2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/08

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the CR-V Hybrid deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The CR-V Hybrid’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The CX-3’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the CR-V Hybrid. But it costs extra on the CX-3.

The CR-V Hybrid Touring has standard Parking Sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

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

The Honda CR-V Hybrid weighs 655 to 912 pounds more than the Mazda CX-3. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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There are almost 2 times as many Honda dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 16th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The CR-V Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 64 more horsepower (212 vs. 148) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the CR-V Hybrid gets better mileage than the CX-3:

MPG

CR-V Hybrid

AWD

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

40 city/35 hwy

CX-3

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the CR-V Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the CR-V Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14 vs. 12.7 gallons).

The CR-V Hybrid 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

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The CR-V Hybrid 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the CR-V Hybrid has larger tires than the CX-3 (235/60R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The CR-V Hybrid Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-3’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CR-V Hybrid LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the CX-3. The CR-V Hybrid Touring has standard 19-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Honda CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid’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 track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V Hybrid is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

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

Chassis

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The front grille of the CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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.

Passenger Space

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

The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid’s rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The CR-V Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (33.2 vs. 17.8 cubic feet). The CR-V Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (68.7 vs. 42.7 cubic feet).

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

The CR-V Hybrid’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 Hybrid’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 Hybrid. 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 Hybrid EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Hybrid Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics

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The CR-V Hybrid has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The CX-3 doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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 Smart Entry standard on the CR-V Hybrid allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mazda CX-3’s Pushbutton Start doesn’t unlock the doors or the cargo door.

The CR-V Hybrid’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CX-3’s power window (except driver window) and power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CR-V Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the CX-3’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

The CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the CX-3.

On extremely cold winter days, the CR-V Hybrid EX-L/Touring’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V Hybrid 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/08

The Honda CR-V outsold the Mazda CX-3 by over 22 to one during 2019.

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

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