Much has been written about the Honda HR-V. While it is indeed a very promising product that stands heads and shoulders above its peers, the Honda crossover is not going to have a free home run as Bermaz Motor is expected to introduce its CX-3 crossover in the second half of 2015.
Mazda has just released a new driving footage of the Japanese market CX-3. The Japanese market CX-3 is slightly different from the US-market model (with a slightly different headlamp) that was previewed during November 2014's Los Angeles Auto Show.
We are not sure how late into 2015 must we wait before Malaysian car buyers can get their hands on the CX-3, but we would guess-timate that it will be sometime within the fourth quarter of 2015.
To each his own - considering the strengths and weaknesses of previous Mazda products, we do not expect the Mazda to even come close to the HR-V's practicality and space-efficient packaging. However we do have high hopes for the Mazda in the handling department, even if it means that Mazda's typically responsive steering can have a tendency to hunt out changes in road surfaces and may not be as relaxing to drive on long, straight highways as a Honda.
Mazda's forte in driving performance will be further bolstered by a SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre petrol engine, which should offer more grunt than the HR-V's i-VTEC 1.8-litre engine, while the Mazda's six-speed automatic transmission should appeal to enthusiasts better than the Honda's CVT.
Globally, a SkyActiv-D 2.0-litre diesel engine is also available but we are not putting our bets on this engine's availability in Malaysia.
Like the HR-V, the CX-3 will most likely be introduced as a 2WD model (an AWD model is also available overseas).