Hatchbacks are slowly but surely becoming all the rage these days – mainly due to their practicality and affordability. That’s why when you are forced to choose between two hatchbacks that are as impressive as the Hyundai Elantra GT and Mazda3, you might find yourself in a somewhat challenging situation. But, don’t fret – we’re here to compare the two vehicles and give you a proper winner.
Note that we’re taking a look at the 2014 versions here, but most of the points we bring up apply to the newer models as well!
2014 Hyundai Elantra GT
The Elantra GT – the hatchback alternative to the Elantra sedan/coupe – effortlessly delivers an impressive combination of power, fuel economy, cabin space and tech features. It’s a perfect example of why the Hyundai brand no longer deserves to be described as “cheap.”
Thanks to its solid resale value and high quality ratings (for the segment), the Elantra GT has become a true competitor to the likes of the Ford Focus and Mazda3. But, the vehicle’s greatest achievement is its generous amount of interior space, which rivals that of certain midsize sedans, making it a bargain in the truest sense of the word.
- The GT’s one and only 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine boasts 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, easily surpassing the 2.0-litre four-cylinder on the base Mazda3, which delivers only 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.
- The base model boasts high-level features like heated mirrors, air conditioning and a trip computer.
- Offers more cargo space than the Mazda3 – regardless of whether the rear seat is up or down.
- The GT’s exterior design isn’t as sporty or stylish as that of the Mazda3.
- Some of the interior bits still feel “cheap.”
- The base model does not offer keyless entry, despite costing almost $1,500 more than the base offering from Mazda.
- Lacks a more powerful alternative to its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Mazda3, on the other hand, offers a 2.5-litre four-cylinder, which can produce 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.
- The vehicle’s cabin offers significantly less leg and head room than the Mazda3.
2014 Mazda Mazda3
The Mazda3 is all new for 2014, delivering the full suite of Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies, while utilising a new design language known as Kodo. The hatchback version of the vehicle now looks much sportier and boasts a more practical five-door configuration. It also provides a selection of two fuel-efficient engines along with safety features that are impressive enough to surpass those on the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra GT.
- The Mazda3’s exterior is much snazzier and sportier than that of the Elantra GT.
- The interior features plenty of high-quality materials and finishes, along with user-friendly control layouts.
- The base model offers keyless entry, while costing almost $1,500 less than the base version of the Elantra GT.
- Despite its relatively weak base 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, the Mazda3 does offer a more powerful alternative in the form a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that can produce 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.
- The hatchback’s cabin offers significantly more leg and head room than the Elantra GT.
- The Mazda3’s base 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine can only produce 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, while the Elantra GT’s base engine boasts 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque.
- The base model lacks more upscale features like air conditioning, heated mirrors and a trip computer – all of which are present on the Elantra GT.
- Despite providing more passenger space than the Elantra GT, Mazda3’s cargo area is visibly smaller – regardless of whether the rear seat is up or down.
WINNER: 2014 Mazda Mazda3
REASON: As much as we admire the Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda3’s snazzy exterior design, more powerful engine and superior cabin more than make up for any downsides the vehicle may have. It’s also less taxing on the wallet, which is a big bonus as far we are concerned.