Battle of the subcompact crossovers: the Kia Niro takes on the Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V


The Kia Niro is a fan-favorite for shoppers who want a crossover that is affordable and offers hybrid technology! Today, we'll see how our Kia Niro compares to the Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V, both of which are also in the subcompact crossover class. We'll look at efficiency, pricing, notable features, and space.




The Kia Niro comes as either a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid model, and because it has an alternative engine, you'll get impressive fuel-ratings that beat the competition. For example, the Niro can get up to 43 mpg* on the Touring Trim and up to 50 mpg* on the FE trim. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) can go an EPA-estimated 26 miles* on just electric power! The Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V only have a gasoline engine, so you won't get anywhere near these sorts of numbers.




Because the Kia Niro is a hybrid vehicle, you will pay a little more for it when you go to buy or lease. The good news is that the base trim from my hybrid version starts about $3,500 more than the Mazda CX-3 or the Honda HR-V, and if you're someone who does a lot of driving the fuel savings will pay for themselves in no time.




The Niro brings more to the table than just fuel savings. Here's how this hybrid crossover's lineup of features compares to the competition.  

  • Infotainment: the Niro has a standard 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™. The Mazda CX-3 also has a similar setup, but on the Honda HR-V you need to get to the second trim before you receive a touchscreen or those smartphone integrations.
  • Advanced Safety: if safety matters then you'll love the Niro! There's up to 10 advanced safety technologies you can get, and some of our favorites are the driver alert, smart cruise control, pedestrian detection that's linked to automatic emergency braking, and front/rear park assist. To get advanced features on the Honda HR-V, you need to get up to the third trim to access the Honda Sensing® package, and even then you won't find a driver alert or pedestrian detection. The Mazda CX-3 has standard smart city brake support (i.e., a low-speed collision system) and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. With the Niro you need to add on a package to get advanced features on the base trim, but once you do you'll get more than you would with the CX-3!
  • Speakers: all models have available premium sound, but the Niro's setup stands out. The Honda HR-V has only a Honda-branded system, and it leaves a lot to be desired. The Mazda CX-3 gets a Bose® 7-speaker sound system. The Niro takes the win with 8-speakers from Harman/Kardon. Plus, the Niro's premium system also has Clari-Fi™ sound restoration technology; get ready to really enjoy your playlist.
  • Seats: on the higher Niro trims you can find 10-way power seating that helps ensure you have the most comfortable commute possible. Sadly (well, not for us...), the Mazda CX-3 offers no power seating whatsoever. The Honda HR-V comes close with its 8-way power-seating, but the Kia Niro still takes the cake.



    Hybrid's are known for lacking cargo area space, due to the placement of the battery, but the Kia Niro hangs in there. With all seats up, you'll have 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space and 54.5 cubic feet with the backseat down. The Honda HR-V is more spacious (24.3/58.8 cubic feet - a class-leader), but the Niro easily beats the Mazda CX-3 and its paltry specs. With that subcompact crossover you'll only get 12.4 cubic feet of behind-the-seat cargo space and 44.5 maximum cubic feet.


    If you're ready for style, amenities, and fuel-efficient ratings, stop into Liberty Kia this week to test drive the Kia Niro hybrid or plug-in hybrid model!

     *Disclaimer: EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits, and your vehicle's condition.


    Liberty Kia

    815 Route 17 South
    Directions Ramsey, NJ 07446

    • Sales: (201) 818-8995
    • Parts: (201) 818-8995