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I was sold with getting the CX-3 but when I saw an HR-V stop beside me at a stoplight, I was in awe. Went to a Honda dealership and would say the HR-V is a good car. Now, I don't know whether to get the HR-V or the CX-3.

CX-3:
I like the design, specially the interior as compared with the HR-V. The kodo design makes the car look really slick but I'm not a huge fan of how the front and back looks. The back is boring and simple and doesn't have any edges that would make it more edgy and the front looks like it's drooping down making the CX-3 look like a sedan from afar. I'm more of an SUV guy but is single so a CX-5 is too big which makes the CX-3 the perfect choice. However, I'm concerned that the back row might make any friend who decides to ride with me feel quite uncomfortable due to the space.

HR-V:
This car solves my dilemma of making my passengers feel uncomfortable due to the fact that it has more space than the CX-3. However, the HR-V loses to the CX-3 when it comes to interior design. Apart from the central division, which I like, the seats and the general feel of the interior feels a bit cheap due to the use of fabric and the overall look feels basic. However, it wins over the CX-3 on exterior design. I like how the back lights look like fangs which creates that edge that I am looking for and the way the front and back is designed makes the car look high unlike the CX-3 which looks droopy.

Help me guys. Should I take the CX-3 or the HR-V?
 

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Driving dynamics are not of importance? I originally liked the HR-V but driving one is a horrid experience. As is the head unit and lack of available content (halogen reflectors, small wheels, economy tires). The CX-3 is tighter but far more premium of a vehicle.
 

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I agree with DJ9999. The CX-3 is a better car in everything but interior space.

I think very few would agree with you that the tippy looking HRV is better looking, but that is just a debateable personal preference.

If you are more concerned with the comfort of the occasional rear seat passenger than your own experience every time you drive the car, I say buy the HRV.
 

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The only thing that would make me move to a HR-V is the interior space.
Other than that, I found everything else better on the Mazda.

I am the smallest of my friend with my 5'11" (most of them are 6'3" and up) and most of them have problem getting in the car.
However, I bought this car for me, not for other people and I don't regret my choice !
 

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And the HRV gets worse in person, these pictures actually help it out.

But the Honda is a Honda and because of that it's loyal following will help it out.

For most however.... CX-3 > HRV
 

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TL;DR - The HR-V has better rear (actually pretty cool) seats and more cargo room. The CX-3 has almost everything else in its favor.


Pros for the HR-V based on my test driving experience:
- Those rear "magic seats"
- Cargo room
- green as an exterior color option!
- The head unit has an HDMI port, so if your phone supports it, with a $12 micro USB to HDMI dongle you can get your phone to appear on the dash, seemingly. However, the dash is not touchscreen, so you can't use the screen to control your phone.
- I do kinda dig the way that the speedo changes color to show how you are driving (economically, sporty, etc.) in real time (just about).

Cons (at least as compared to the CX-3):
- There is no good place to store your phone in the car. There is an area right by the HDMI and USB cables, but it is essentially UNDER the center console. You can't see your phone, and it is a PITA to even get to, which really limits the utility of the HDMI connection
- The styling is pedestrian. Not ugly, but VERY bland and boring compared to the CX-3, both interior and exterior
- The A/C uses capacitive, touch sensitive controls. I HATE that. It looks kinda cool, but it totally impractical. Want to adjust your A/C while keeping your eyes on the road? Sorry, but you can't feel the button, so you have to look at it to find the button areas and they are small so you have to make sure you hit just the right spot, but you didn't you hit another button by accident so now you have to try to hit the one that you wanted to hit in the first plCRASH! You just rear-ended someone.
- Interior is only available in black.
- CVT Transmission
- The driver's seat. This was the single worst thing about the car. I had a totally open mind. I expected the car to be worse, and came away impressed overall, except for the seats. The cushioning is rather thin. In Rush hour traffic I spend anywhere from 1-3 hours on my commute home. I don't think my butt would survive a 3 hour drive. With such little cushioning right in the tailbone area of the seat, it almost felt like I was sitting on wood. And this is with a brand new car that only had about 5 miles on it! I tend to keep my cars for a long time, and imagine5-10 years from now. It will be like sitting on concrete for hours a day. This was a total deal breaker, but it doesn't end there. The underseat area is really weird. It is not flat like normal cars, but it actually rises up and inch or so under the seat. It actually starts doing so BEFORE the seat (I had mine back, but not all the way. I'm 5'11.5". So what happened was when I tried at a stop to put my feet almost under me slightly - sit with my legs so that my shins were running parallel to the ground, I couldn't. That rise in the floor prevented me from pulling back my feet that far! It was weird and uncomfortable and seemingly not well thought out. Ugh.

CX-3 pros (based on viewed specs, and testing out the other current Mazdas:
- The infotainment system is WAY better and looks much better (talking about the on-screen graphics, not the hardware). It runs on OpenCar, so it's running linux. You can actually get into the car's computer, and if you know how to program in javascript you can write and upload your own apps for the car (or rather apps that control other apps that live on your phone)
- The interior is far nicer. WAY nicer!
- The exterior is distinctive, and it doesn't blend in with the background and 500 other small cars like the HR-V does.
- Better engine
- Supposedly much better handling.
- NOT a CVT transmission!
- 2 color options for the interior
- when it comes to options like parking/cross traffic sensors, lane departure systems, etc. Mazda has features that the HR-V just doesn't have (nor any of their other competition)

CX-3 Cons
- Roominess in the cabin
- crappier rear seats by far
- Less cargo room both with the back seats up and with then down.
- Colors seem limited
- The Wait


HTH a little bit.
 

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I think I may need to do a drive by of the local honda dealership! Maybe even take an HRV out for a ride under an anonymous name! (So I am not getting the continual calls to buy it)
 

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I'll add a few more to brain21's excellent list

HR-V PROS

Roof Racks (on EX-L)
Larger gas tank than CX-3
Front passenger seat can be tilted all the way for 8 feet or so of storage measured from tailgate
Power outlet for back seat passengers
Electronic parking brake and brake hold (a major feature for people who commute in traffic)
Higher ground clearance?
Higher ride?

HR-V CONS

awkward cup-holder/arm-rest set up
no rear passenger cooling vents; no dual zone climate control
no advanced safety tech other than lane watch
lane watch is for right side only; available EX and EX-L only
No CarPlay/Android Auto
UI for infotainment can be overly complex

CX-3 PROS

Possibly better stereo (Bose on higher trims as add-on for Touring, included on GT)
Possibly more comfortable seats
Sport mode with paddle shifters (GT only) said to be better than HR-V's
Appears to have a more intelligent AWD system which activates in several different situations
LED lights
Knobs for climate and other features
Rear Parking sensors (accessory for all trims?)
Mazda Mobile Start available accessory
Corners better than HR-V


CX-3 CONS
Awkward cup-holder/arm-rest set-up
No rear passenger cooling vents; no dual zone climate control
Blind View and Rear Cross Traffic only available on Touring and Above; i-Activesense gadgetry only available as a $2000 extra on Grand Touring
Some paint choices are $200 (Crystal White Pearl) and $300 (Soul Red) extra
Internal red accents for T and GT trims don't match non-red exteriors. Come on Mazda!
UI for infotainment said to be overly complex
No CarPlay/Android Auto
Mazda Mobile Start $65/year after first year


Yes a good bit of hearsay, all based on extensive reading of reviews to date.

Waiting for responses from Canadian and Oklahoman forum members.
 

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As you wish.
Why does Honda's "Lane Watch" only work on the right side?

It requires you lower your vision and refocus on the dash to use it.

Mazda's blind spot monitoring works on both sides. An amber warning light appears in your mirror (where your attention is already rightly focused) when a lane change is contemplated.

If you miss that, an audible warning is given when you switch on the blinker. IMO, this is a much more effective safety system.

Neither of you guys mentions the Honda's weak engine. It was the single biggest turn-off for me when I test drove it.

I drove a 2.0 Mazda 3 the same day and found power to be just adequate but it goes about its business competently without the gutless response of the HRV. I would expect the slightly lighter fwd CX with slightly less power to feel about the same as the 3.

Although the EPA rates fuel economy about equal, its worth noting that in published comparison tests in Motor Trend and Car and Driver that The CX-3 squeezes out a couple of extra MPG. They flog the cars pretty hard in these tests and I would suspect that having to cane the HRV to get it to keep up results in lower real world fuel economy. Driven gently, the EPA numbers probably would be more accurate.

If by magic, you could exchange one power train for the other in these cars, It would cause me to favor the HRV by a little, but as it stands with Mazda's superior power, interior quality, ergonomics,front seat comfort (I am assuming they will be similar to the 3's seats) and handling, its likely the better choice for me.

Misc.
HRV's single exhaust with a partially exposed muffler shouts 'ECONOBOX' when viewed from the rear.
CX-3s 16" steel wheels on base model is a cheapout. Looks ridiculous. 18s on GT may prove a bit harsh and noisy. HRVs 17" alloys on all models is a better idea.

Being an empty nester with a CX-5 in the garage, the HRV's trump card, its spacious interior, is just not a big deal. But I see how for some, it sure would be.

Later Edit. Sorry, brain21 did mention the engine as a CX-3 advantage, but is mistaken (at least in U.S.) when he states "Interior is only available in black"in the HRV. There is a gray/off-white leather option that really helps out in the high end models. Still, it's a shame both cars give you only black unless you go to the top of the model range.
I am concerned about the feel of the "leatherette" in the CX touring models. I have seen it mentioned on the net a few times that the feel is not good. You Canadian guys with that stuff, tell us what you think.

Anyone else seen the rarely available light colored seats and door panels in the cloth interior of the 3i touring? Really nice. Probably be discontinued with the 2016 model.
 

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^^

for me, it's easier to look down as opposed to side turn to look at the mirror. I can kinda catch it at the corner of my eye. Often my wife is leaning forward blocking the view. My in laws have it on their CRV and I quite enjoy it. Not having it on both sides is a bit goofy as you are training yourself to look in a different direction when making a turn. anther feature I'd like to have is to always leave it on.


I read that the CX3 will be running a linux kernel inside. that poses some interesting options to do some really cool stuff. I'm sure there's already a community out there.
 

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As you wish.
Why does Honda's "Lane Watch" only work on the right side?

It requires you lower your vision and refocus on the dash to use it.

Mazda's blind spot monitoring works on both sides. An amber warning light appears in your mirror (where your attention is already rightly focused) when a lane change is contemplated.

If you miss that, an audible warning is given when you switch on the blinker. IMO, this is a much more effective safety system.
Agreed.


Neither of you guys mentions the Honda's weak engine. It was the single biggest turn-off for me when I test drove it.

I drove a 2.0 Mazda 3 the same day and found power to be just adequate but it goes about its business competently without the gutless response of the HRV. I would expect the slightly lighter fwd CX with slightly less power to feel about the same as the 3.
Sorry I thought brain21 had done so. Low power is definitely the most discussed shortcoming of the HR-V.

On that topic I've found the 2015 Mazda3 sport hatches to be revvy on both the 2 and 2.5 liter models. A lot of growl before they get going.



Although the EPA rates fuel economy about equal, its worth noting that in published comparison tests in Motor Trend and Car and Driver that The CX-3 squeezes out a couple of extra MPG. They flog the cars pretty hard in these tests and I would suspect that having to cane the HRV to get it to keep up results in lower real world fuel economy. Driven gently, the EPA numbers probably would be more accurate.
Apples and oranges. Others here and elsewhere have noted that the MPG figures are essentially the same and not worth parsing.


If by magic, you could exchange one power train for the other in these cars, It would cause me to favor the HRV by a little, but as it stands with Mazda's superior power, interior quality, ergonomics,front seat comfort (I am assuming they will be similar to the 3's seats) and handling, its likely the better choice for me.
The waiting's the hardest part, per Tom Petty. 2 more weeks until they arrive at dealers?

Misc.
HRV's single exhaust with a partially exposed muffler shouts 'ECONOBOX' when viewed from the rear.
CX-3s 16" steel wheels on base model is a cheapout. Looks ridiculous. 18s on GT may prove a bit harsh and noisy. HRVs 17" alloys on all models is a better idea.
Aesthetics are difficult to argue. I could do without the elongated hood and truncated back.

It has been pointed out in direct comparisons that the HR-V is gentler on rough drives.


Being an empty nester with a CX-5 in the garage, the HRV's trump card, its spacious interior, is just not a big deal. But I see how for some, it sure would be.
For my purposes the CX-3 will be my only car. I have no kids (that I'm aware of), but cargo space is potentially an issue.
 

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Cool, but dangerously susceptible to bad coding attempts. But if your Kung Fu is strong...
This is why running the OS in a VM on your home machine to test the code is a good idea. :) As far as integrating with phone apps, it is all HTML5/JavaScript, so bad coding there should prove dangerous.

It will be nice (and I presume that you can do this in the HR-V also) to get a TB portable HDD and plug that into the car so that the filesystem can mount it (the Filesystem of the drive must be fat32 unless you feel like trying to install FUSE into the car - I don't), and I can have a library of tens of thousands of songs in the car.

I wonder if the 2016s will include wireless? My understanding was that the 2014s did and it was enabled by default. Mazda realized how bad an idea that was and disabled it in the 2015, but you can still SSH into the car and turn it on. I would just remember to turn it off when you leave your house!

BTW, you can download a VM (or maybe its an iso) of a slightly older version of the system from mazda3hacks.com. The site is no longer being maintained, but the files are still there I believe. If your goal is coding apps, the older OS version should be just fine for the most part.
 

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Aesthetics are difficult to argue. I could do without the elongated hood and truncated back.
To each his own. I like the elongated hood. I actually wish it were a little longer. :) I wish the back on the 3 weren't so truncated. To me it looks like the design of the back of the 3 was an afterthought. The CX-3 looks better from the back IMO.

It has been pointed out in direct comparisons that the HR-V is gentler on rough drives.
Yeah, but apparently it handles significantly better. If a better road feel means a rougher ride, so be it. Back in the 90s I had a little BMW 318ti hatch that I just loved. It had a rougher ride, but better handling than the rest of the BMWs out there (save the Ms and possibly the Z3). One day I took it in for service and got a 328i as a loaner. Beautiful car inside, but in comparison to my ti, the thing drove like a boat. Or a Cadillac. Yuk. You didn't feel any bumps on the road, but the trade off was that you just didn't feel the road. Not like the ti. I was SO happy when I got my ti back from the dealer!


For my purposes the CX-3 will be my only car. I have no kids (that I'm aware of), but cargo space is potentially an issue.
Ditto, ditto, and ditto.
 
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