Poll: Hyundai Elantra GT Sport or Mazda3 5-Door?

Poll: Hyundai Elantra GT Sport or Mazda3 5-Door?

Hatchbacks, they’re versatile, usually pretty fuel efficient and more often than not, fun to drive.

Of all the examples available today, the Mazda3 is one of our favorites. Engaging in motion and easy on the eyes with an upscale cabin, it’s hard to beat. But Hyundai is looking to challenge Hiroshima with its brand-new 2018 Elantra GT.

Longer, lower and wider than before, this comprehensively overhauled compact car will be offered in two flavors when it reaches dealerships this summer, a base version and a Sport trim.

The latter offers a unique multi-link rear suspension, which should help it give the Zoom-Zoom Mazda a run for its money, though even the entry-level model was extensively tuned on the Nürburgring. While no guarantee of driving fun, this bodes well for the Hyundai’s road manners.

As for power, the Elantra GT Sport is motivated by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four that should be rated at 201 horses and 195 lb.-ft. of twist. This engine can be matched to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-ratio dual-clutch automatic.

In addition to all of this, the Elantra is available with the latest in-car infotainment technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has a HUGE interior. Behind its back seats there’s just shy of 25 cubic feet of cargo space; fold ‘em down and that figure grows to more than 55.

The Mazda isn’t nearly that capacious. Still, it offers a respectable 20.2 and 47.1 cubes, respectively.

Underhood, the most muscular engine available in the Mazda3 is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 184 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, numbers that are similar, if slightly behind the Hyundai’s. A six-speed manual or an automatic with the same number of ratios is offered. Either one sends torque to the front wheels.

As for amenities, the Mazda3 five-door can be had with a seven-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a nine-speaker Bose sound system and a host of driver-assistance features, things like rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking and rain-sensing wipers.

While we haven’t driven the brand-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, it looks, on paper at least, to be a winner. The Mazda is a known – and thoroughly enjoyable – quantity that just seems to get better with age. So, here’s the million-dollar question: Which of these cars would YOU rather own? Compare them here and make sure to vote in our poll!

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  • Andy Casagranda

    Hi Craig,
    Any idea when you guys are getting your hands on the new 18′ Elantra GT, for a test drive?
    I sat in one at the New York car show, and it’s definitely at the top of my list for new car consideration when they are released (hopefully this Summer). Thanks

  • wheineman ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I love my 13 Elantra GT and have to imagine that the 18 will beat it. I have driven everything in this class and dollar for dollar, this car bests them all.

  • Steve C

    One of the issues I do not like with the Mazda3 hatch is the poor rearward visibility. I think this will be better in the 2018 Elantra GT. I also wish Mazda would release the next generation Mazda3 soon and not in a few years.

  • ZJR

    I have to say, as a Mazda fan, that Elantra GT looks WAY better than the Mazda3. I’ve never been a fan of the weird looks of that car, especially from the side. The Elantra GT looks really good and refined. I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near as good to drive as a Mazda though.