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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The following was posted on the HRV Forum site ; to deafening silence.

Since I have no access to a CX-3, I used a Mazda 3 as a substitute, thinking it MIGHT be similar in character to coming CX-3

The only commonality here is me. I own a CX-5, cross shopping a HRV and a Mazda 3 both of which I test drove within 15 minutes of one another this afternoon.

First let me say I am probably not the typical HRV prospective owner, in that I do not place the HRV'S strongest attribute , it's ability to carry a lot in a small shell,as my number one priority. For me a car must first be fun to drive , but if it isn't well packaged and economical its not for me either.If you reverse those priorities the HRV makes a much stronger case for itself, so my take will differ from others, just wanted you to know where I am coming from.
Both the 3 and CRv were mid level trim examples; the 3 was touring model equipped with bose/sunroof package and the HRV was a EX with a sunroof.
Both stickered between 22 and 23 grand. The 3 was a 6sp auto the HRV a fwd cvt.

The HRV was deep red (blood?) my favorite shade. The Mazda red available is a candy apple type they have the nerve to bill an extra 300 bucks for.

First drove the Mazda. Cloth interior was black with tan inserts in the door panels and seats. I loved it. The quality of materials and styling were excellent and I actually prefer it to the 2 tone gray/black leather aftermarket interior in my CX-5 touring. The door panels, dash and seats were uniformly excellent. Maybe my favorite cloth interior ever, better than my friends GTI for example.(imo)

Front seat supportive and comfortable with just the right firmness for me. Driving position perfect.

One big negative; Instruments; In this mid level model the tach is a small odd shaped instrument to the left of the central speedo hard to read at a glance. At 5'10", I sat behind myself with no problem,my knees 2 or 3 inches from the front seat backs and enough headroom. Could have used a bit more thigh support though, in this regard my 06 model was better.

Driving:Not a hot rod, just enough power to get out on the freeway without drama, about the same as my much heavier but more powerful CX-5, but with a smoother revving, happier engine note. As expected it handles better than the CX-5 Steering was a bit light for my taste, but otherwise terrific.

Wind noise was not noticeable at freeway speeds on this calm day.
It was fun to drive.

The bad news. Road noise. Too much A lot more than my CX which I consider to be just tolerable.

As much as I otherwise loved this car, its a deal killer. Already been down the that road with my 06 3.Ain't goin back.

HRV.
Interior gives off a general vibe of mediocrity , nothing to love or hate, except maybe the hard plastic dash cover. Driving position is good, and the seats OK, but not up to the standard of the ones in the 3.

I do prefer the Honda instrument display, traditional and functional.
Too bad this advantage is more than outweighed by the attention grabbing touch screen used for climate controls.

No problem sitting behind myself, with 2 or 3 extra inches of knee to seatback clearance compared the the 3 . About the same as in my CX-5.

The comfort levels in the back seats of all three cars is close to the same, but the 3 lacks rattle room. I could sit in any any of them for a couple of hours though all could use improvements in shape and padding.

The Drive.
The handling is tight and responsive, cornering flat and stable, but steering is too light, lighter than either Mazda, with a slower ratio and less feel.
On a 1 to 10 scale for handling, I give the HRV a 6.5, same as the CX-5 and the 3 a 8.5.

Pulling out on the freeway, the deal killer.
The engine has to be whipped to accomplish any appreciable acceleration, and sounds strained and unpleasant.. Its fine while cruising.
Road noise is Ok, about the same as the CX and a lot quieter than the 3.

Wind noise seems lower in both the 3 and HRV than the CX-5. I would need more time under varying conditions to confirm that.

To sum up my impressions;

The 3 is a great car torpedoed by its road noise.
The HRV is an average car torpedoed by its weak drivetrain.

I'll keep looking hoping the CX-3 road noise is tolerable.

After the test drive the HRV salesman asked me what I thought. I told him it was ok but underpowered. To my astonishment, he agreed.
 

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I'm thinking I may have a similar taste in vehicles. I want something fun, yet still practical. The CX-3 seems like it will be more of the former, while the HR-V seems like it will be more of the latter. The 3 and CX-5 appear to be both, but I'm pretty decided on getting AWD so that has me gravitating toward the CX-5 now. Otherwise, I would be looking hard at a 3 or a Ford Focus hatchback.

Since you do own the CX-5 (and I think you mentioned a Focus), how well does it handle compared to smaller hatchbacks or even other SUV? Is it a more car-like ride or more SUV-like?
 

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I'm thinking I may have a similar taste in vehicles. I want something fun, yet still practical. The CX-3 seems like it will be more of the former, while the HR-V seems like it will be more of the latter. The 3 and CX-5 appear to be both, but I'm pretty decided on getting AWD so that has me gravitating toward the CX-5 now. Otherwise, I would be looking hard at a 3 or a Ford Focus hatchback.

Since you do own the CX-5 (and I think you mentioned a Focus), how well does it handle compared to smaller hatchbacks or even other SUV? Is it a more car-like ride or more SUV-like?
That also depends on what fun is to you, what out of a vehicle and what it does makes it fun.

I know I won't find the CX-3 to be fun in my way but i have my dedicated fun car for that :D
 

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If the road noise in the 3 is the main obstacle, I recommend you strongly look into having a local shop install Dynamat sound deadening material (or another brand) into the door panels. It makes a world of difference, and is not a major job to install.

Seriously look at this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u3j40DS4fM
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm thinking I may have a similar taste in vehicles. I want something fun, yet still practical. The CX-3 seems like it will be more of the former, while the HR-V seems like it will be more of the latter. The 3 and CX-5 appear to be both, but I'm pretty decided on getting AWD so that has me gravitating toward the CX-5 now. Otherwise, I would be looking hard at a 3 or a Ford Focus hatchback.

Since you do own the CX-5 (and I think you mentioned a Focus), how well does it handle compared to smaller hatchbacks or even other SUV? Is it a more car-like ride or more SUV-like?
.

The CX-5 handles fine, given its configuration,
Its steering its better weighted than many sedans with great stability and no problem with body roll. Ultimately though its tall and heavy compared to a small hatch and is not going to respond as quickly, or maneuver so tightly. Not a match (fun wise) to Mazda 3 or Focus. More like a Good midsize sedan but with the advantage of a shorter length. A bit more n/s e/w pitching but nothing dramatic.

I'm thinking, given it lighter weight, tidy size, and lower profile the CX-3 with handle like a small hatch. The HRV handled much like a small hatch and only its steering disappoints , being slow,too light, with little feed back. Given the steering of the CX-5 , it would be fun, except for that awful power train.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the road noise in the 3 is the main obstacle, I recommend you strongly look into having a local shop install Dynamat sound deadening material (or another brand) into the door panels. It makes a world of difference, and is not a major job to install.

Seriously look at this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u3j40DS4fM
Thanks, can't get the video to load, but I'm sure to look into it if I buy a 3 or, depending on the problem, a CX-3

How heavy is it? Can you give me a ballbark measure of price/sq ft, weight per square ft and how much would be required?
 

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Thanks, can't get the video to load, but I'm sure to look into it if I buy a 3 or, depending on the problem, a CX-3

How heavy is it? Can you give me a ballbark measure of price/sq ft, weight per square ft and how much would be required?
I wish I had these answers, I'm sure a good shop that does this sort of install will know. The weight is nothing major, and the price is worth the more comfortable driving experience.

By the way, the video loads on my computer. I wonder why the video is not loading on yours.
 

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So today I drove a CX-5 Touring AWD and Mazda 3 Grand Touring back to back.

The CX-5 was enjoyable enough and felt like taking my car and increasing it is size and weight all around. As you said, very stable and did not feel awkward or like a small hatchback on stilts like the Chevy Trax I drove a month or so ago. The added weight also needed a lot more effort to move compared to what I'm used to, but that makes sense. Overall handling felt okay, but steering response took more to turn it and I had to be a lot more conscious of how much wider it is. Parking in particular allowed just enough room, which could be an issue with some of the more urban areas that I frequent. I also greatly liked the simpler climate controls on the Touring model. All things said, I had a good feeling for the vehicle once I was done driving it.

The Mazda 3, on the other hand, drove and handled exactly how I wanted. I had to be more cautious with the CX-5, but I wanted to push the 3 more. I actually spent less time in it because I knew right away that I would want to just keep on driving it. It did take me a while to get the seat adjusted how I wanted and I was still fussing with it to try and dial it in. I think I almost had it by the end of the drive. I also was not a fan of the arrangement of the dual climate control setup and would much rather have the simple 3-knob arrangement of the CX-5 Touring, but it comes automatically with the moonroof and Bose audio package that I want. Also the placement of the CD player is just stupid and should be higher so that it's out of the way of the stickshift. Instrument cluster is okay. Not keen on the tiny tach, but the transmission seems much more responsive in this vehicle than it did in the CX-5. Interestingly enough, I didn't even notice the road noise aside from the engine, but my car is WAY noisier. You would hate it.

In both vehicles, the Mazda Connect system is great and it didn't take long to figure out what I wanted to do with it. In fact, it was faster and easier for me to connect my phone and stream from it than to figure out the radio. This is a big plus as that was a major feature that I wanted.

I now have a lot of thinking to do. All things considered, the 3 seems like it's ahead of both the CX-3 and CX-5 now. It has more interior room than the CX-3 (and is pretty close to my Vibe especially for cargo room), the same ground clearance (the CX-3 really needs to be higher), and phenomenally better fuel economy. The thing it doesn't have is all wheel drive, which is something that I have REALLY wanted the last few years. If I go up to the CX-5, I know I'll have plenty of room, ground clearance for snow, and the aforementioned AWD, but at the cost of a much larger vehicle that is more difficult to wield and a loss of the handling and fun factor that the 3 offers. And while the CX-5 gets much lower fuel economy than the 3, it's still technically better than my car with more power (which is granted a bit more difficult to extract so it's a bit of a wash). Makes me wonder if snow tires on a 3 will be enough for what I need. I would hate to keep getting stuck like I have been the last few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So today I drove a CX-5 Touring AWD and Mazda 3 Grand Touring back to back.

The CX-5 was enjoyable enough and felt like taking my car and increasing it is size and weight all around. As you said, very stable and did not feel awkward or like a small hatchback on stilts like the Chevy Trax I drove a month or so ago. The added weight also needed a lot more effort to move compared to what I'm used to, but that makes sense. Overall handling felt okay, but steering response took more to turn it and I had to be a lot more conscious of how much wider it is. Parking in particular allowed just enough room, which could be an issue with some of the more urban areas that I frequent. I also greatly liked the simpler climate controls on the Touring model. All things said, I had a good feeling for the vehicle once I was done driving it.



The Mazda 3, on the other hand, drove and handled exactly how I wanted. I had to be more cautious with the CX-5, but I wanted to push the 3 more. I actually spent less time in it because I knew right away that I would want to just keep on driving it. It did take me a while to get the seat adjusted how I wanted and I was still fussing with it to try and dial it in. I think I almost had it by the end of the drive. I also was not a fan of the arrangement of the dual climate control setup and would much rather have the simple 3-knob arrangement of the CX-5 Touring, but it comes automatically with the moonroof and Bose audio package that I want. Also the placement of the CD player is just stupid and should be higher so that it's out of the way of the stickshift. Instrument cluster is okay. Not keen on the tiny tach, but the transmission seems much more responsive in this vehicle than it did in the CX-5. Interestingly enough, I didn't even notice the road noise aside from the engine, but my car is WAY noisier. You would hate it.

In both vehicles, the Mazda Connect system is great and it didn't take long to figure out what I wanted to do with it. In fact, it was faster and easier for me to connect my phone and stream from it than to figure out the radio. This is a big plus as that was a major feature that I wanted.

I now have a lot of thinking to do. All things considered, the 3 seems like it's ahead of both the CX-3 and CX-5 now. It has more interior room than the CX-3 (and is pretty close to my Vibe especially for cargo room), the same ground clearance (the CX-3 really needs to be higher), and phenomenally better fuel economy. The thing it doesn't have is all wheel drive, which is something that I have REALLY wanted the last few years. If I go up to the CX-5, I know I'll have plenty of room, ground clearance for snow, and the aforementioned AWD, but at the cost of a much larger vehicle that is more difficult to wield and a loss of the handling and fun factor that the 3 offers. And while the CX-5 gets much lower fuel economy than the 3, it's still technically better than my car with more power (which is granted a bit more difficult to extract so it's a bit of a wash). Makes me wonder if snow tires on a 3 will be enough for what I need. I would hate to keep getting stuck like I have been the last few years.
Can't disagree with anything you said.

Still going to wait on the CX-3 for a test, only cause I think it looks a lot better than the 3. I do not have to like it. Don't need or desire awd. The 3 will do me fine too, with its stronger engine and better fuel economy. The road noise thing is my only hang-up and I am increasingly confident that can be dealt with.

So did you drive the big engine or little one? As you stated the transmission seemed more responsive in the 3 as the five seems to love upper gears too much. Ultimate power seems about the same in the 3 with 2 liter as my 5 with the 2.5. Smoother and better sounding though. According to Edmund's I can get it optioned as I like for about 21.5, destination included. I'm stoked.
 

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Can't disagree with anything you said.

Still going to wait on the CX-3 for a test, only cause I think it looks a lot better than the 3. I do not have to like it. Don't need or desire awd. The 3 will do me fine too, with its stronger engine and better fuel economy. The road noise thing is my only hang-up and I am increasingly confident that can be dealt with.

So did you drive the big engine or little one? As you stated the transmission seemed more responsive in the 3 as the five seems to love upper gears too much. Ultimate power seems about the same in the 3 with 2 liter as my 5 with the 2.5. Smoother and better sounding too. I'm stoked.
I like the CX-3's styling more as well. But I also love tall hatchbacks. I think if the CX-3 were scaled 2-3 inches taller and longer (and .5-1 inches more to ground clearance) it would my ideal vehicle. Who knows, maybe if it were a little bigger, they might have more room to improve the engine and exhaust?

I drove the CX-5 with the 2.5L engine and the 2.0L engine in the 3. I can't imagine the CX-5 with only the 2.0L engine. And the 2.5L seems like overkill in the 3 as the 2.0L is perfectly suited to it. It's just shy of the 158hp, 162lb-ft 2.4L engine in my Vibe, but the lighter vehicle makes up for it. I feel like I can put that power exactly where I want it to go.

Maybe it was just the one I was driving or how I was having the push the accelerator harder in the CX-5, but it didn't shift nearly as smoothly as the 3. I'm sure the fact that I'm not used to driving one plays a roll. That and the throttle on the Vibe is like a hair-trigger compared to a lot of other vehicles. I'm not used to having to press that much harder on the accelerator to go.

Oh yeah, the suspension in both vehicles was much softer than mine. My Vibe has very stiff suspension for the sporty GT model, but the roads out here suck and I cross several train tracks daily. Both the 3 and especially the CX-5 seem to soak up the bumps a lot better from what I can tell, yet still feel nice and sporty. I was rather impressed by that.
 

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Makes me wonder if snow tires on a 3 will be enough for what I need. I would hate to keep getting stuck like I have been the last few years.
Have you tried snow tires the last few years? In my opinion they make a world of difference. It sounds to me that besides the AWD issue, the Mazda 3 is a better fit for you.

Have you considered a Subaru, too? I suggest it because you'll be lower to the ground than a CX-5 (hopefully more nimble then) while still getting AWD. I'm thinking you may belong in a Subaru instead...
 

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Have you tried snow tires the last few years? In my opinion they make a world of difference. It sounds to me that besides the AWD issue, the Mazda 3 is a better fit for you.

Have you considered a Subaru, too? I suggest it because you'll be lower to the ground than a CX-5 (hopefully more nimble then) while still getting AWD. I'm thinking you may belong in a Subaru instead...
I actually have not tried snow tires. I would have bought them this last winter, but I was already pretty decided I would be getting a new vehicle this year and I didn't want to get something that would not fit the new vehicle when it was more than halfway into winter already. I was also convinced that AWD would have made the difference in deep snow and icy conditions and wanted that in my next vehicle.

There have been a lot of things I have wanted improved, but the Vibe has been a relatively good driver and met my base needs. But there have been places where it is lacking like infotainment and fuel economy that newer vehicles both offer. Getting stuck in the snow pushed it over the edge, and it seems like that could possibly have been mitigated by the tires. But I've had her for a good 6.5 years now. I think it's time to move on regardless.

The most hilarious part of all was that Subaru was originally my first choice. I had been thinking about them for months. I went to the Detroit Auto Show last January and was very interested in the XV Crosstrek and Impreza. Although that's when I also saw the CX-3 and became enamored with it. I even sat in a Mazda 3 and initially wrote it off for how low it felt, the blind spot of the D pillars, and the stupidly placed CD player.

However, I started doing research after the show and stumbled upon a large number of people reporting oil consumption problems with Subaru's newer FB engines. There's a growing number of people that are seeing a loss of about a quart of oil every 1200 miles. It's not nearly as bad as the head gasket problems in the EJ engines, but it's enough to get a class action lawsuit or two made up. What's more, it doesn't seem like they have a proper fix for it. First they tried replacing piston rings in affected vehicles and that didn't fix the problem. Then they replaced the whole middle block of the engine and the problem still persists. There are people with 45,000 miles on the vehicles that still exhibit the problem. Even if it's small percentage of owners, I don't want to play Russian Roulette with my next vehicle and risk having to keep going back to the dealer to try and fix it. So despite how much I like Subaru otherwise, I had to cross them off the list again. I added the HR-V to the possibles to replace the Subarus for the most part, but the more I've read about it the less it interests me and I know I can't get the more premium features that I want without all the touch screen controls that I hate.

While I was reading about all the Subaru issues, the CX-3 was steadily climbing my list. Consumer Reports listing Mazda as #2 in reliability and ride quality among all auto makers really helped put them back into focus. The positive reviews out of Australia of the CX-3 really had me looking forward to it. If the US fuel economy numbers came anywhere close to the Australian numbers, I might still consider it. But now I'm thinking that the 3 makes more sense because it has everything I really want besides AWD (even the same ground clearance), while the CX-3 sacrifices too much cargo room and fuel economy just for the AWD and seating position. The CX-5 is nice, but doesn't have the feel that I really want, either. I really am a small hatchback guy.
 

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I actually have not tried snow tires. I would have bought them this last winter, but I was already pretty decided I would be getting a new vehicle this year and I didn't want to get something that would not fit the new vehicle when it was more than halfway into winter already. I was also convinced that AWD would have made the difference in deep snow and icy conditions and wanted that in my next vehicle.

There have been a lot of things I have wanted improved, but the Vibe has been a relatively good driver and met my base needs. But there have been places where it is lacking like infotainment and fuel economy that newer vehicles both offer. Getting stuck in the snow pushed it over the edge, and it seems like that could possibly have been mitigated by the tires. But I've had her for a good 6.5 years now. I think it's time to move on regardless.

The most hilarious part of all was that Subaru was originally my first choice. I had been thinking about them for months. I went to the Detroit Auto Show last January and was very interested in the XV Crosstrek and Impreza. Although that's when I also saw the CX-3 and became enamored with it. I even sat in a Mazda 3 and initially wrote it off for how low it felt, the blind spot of the D pillars, and the stupidly placed CD player.

However, I started doing research after the show and stumbled upon a large number of people reporting oil consumption problems with Subaru's newer FB engines. There's a growing number of people that are seeing a loss of about a quart of oil every 1200 miles. It's not nearly as bad as the head gasket problems in the EJ engines, but it's enough to get a class action lawsuit or two made up. What's more, it doesn't seem like they have a proper fix for it. First they tried replacing piston rings in affected vehicles and that didn't fix the problem. Then they replaced the whole middle block of the engine and the problem still persists. There are people with 45,000 miles on the vehicles that still exhibit the problem. Even if it's small percentage of owners, I don't want to play Russian Roulette with my next vehicle and risk having to keep going back to the dealer to try and fix it. So despite how much I like Subaru otherwise, I had to cross them off the list again. I added the HR-V to the possibles to replace the Subarus for the most part, but the more I've read about it the less it interests me and I know I can't get the more premium features that I want without all the touch screen controls that I hate.

While I was reading about all the Subaru issues, the CX-3 was steadily climbing my list. Consumer Reports listing Mazda as #2 in reliability and ride quality among all auto makers really helped put them back into focus. The positive reviews out of Australia of the CX-3 really had me looking forward to it. If the US fuel economy numbers came anywhere close to the Australian numbers, I might still consider it. But now I'm thinking that the 3 makes more sense because it has everything I really want besides AWD (even the same ground clearance), while the CX-3 sacrifices too much cargo room and fuel economy just for the AWD and seating position. The CX-5 is nice, but doesn't have the feel that I really want, either. I really am a small hatchback guy.
AWD is good to get you going, but AWD does nothing to get you stopped. Thats what snow tires are for...
 

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Well my problem was always getting going. Mostly on hills or after a deep snowfall. Once I get going I can handle the snow well enough. Putting it like that sounds like I still need the AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well my problem was always getting going. Mostly on hills or after a deep snowfall. Once I get going I can handle the snow well enough. Putting it like that sounds like I still need the AWD.
There is not enough snow and ice here to justify the added expense and weight of AWD. If I lived a couple of hundred miles north, I would insist on it. JMO.
 

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I spent some time going over different reviews of snow tires and how the 3 fairs in snow. It sounds like it handles itself quite well on the right rubber, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy the 3. I started another thread on it as to not take over this one anymore:
http://www.cx3forum.com/forum/other-vehicle-discussion/1418-so-i-bought-mazda3.html

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I hope the CX-3 is a great little vehicle!
 
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