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Skip The Mazda3 And Buy The Hyundai Elantra Instead

Buying a sporty, newer model sedan doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds, but every year car manufacturers are stepping up their game to improve on well-known cars and produce even better versions. Two cars that seem to be crowd favorites and well within an affordable price range brand new are the Mazda3 and the Hyundai Elantra – and while it might seem hard to pick between the two, there might be some reasons to pick the Elantra when it comes time to actually buy.

What the Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra share

The Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra do have a lot in common that makes them great head-to-head competitors in the sedan market. The first point being price, where the Mazda3 begins at around $21,500 and the Hyundai Elantra costs about $19,300 to start they are well within the same price range.

A 2020 Hyundai Elantra on display at an auto show
A 2020 Hyundai Elantra | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

They are also in the same realm of fuel economy, although this is where the Elantra starts to win. The Mazda3 does get comparable gas mileage, getting a reported 27mpg in the city and 36mpg on the highway, making it a great option for anyone who drives often like commuters. The Elantra gets better gas mileage, however, with 33mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway.

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Hatchback fans won’t be disappointed here, as both the Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra are available with sporty hatchback body styles. This is one factor that makes them more competitive because although the market for hatchbacks is very niche, there aren’t many options for buying them brand new.

What sets the Elantra apart

The Mazda3 is not a bad car, and by comparison, the Elantra isn’t any better of a car, but there are a lot of options that make the Elantra the more desirable option.

For one, the Mazda3 is offered as a sedan or hatchback body with just a few variations in trim level, all within less than a $10,000 difference in prices between the base model to the highest trim level available.

a gray Mazda3 Sedan in motion on a scenic dirt road
2020 Mazda3 | Mazda

The Elantra, on the other hand, seems to have an endless amount of options and trim levels, with a total of almost 10 different options from the base model up to the highest trim level, the Sport. Like the Mazda3, jumping from the lowest model to the highest or anything in between stays within a tight, reasonable price range, not varying more than a few thousand dollars in any option.

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Where the Elantra really stands out is the level of comfort that it provides. It is designed to be a daily driven car, and you would feel comfortable driving it to work every day or driving it across the country. It is well insulated from road noise and gives you plenty of space to stretch out, especially in the hatchback body style.

Both the Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra are good, reliable cars that have a lot to offer, but it seems like the Elantra has more options to choose from and more variation between trim levels.