What will they cost?
The Honda HR-V has the highest list price, and while you can haggle off more than £1200, even bigger savings are available on its rivals, so it will cost £1326 more than the Nissan Qashqai and £1509 more than the Mazda CX-3.
On the plus side, our depreciation experts predict the HR-V will hold on to its value the longest, which means you’ll recoup some of that extra outlay when you sell it on. However, the HR-V will still work out the most expensive to own over three years once you’ve factored in all the costs you’re likely to face.
All things considered, the Qashqai will end up costing you the least. Those sizeable discounts along with remarkably cheap insurance premiums and free road tax are just enough to outweigh the CX-3’s slower depreciation and superior real-world fuel economy.
Many buyers won’t pay upfront and will instead sign up to a PCP finance agreement. Put down a £5000 deposit and over three years the Qashqai again works out the most cost-effective at £226 a month. The HR-V adds a further £20 to that bill while the CX-3 is priciest at £290 a month. All of these deals require you to pay a hefty final 'balloon' payment at the end of the agreement if you want to keep the car, although at this point most buyers choose to upgrade and simply start a new PCP.
Company car drivers will also be financially better off with the Qashqai, its sub-100g/km CO2 emissions qualifying it for a lower band of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax than either of its rivals. As a 40% taxpayer, choosing the Qashqai rather than the CX-3 will mean sacrificing around £12 less of your salary each month. The HR-V will cost £2 a month more than the CX-3.
The Mazda might be the smallest of the trio, but it’s by far the most lavishly equipped. Like all of these cars it comes with alloy wheels, climate control and automatic lights and wipers, but it adds keyless start, a reversing camera, rear privacy glass and heated front leather seats.
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