2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the CR-V’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-3 has a metal gas tank.

Both the CR-V and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 79 percent more Honda dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CR-V’s reliability 37 points higher than the CX-3.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (184 vs. 148) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (190 vs. 148) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (179 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda CR-V is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

 

CR-V LX

CR-V 1.5T

CX-3

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

8.2 sec

9.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CR-V 1.5T AWD gets better fuel mileage than the CX-3 AWD (27 city/33 hwy vs. 27 city/32 hwy).

The CR-V has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (14 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CR-V has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14 vs. 12.7 gallons).

The CR-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops much shorter than the CX-3:

 

CR-V

CX-3

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the CX-3 (235/65R17 vs. 215/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CR-V LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda CR-V has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The CR-V has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CR-V flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CR-V’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the CX-3 (104.7 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 3 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-3.

The CR-V Touring AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a 2.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (8.2 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CR-V’s minimum ground clearance is 2 inches higher than on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring (8.2 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CX-3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the CR-V Touring AWD is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD (69 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 18.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (105.9 vs. 87.6).

The CR-V has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front hip room, 4.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 5.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 12.4 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 44.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CR-V easier. The CR-V’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the CX-3’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in every dimension:

 

CR-V

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

54”

n/a

Min Width

41.5”

39.4”

Height

41”

26.6”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the CR-V. The CX-3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CR-V EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CR-V has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-3 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The CR-V has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The CX-3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the CR-V and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

The CR-V will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CR-V will retain 48.39% to 49.83% of its original price after five years, while the CX-3 only retains 45.65% to 46.16%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CR-V is less expensive to operate than the CX-3 because it costs $270 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CR-V than the CX-3, including $32 less for front brake pads, $13 less for fuel injection and $1 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

CX-3

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The CX-3 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The CX-3 has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Mazda CX-3 by almost 21 to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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