2023 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2023 Honda HR-V

May 2nd, 2023 by

Both the Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-30 are great contenders for some of the best subcompact SUVs on the market right now. The 2023 Honda HR-V has just received a terrific redesign, with its second generation released only a few months ago. This has introduced an even more stylish body and several interior upgrades, making it more difficult to judge which is superior between this SUV and the competition.

Despite the new challenge from Honda, 2023 CX-30 is still the leader, but it’s certainly close in some areas. Our Capistrano Mazda team put together this article to take a closer look at these two pack leaders.

Engine, Transmission, and Exterior

The Mazda CX-30 offers a larger engine than the Honda, with a 2.5-liter inline-four monster offering 186 horsepower compared with the 158 horsepower produced by the HR-V’s 2-liter inline-four. There’s the option for upgrading the Mazda to a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine, upping the horsepower to 250. As long as you go for the higher trims, this gives you even more power and speed in the Mazda than the HR-V.

A bigger engine isn’t everything, but the Mazda adds to this with a six-speed automatic transmission, whereas the Honda has a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Honda offers front-wheel-drive as standard, but the Mazda can offer all-wheel drive for an extra $1,500. The HR-V gives you 2,959 pounds for towing, whereas the CX-30 only comes in with 2,000 pounds for the non-turbocharged engine but ups this to 3,500 pounds for the turbocharged engine. So, if you want to hitch up regularly, you’re better off with a CX-30 with the stronger engine option.

Regarding efficiency, the HR-V wins out, with its lower power allowing it to achieve 28 mpg combined if it’s paired with front-wheel drive and 27 mpg when equipped with all-wheel drive. However, despite this marginal increase, the CX-30 isn’t doing badly, with a combined mpg of 26 and 25 mpg if you get the turbocharged engine. Again, the Mazda provides a lot more power without that much of a drop in efficiency, which is a win in our book.

The HR-V has a sporty style, sleek roofline, large grille, and upgraded headlights. Door-mounted mirrors give better visibility than was available on previous models. On the other hand, the CX-30 is pretty snappy, and the cabin has that futuristic look, against which the HR-V can seem a little prosaic.


The HR-V has upgraded its interior significantly, and with 24 cubic feet of cargo space, it gives you a lot more space than the CX-30, which only gives you 20 cubic feet. If the rear seats are folded, you get 55 cubic feet in the HR-V and 45 cubic feet in the Mazda. So, if you’re looking to cart a lot of things around, then the Honda gives you a bit more space.

The Mazda offers a good 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and this is a much nicer user-friendly size and shape than the Honda’s 7-inch version, although you can upgrade this to a 9-inch screen for a price. Both vehicles have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto  as standard. Leather upholstery can also be added to Mazda with the Premium trim level, whereas it’s only possible to get this upgrade on the Honda with the top EX-L trim.

Both vehicles come with the same number of seats and broadly the same space. Overall, the HR-V is a little more comfortable, with more passenger space in the back seat and a bit more front legroom. However, a larger vehicle can cause problems parking or maneuvering in tight spaces around Orange County. So, if that’s an issue, you’re better off with the Mazda.

The CX-30 offers you the choice between an eight- or 12-speaker audio system, and you can add heated seats on some upgrades. Mazda Connected Services allows you to unlock and unlock the car, remote start the vehicle, and monitor it using the MyMazda app. Bluetooth comes as standard, and there are two front USB inputs, together with Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The HR-V only offers wireless connectivity and a wireless charging pad on the EX-L trim, so the best tech is found in the lower Mazda trims.


This is a crucial area in both SUVs; whichever you choose, you’d be safe in either. The HR-V provides standard automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and standard adaptive cruise control. In contrast, the CX-30 offers standard automated braking with pedestrian detection, and the additional options of a head-up display and blind-spot monitoring. Be sure to check out safety availability in the trims for both vehicles for added extras.

Trim Levels

The CX-30 has seven trims, perfect for ensuring you’ll get the features you like. Some options available with the higher trims include a rear power liftgate with a programmable height adjustment, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and some snazzy paintwork with the upper trims. The MSRP starts at $24,225 and goes up to $36,675.

In contrast, the HR-V comes in just three trims — LX, Sport, and EX-L priced with an MSRP from $25,095 to $29,195. This means that some of the really crucial innovations are only available in the highest trims, giving you fewer options to mix and match. Some perks, such as heated seats and stylish machine-finished alloy wheels with Gloss Shark-Gray inserts, are available at a lower price than with the CX-30. If you want to pick and choose, however, it’s the CX-30 that wins well here.

Which To Choose? The Mazda CX-30 or the Honda HR-V

Across these various categories, it’s really the Mazda CX-30 that brings it all together. There’s a bit more space in the HR-V, and it’s a little more efficient, but the CX-30 has better overall strength, interior features, and some excellent add-ons for each trim. To explore further, why not give us a call  down at Capistrano Mazda and come and take a closer look at what’s available. Our dedicated team would love to set you up with a test drive, so you can see for yourself.

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