireless phone charging pad, premium audio, and built-in navigation. 

However, the CX-30 offers a head-up display, 360-degree surround-view camera, lumber adjustment, Traffic Jam Assist, and a power liftgate. 

You can access up to 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear of the CX-30 and up to 45.2 cubes total. The HR-V provides 24.4 cubes behind the backseat, with up to 55.1 cubes in total. 

While the HR-V is slightly better on fuel and cargo space, the CX-30 has a lower price, more options, two engines, more standard features, more available tech, an enhanced athletic performance, and a more comfortable ride. 

Honda HR-V advantages 

  1. Fuel economy 
  2. Cargo space 
  3. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

Mazda CX-30 advantages 

  1. Comfort 
  2. Lower price 
  3. More value like standard AWD 
  4. More tech options 
  5. A sportier performance 
  6. Two engines 
  7. A more refined interior