The 2024 Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-30 are small SUVs with big personalities. On one hand, the HR-V is akin to being a teacher’s pet. It’s more studious and cerebral in how it wins over SUV shoppers. It excels when it comes to being versatile and accommodating thanks to its airy cabin, roomy cargo hold, and impressive fuel economy. 

As for the Mazda CX-30, it’s more like a class clown that happens to be a track-and-field champ. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Mazda that SUVs aren’t meant to be energetic and fun to drive. The CX-30’s sharp handling is a hoot; this little Mazda scoots around corners like a sports sedan. Standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and an optional turbocharged 4-cylinder engine make it even more entertaining.

Let’s explore the key highlights of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-30.

2024 Honda HR-V

The 2024 Honda HR-V is available in three trims: LX, Sport, and EX-L. A base HR-V LX starts at $25,950, including destination charges, and comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, three USB ports, automatic climate control, and wired Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. 

Since it was redesigned only last year, the HR-V rolls into 2024 with no notable updates or changes. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that sends 158 horsepower to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is optional. 

Honda HR-V Highlights

Honda Sensing:  Every HR-V trim comes with the Honda Sensing suite of active driver aids. Among other features, this consists of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlines, lane-departure warning with steering assist, and adaptive cruise control. 

Driving refinement: With its recent reboot, the HR-V migrated to the same platform that underpins the Honda Civic. A significant benefit of this mechanical change is a far smoother and more composed ride than the outgoing model. Light and direct steering make the HR-V agile and easy to maneuver in tight confines.

HondaLink: The HondaLink smartphone app allows an HR-V owner to keep a watchful eye on their SUV remotely. HondaLink helps schedule service appointments, set geofenced boundaries when handing the keys to someone else, track the vehicle should it be stolen, and send alerts if a crash is detected while the vehicle is parked. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the HR-V models for sale near you. 

2024 Mazda CX-30

2024 Mazda CX-30 in red.

For the 2024 model year, a new Carbon Turbo trim is added to the CX-30’s expansive roster of offerings. There are eight trim levels, and pricing starts at $26,370, including destination charges. A 10.25-inch touchscreen is also now available in upper trims.  

Most CX-30 shoppers will be satisfied with the balance of performance and economy provided by the base 191-hp 4-cylinder. It’s peppy and easy on a fuel budget, plus there’s the bonus of having AWD standard. 

Mazda CX-30 Highlights 

Great handling, optional turbo 4-cylinder: We can’t rave enough about the agility of the CX-30. Its reflexes are exemplary and not something expected in a budget-friendly small SUV. We recommend at least test-driving a CX-30 with the optional 250-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. This drops the Mazda’s 0-60 mph time to about 6 seconds versus around 8 seconds with the non-turbo 4-cylinder powertrain. 

Classy cabin: Mazda has worked hard to make the interior of the CX-30 feel a cut above rival SUVs. Upper trims are downright luxurious with leather seating surfaces, wireless smartphone connectivity, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, head-up instrument display, surround-view parking camera, ambient interior lighting, and a Bose audio system.

Many standard safety features: Similar to the HR-V, the CX-30 comes with many active driver aids as standard equipment. Blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, and a driver attention monitor are all included on every trim. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the CX-30 models for sale near you. 


The HR-V and CX-30 have five seats and fuel-sipping engines and score top marks in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Both earn the highly coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating. They’re also maneuverable and have composed rides in all types of city and highway driving. 


Consider us big fans of both the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-30. During our extensive testing, we’ve found them to be among the best subcompact SUVs available today.

To put it simply, the CX-30 is a joy to drive. Quick steering and that optional turbo 4-cylinder make this Mazda a pleasure to navigate during even the most mundane driving tasks. Unfortunately, a lack of rear legroom and below-average cargo capacity conspire to ding the otherwise glowing credentials of the CX-30. Higher trims also get very expensive.

The Honda HR-V doesn’t offer the same amount of thrills, though we think it’s a better value. A relaxed ride and light steering make it a stress-free means of zipping around. The cabin layout is user-friendly, and the materials look and feel capable of withstanding many years of driving duty.  

  2024 Honda HR-V  2024 Mazda CX-30
Starting Price  $26,370, including destination fees $26,370 including destination fees
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  2.0-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower  158 hp @ 6,500 rpm 191 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque  138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission  CVT  6-speed automatic
Fuel economy MPG 26 city/32 highway/28 combined 26 city/33 highway/29 combined 
Also Available  AWD Turbo 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Basic Warranty  3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  5 stars  5 stars
Max Seating Capacity  5
Wheelbase  104.5 inches  104.4 inches 
Overall Length  179.8 inches  173.0 inches 
Width  72.4 inches  70.7 inches 
Height  63.4 inches  61.7 inches 
Turning Diameter  35.1 feet  34.8 feet 
Headroom, Front  39.4 inches 38.1 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  38.0 inches  38.3 inches 
Legroom, Front  41.9 inches  41.7 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  37.7 inches  36.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  56.6 inches  55.6 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.2 inches 53.6 inches
Cargo Volume  24.4 cubic feet   20.2 cubic feet 

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