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Full Version: 2007: Elantra vs Mazda3 - Anyone tested both?
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jpmccormac
I'm shopping the 07 Elantra and considering the Mazda 3 i Touring also. I know the basic differences in warranty, specs., etc. but am curious whether anyone has test driven both cars (or owned both for that matter) and can comment on overall driving experiences, handling, etc. Thanks.
Ishtar
Talk to Southpaw.
thewilson
Car and Driver raved about the Mazda 3 last issue couldnt find the link on their site there's this review

http://www.caranddriver.com/carmodel/mazda-mazda3.html
Bigs
Well Southpaw can compare with the XD. He is looking into the HD.

On JDPwer, they didn't rate the 3 as good as the HD. Actually, they don't rate the 3 good at all... The HD is way ahead on that one.

http://www.jdpower.com/autos/compare.asp
jyfgt
i used to have an elantra that was just totaled. im looking to buy a mazda3. i test drove the 3s sport. i could definately feel the difference in power even with my mods. but keep in mind the 3s has the 2.3l I4. i didnt really test the handling because i there wasnt any gas in the test car so i just drove around the block. i would say for you to go and test drive it to see if you like it. also remember the 07 elantra is redesigned and different than the previous generation. hope this helps
cobas
yeah few people have driven both yet, since the '07 Elantra design is pretty new. Car and Driver included them both in the comparison and raved about the Mazda 3, basically said its head and shoulders above Elantra/Sentra/Corolla. It's also about $2,000 more expensive though.
evan938
my g/f just bought a 2007 mazda 3i touring...its auto, with the shiftronic thing, but i drive that as much as i can over my integra gsr. its comfortable, handles nicely, accelerates quickly...all around its a nice car

plus, it looks 10x better than the HD
cclngthr
I own an HD. I was looking for comfort in my choices (as well as price). I find it drives better than the XD.
elantraelite
QUOTE (cclngthr @ Nov 17 2006, 07:45 AM)
I own an HD. I was looking for comfort in my choices (as well as price). I find it drives better than the XD.
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^ That's good... I'd kinda hope so since it's a newer car...
cclngthr
QUOTE (elantraelite @ Nov 16 2006, 08:38 PM)
^ That's good... I'd kinda hope so since it's a newer car...
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For me, the HD seat is more comfortable on my back. I was also sliding around in the XD leather seat. Fuel mileage also is higher on the HD. I have 855 miles on the car and I filled up 3 times (just filled up for the 3rd time 2 days ago).
cobas
The price of the Mazda 3 is closer to a base Sonata than an Elantra I think.
oiml8
Car and Driver really did a disservice to the HD by comparing it with models that were not only more than $2000 more expensive but in the case of the Mazda 3 which comes with a 2.0L btw, they compared it to the 2.4L sport model $18885. They did this because it was the model they sent them. But that is about $2600 more than the HD. I would hope it is more sporty for $2600. It was the same deal with the Rabbit. The other car that beat it was the Honda Civic which has no useable rear seat for adults.

The Civic was wearing 205/55/16 89H Bridgestone Turanza EL400 M+S
The Mazda was wearing 205/50/17 88v Goodyear Eagle RS-A M+S
The Rabbit was wearing 205/55/17 91H Continental Contipro Contact M+S
The Elantra was wearing 205/55/16 89H Hankook Optimo H426 M+S

Particularly with the Mazda and the Rabbit, you cannot compare the tires. Those are performance tires that you could run in the winter. I drive on the Goodyears everyday btw. The Continental is basically the same as the Goodyear. The Hankook is simply a all season radial. The Bridgestone is an all season radial but reports put them wearing out in about 25k miles meaning that they are likely a soft compound, i.e. grippier.

Lest you think I'm criticizing CD, I'm not. These are the only models they were provided. They say that the manufacturers do not have as wide a selection of trim levels to choose from. I don't know if this is true or not but make sure you take into considerartion that you compare apples to apples. The Elantra finishing 3rd of 6 when 2 of the models that finished well ahead of it were sport models costing 2k-2.6k is not bad at all. And considering that Hyundai markets the car as a inexpensive, featured packed alternative to the Corolla, Civic, and Sentra (2 of which the Elantra beat btw) and not some sport-model-zip-through-traffic car. I think it is a great choice. Plus how hard is it to open up every tuner mag to find out what AEM product to buy for the Mazda or Rabbit or Civic. You become just another face in the crowd.
Ishtar
I think it would be more objective if C/D would use the same tires across all tires it tested (if not the same size).
xxxmonoxidechild
C/D tests cars as they are right from the factory, hence why tires are allways different. if they changed the tires for performance, they might as well change exhaust and such.
Ishtar
Maybe.

Except that tires, more than anything else, change the handling characteristics of a car. And they are cheap to replace ~$500 for a good set. So it's unfair to compare very similar cars if some manufacturers stack the deck with more agressive tires that wear out quickly, vs. more pedestrian tires that last a long time (hyundai).
cclngthr
My tires are the Khumo. They handle differently than the Hankook tires on the test vehicle (my car is the SE).

The other cars suspension is likely different than the Elantra as well. Those listed are designed for a sporty feel where the Elantra is intended as a lux vehicle.
Ishtar
They never seem to mention that part eh...
cclngthr
QUOTE (Ishtar @ Nov 18 2006, 02:30 PM)
They never seem to mention that part eh...
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What C/D does is compare apples to oranges. a Mazda 3 or VW Rabbit is designed for a racey feel with a sport tuned suspension. The Elantra is designed as a totally different type of vehicle. If they would compare cars that were designed similarly, we would get a better, more accurate result.
southpawboston
i test drove a mazda 3 S... and now i own one biggrin.gif

i would tend to agree with most of what's been posted above.

C/D shouldn't have compared a 3S with the elantra. a 3i sedan would have been a more appropriate comparison. my prediction on the 3i based on what i know of my 3S is that it still would have come in second, but by a larger margin. the margin of C/D's comparo was so close between 1st and second that it may well have been called a tie.

all i can say is that you have to drive them back to back. you can't go by what people say here. it's a "feel" thing.

but some things worth mentioning are:

the mazda3 suspension is clearly superior to the XD's. it's stiff, yet surprisingly compliant and even supple. it's stiffer than a stock XD GT. body roll is almost non-existent. cut-ins are razor sharp. forcing the car into a slide, you still feel completely in control, and can just steer the car back on track. interestingly, ALL mazda3's (base model up to the S GT) have the same suspension: same springs and spring rates, same shocks, same sway bars, etc. the only difference is rim size and rubber. so even buying a base model 3, you are basically buying a track-ready car.

as for engines, the 2.3 puts out 160hp/150lb-ft. but the 2.0 puts out only slightly lower numbers: 150hp/139lb-ft. frankly, i would have been perfectly happy with the 2.0L (which gets 35mpg hwy versus the 2.3L's 32mpg), but sadly, mazda doesn't offer a 5-door in anything other than the "S" model with 2.3L.

everything else, you just have to compare in person. some people love the 3's interior, others don't. some have called it cheap, some have called it superior to anything else out there. it's your call.

if you opt for a 3i touring, you can save a couple grand over the 3S, and still have a very capable car, minus some creature comforts. the price will be closer to that of an elantra SE... within about a grand.
cclngthr
I find the HD suspension better than the XD. The XD had too much body lean; whereas the HD leans, but it is reduced a lot. Of course, tires make a car do a lot, the tires on my HD are adequate, but they are not a performance tire. If I had 215-225/50/16's, I think the HD would be a totally different animal.
cobas
Ok, Colin, go drive a Mazda3. Aton, go drive an HD Elantra.
cclngthr
QUOTE (cobas @ Nov 18 2006, 09:40 PM)
Ok, Colin, go drive a Mazda3. Aton, go drive an HD Elantra.
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I wish I was in Boston... Anton could test out my car and I could ride his.
southpawboston
QUOTE (cclngthr @ Nov 19 2006, 11:04 AM)
I wish I was in Boston... Anton could test out my car and I could ride his.
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i wish i was in tacoma... colin could test out my car and i could ride his. biggrin.gif
cobas
Hmm.... yeah... if only there were other Mazda3's and Elantras in the world!
Doug4.7
I've test driven both cars. If I were going for a "sports car", I would get the Mazda 3. However, for the type of driving I do, the Elantra was a better "value". I ended up getting the Elantra.
jamhandman
I agree, also the Elantra is better....not a biased opinion at all!

:^)
Spectre
Overall, I prefer the Elantra. The Mazda3 is more fun to drive however. That isn't anything that a few mods on the Elantra can't change. smile.gif
cobas
Now we have to throw the Elantra Touring into the ring against the Mazda 3s hatchback. I think the result will be similar though: the Touring will have advantages in room, comfort, cargo space, warranty, fuel economy but the Mazda 3 will be quicker and more fun to drive fast. Anyone test-drive the Mazda 3 hatch and Elantra Touring?
cclngthr
QUOTE (cobas @ May 11 2009, 08:55 AM) *
Now we have to throw the Elantra Touring into the ring against the Mazda 3s hatchback. I think the result will be similar though: the Touring will have advantages in room, comfort, cargo space, warranty, fuel economy but the Mazda 3 will be quicker and more fun to drive fast. Anyone test-drive the Mazda 3 hatch and Elantra Touring?


The Elantra Touring and the Mazda 3 hatch (S Touring) offers a similar sized cargo/interior volume space and fuel mileage rating (looking at the specs) even though the engine size is 2.3 on the 09 S Toring and the 2010 3 has the 2.5 liter engine, which offers better mileage at 35 hywy. No 2.0 liter for the Mazda 3 hatch.
Alex2013GT
I wonder what the OP went with (since this thread is 2 1/2 years old)??? B)
cclngthr
QUOTE (Alex2004GT @ May 11 2009, 06:49 PM) *
I wonder what the OP went with (since this thread is 2 1/2 years old)??? B)


I wonder as well, but ironically, the Elantra Touring now is out and competing against the Mazda 3. I have not driven the Elantra Touring, but have tested the Mazda 3. I can't compare the Mazda against the HD because what I drove was the hatch and the HD is a sedan.
Carmilla
I tested the Mazda 3 Touring and the Elantra SE before buying my Elantra GLS.
Just due to power and interior I would have bought the Mazda.
I didn't cause they wanted 20k and I bought my New GLS for HALF of that.
But.... I also tested the Genesis Coupe, if I was willing to spend over 19k in a car, that's what I would get.
Drive it.
underider
I did indeed test both a week ago. 09 Elantra GLS manual vs 08 Mazdaspeed 3 manual. Depends on what you want. The Elantra was roomy, comfy, and quiet with easy to read and use dash stuff. Handled way better than an also tested 06 Altima 2.5 se auto that didn't do anything particularly well. What a mushmobile.
Anyhow the Elantra was only adequate for power but coupled with the 5 speed yeilds extreme mpg. The Mazdaspeed just runs like a scared jackrabbit. It's like lighting a series of rockets...there's some lag and then you'd better hang on to the wheel real good because it WILL tear out of your hands. This car will wake you up in the morning, no doubt about it. I bought the Elantra.

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