In our last edition of Buy/Drive/Burn, we took a look at three subcompact American CUVs competing at the $25,000 price point. Most of you seemed to agree they were all terrible, but the Trax edged out the Buy in the comments.
Letâ€™s see how you feel about the Japanese competition.
On sale elsewhere since 2013, Hondaâ€™s HR-V made its way to North America in 2016. On the same platform as the Fit, the HR-V was refreshed in 2019 with a new grille and more LED goodness, most of it designed to make it look more familiar to Civic customers. The HR-V is available in LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L trims, and all-wheel drive is available at all levels. Todayâ€™s budget nets us a low-level Sport AWD. Priced at $24,470, the HR-V uses a 1.8-liter inline-four for 141 horsepower and wrangles those horses with a CVT.
The CX-30 is the newest competitor of our trio. Introduced for 2020, CX-30 occupies a similar market space as Mazdaâ€™s other subcompact crossover, CX-3. CX-3 uses the old Mazda 2 platform, while the larger CX-30 is a Mazda 3 underneath. CX-30 is available in seven different trims, from Base to Turbo Premium Plus. Front- and all-wheel drive are available throughout the range. Todayâ€™s version is a lower-level Select Package AWD for $25,300. Power arrives via the 3â€™s 2.5-liter inline-four, which produces 186 horsepower. The transmission is a six-speed auto, also from the 3.
The CH-R arrived for the 2017 model year as Toyotaâ€™s smallest crossover. Based on Corolla, the CH-R was initially intended to wear a Scion badge before that marqueâ€™s untimely demise. In a strange product planning decision, the CH-R is the only car here to forego an all-wheel-drive option. However, in other markets, the CH-R is available with all-wheel drive, which means Toyota would prefer you purchase the more expensive RAV4 if youâ€™re in North America. There are four CH-R trims: LE, XLE, Nightshade, and Limited. Todayâ€™s budget mandates a Nightshade, which has lots of black trim and additional trim-specific paint options. CH-R is powered by a 2.0-liter engine from the Corolla, good for 144 horsepower, and all CH-Rs use a CVT in North America.
Three Japanese crossovers asking for your dollars, which oneâ€™s worth buying?
[Images: Honda, Mazda, Toyota]