No allergy to duck fat: 2016 Honda HR-V vs 2016 Mazda CX-3

On a recent trip to New York, we found ourselves in a great French restaurant on Park Avenue.  While ordering, I asked if their ‘frites’ were cooked in oil that was shared by breaded items.  The owner happened to be sitting nearby at the bar, and he assured me that there was nothing to fear in the fryer, unless I was allergic to duck fat.  He said he’d give up wine before giving up duck fat.

North Americans are having their wine/duck fat moment.  Large SUVs are giving way to small CUVs.  People are downsizing their vehicles, and not a moment too soon.

So what did we see?  A herd of Hondas and a multitude of Mazdas.  It looks like Honda has a hit with its new HR-V and Mazda is meeting it with its new CX-3.  These two vehicles seemed to be everywhere we looked.  There is always the risk of being run over by an extended length Suburban or Yukon XL in Manhattan, the two vehicles that dominate the Uber offerings on the island. However, purchasers are taking a chance and demonstrating that smaller cars are on the rise in the Big Apple.  North Americans are historically allergic to small, sporty cars and CUVs, but from what we saw in New York and now on the streets of the GTA, Honda and Mazda are showing that the times, they are a changin’.1

The two top offerings, the 2016 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L Navi – CVT and the 2016 Mazda CX-3 AWD GT + Technology Package – A/T 6 demonstrate two different ways to go in this class.  HR-V is a little longer in wheelbase and length, and almost 10cm wider.  This translates into substantially more rear cargo space and rear seat passenger room.

CX-3 is more driver focused.  It has more front headroom and legroom than HR-V, along with a little more engine punch with a five horsepower advantage at 146.

An impressive array of technology has trickled down from more luxurious vehicles such as Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning , Rear View Monitor and Navigation.  Heated leather seats, power moonroof and fully integrated smartphone capabilities with Bluetooth streaming, apps integration and other telematics features put the HR-V and CX-3 into the near luxury category.

Each vehicle takes its own path with additional amenities.  With features like LED headlights, rain sensor controlled wipers, auto dimming headlights and BOSE audio, you’d think you were in a Lexus instead of a more humble Mazda.  The HR-V counters with its Lane Watch right side camera, dual zone A/C and electroluminescent gauges, holding its own in the tech department.

See the differences between the vehicles yourself.  Click the link below to launch a new browser window.  On the left side of the new window, pull down and select “Honda”, then “HR-V”, then “AWD EX-L Navi – CVT”.  On the right side, select “Mazda”, then “CX-3”, then “AWD GT + Technology Package – A/T 6”.  Click on the buttons beneath the selection, choosing “Feature Difference”, “Common Equipment” or “Measurement” to display the information.

Click here to compare the two vehicles The link for this comparison will stay live until my next comparison blog entry.

If you want to see how each vehicle is equipped, put the same vehicle and trim level on both the right side and left side of the new page.  If you want to see the differences in trim levels on one model, for example, select “Honda”, then “HR-V”, then “AWD EX-L Navi – CVT” and then “Honda”, then “HR-V”, then “AWD EX – CVT” on the other side.  The combinations are not endless but many.

Everyone needs to actually look and feel the car they want to buy.  There’s no substitute for going into the back seat of the HR-V, and flipping Honda’s Magic Seat up and down to fully appreciate the flexibility of the cargo space.  If you need to haul your stuff, the HR-V is the one to get.  If carving corners is more your style and you don’t need the extra space, the CX-3 will acquit itself very well.

With either of these vehicles, you won’t have to choose between wine, or duck fat.  Just have the frites, and enjoy.

  1. “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music. Read more:

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