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There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the market for a new compact car. And if you’re in the early stages of the shopping process, there’s a chance you’ve considered the 2022 Mazda3 or the 2022 Hyundai Elantra. Although both are excellent options and check many boxes, the 2022 Mazda3 has several advantages. Let’s see why it’s a great small car. 

The 2022 Mazda3 is available with all-wheel drive

2022 Mazda3 vs 2022 Hyundai Elantra
2022 Mazda3 (top) and 2022 Hyundai Elantra | Mazda North American Operations; Hyundai Motor America

Did you know the Mazda3 is one of the few cars in its class available with all-wheel drive? AWD is an available option for every Mazda3 trim level except the entry-level model. And if you’re wondering if AWD is worth the investment, know that it provides better all-weather traction and improved acceleration on dry pavement. 

Unfortunately, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra is not available with all-wheel drive. 

The Mazda3 is more fun to drive than the Elantra

Mazda is known for its fun-to-drive cars. And the 2022 Mazda3 is no different. This agile compact packs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. If you’re looking for more zoom-zoom, upgrade to the turbocharged engine. It adds the excitement you want without sacrificing efficiency. 

Also, keep in mind there’s a hatchback Mazda3 in addition to the sedan. The Elantra comes as only a sedan. 

Love a comfortable interior? You’ll appreciate the 2022 Mazda3

Premium interior without the hefty price tag? You’ll find it with the Mazda3. Inside, you’ll feel like you’re driving a luxury car, thanks to the high-quality materials in the cabin. Available features, such as genuine leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel elevate your driving experience.

The Mazda3 has more standard features than the Elantra

When it comes to standard features, the 2022 Mazda3 has a lot to offer. For example, the standard 8.8-inch infotainment display is user-friendly and controlled by a console-mounted rotary knob. However, if you want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, you’ll have to go a trim level higher. 

On the other hand, the Elantra comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. But the Mazda3 features an eight-speaker audio system with Mazda Harmonic Acoustics for crystal-clear sound. Other standard features include:

  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches
  • Remote keyless entry system
  • Push-button start
  • Manual day/night rearview mirror
  • Electronic parking brake
  • 12-volt power outlet 

Is the 2022 Mazda3 right for you?


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The 2022 Mazda3 might be right for you if you want a small car with many standard features, available AWD, and a comfortable interior. Although the 2022 Hyundai Elantra is also a good option, you won’t find a hatchback version or some of the features the Mazda3 boasts. 

However, the 2022 Elantra starts at about $1,000 under the 2022 Mazda3, which starts at $21,150, according to Mazda. So if the price is a significant factor in your decision-making, the Hyundai might be worth a look.