Crossover & Midsize

Honda HR-V vs. Mazda CX-3

The subcompact crossover has become popular as a family utility vehicle that offers some of the benefits of an SUV without being as big. One of the primary reasons we love subcompact SUVs is for their unparalleled union with cargo, capability, and fuel economy. A subcompact SUV like the Honda HR-V or the Mazda CX-3 is a great choice for someone that wants a tiny bit more space than a car. It’s efficiency in a smaller package than some of the bigger crossovers like the CX-5 or the Honda CR-V.

The Honda HR-V makes sense

The 2020 Honda HR-V remains essentially the same as its previous model year, besides for a few minor updates. As far as performance goes, the HR-V is powered by a 4 cylinder engine that will not impress, according to Car and Driver. Even the AWD version was sluggish, but the HR-V reportedly handles nimbly enough to make its Honda Fit platform proud. In addition, this little Honda SUV gets an overall 30 mpg for Car and Driver’s real world mpg rating.

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Although the 2020 HR-V isn’t as flashy or fun to drive as alternatives such as the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona, it offers unrivaled practicality and versatility.

Car and Driver

As long as you aren’t planning to go drag racing or take the HR-V off road, its ride is smooth enough to please passengers. It holds true to the Honda ideal that function is at the core of what makes a car great. In tune with that, the HR-V offers wildly ample cargo space for its size. The Honda HR-V costs from $21,940 for the LX trim to $30, 010 for the Touring. Every trim besides the base level comes standard with a 7 inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.


Related: Does the Honda HR-V Have Android Auto?

The HR-V is also a top safety pick and boasts five star safety ratings. And, in addition to its already practical amount of cargo space, the HR-V rear seats fold down easily to provide an increased cargo volume. Both of these features make it a top choice for families. Especially families that appreciate utility.

The Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is good looking. From its body work to its plush, upscale interior the Mazda CX-3 is designed to appeal to the senses. Though it has a smaller rear seat and less cargo than the Mazda 3 hatchback, it looks sleek and sporty. The interior is also flashy and plush, giving the Mazda CX-3 a successful illusion of luxury.

Last updated in 2019, the 2020 Mazda CX-3 hasn’t changed much this year. The four cylinder in the CX-3 is said by Car and Driver to be noisy and lackluster. But the CX-3 is so pretty. It only has one trim called “sport” and it will cost you $21,685. This itsy bitsy Mazda crossover SUV‘s only practical traits are it’s highly competitive set of standard features, and 30 mpg real world gas mileage from Car and Driver. Other than that it’s an attractive mini crossover that is all about its looks.

Related: Mazda CX-5 vs. Honda CR-V

Function or fashion?

Both of these examples of subcompact crossover SUVs are popular. But they focus on opposite ends of the spectrum. The HR-V is practical and roomy, and it’s not trying to win a fashion show. The Mazda CX-3 on the other hand is the opposite. If you just want a small crossover that boasts style and a certain level of luxury, the Mazda choice is the one.

This juxtaposition between sense and sensibility, function over fashion, is timeless. Each concept appeals to a different type of person. If it’s practical you want, go with the Honda HR-V. But if you’re looking for crossover with a sleek sense of style with looks that inspire, you’ll want to look twice as the Mazda CX-3.