Mazda3 Sport or Mazda CX-30? Which model and trim should you buy?

The fourth-generation Mazda3 has been with us for less than a year. Its main asset — all-wheel-drive, available on both the sedan and hatchback — is rare in the compact segment. Originally, we were going to pitch the Mazda3 Sport — read: hatchback — against the CX-3, but then Mazda sprung the CX-30 on us. Yes, another small SUV in Mazda’s lineup. No, it isn’t replacing the CX-3. Rather, it’s supposed to fill the gap between the CX-3 and CX-5. Yes, it should’ve been called the CX-4, but that name already exists on a crossover-coupe-thing sold in China. Confused? Us too, especially now that we realized the five-door Mazda3 is no longer what it used to be — a hatchback. The 2020 Mazda3 Sport and the CX-30 share a lot. Both are the first models from the Japanese manufacturer’ new breed of vehicles, pushing the SkyActiv philosophy ever further — except for the rear suspension; more on that in a bit. Both are built on the same platform, and both are assembled in Mexico. Even on paper, the compact car and the subcompact SUV share a lot, spec-wise — both are offered, in base GX trims, with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine putting out 155 horsepower and pound-feet of torque. Thankfully, ...

For the past few years, Honda’s rash of crossovers and MPVs is bringing new customers through the

For the past few years, Honda’s rash of crossovers and MPVs is bringing new customers through the doors in droves. The Asian-market BR-V, in particular, presents a unique attack on the subcompact-crossover market. At first blush, the BR-V looks remarkably like the Mobilio it is based on, down to the stepped beltline, albeit with extra black side cladding. But a slightly longer wheelbase, a 210mm ride height, fatter tires, and sexier styling make all the difference in the world to crossover-crazy buyers. Seated behind the wheel, you appreciate the work that has gone into differentiating the BR-V from the Mobilio. Aside from the cheap-looking (but effective) ceiling vents, the interior looks much like that of the higher-class City. Indeed, the BR-V drives much like the Honda sedan, with the same light touch, effortless CVT, and confident body control. Unfortunately, the low seat point and the lack of height adjustment leave you wondering if this isn’t indeed a City in disguise. Avanza drivers literally look down upon you as you pass each other on the street. Thankfully, Honda isn’t kidding about that ground clearance. The BR-V takes in stride tall humps and steep parking ramps tha...