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Discussion Starter #1
I've test driven Mazda3's a couple of times and liked them a lot.

Last night I test drove a Hyundai Elantra GT and was impressed by it, particularly given the present price with rebate. While the overall feel and quality do not match the Mz3, nor is it quite as fast, I felt it offered great value.

The Elantra GT I testdrove had the following features:

- Leather seats
- Sunroof, powered
- 4 wheel disc brakes
- ABS
- Traction Control
- Side Air Bags
- A/C
- Power windows, door locks, mirrors
- Rear lip spoiler
- 5-door Hatchback
- 15" alloy wheels with Michelin MXV4 tires
- Sport Suspension with heavy-duty stablizer bar & fully independent multi-link rear susp.
- 6 speaker sound system with Kenwood CD (MP3-compatible)
- 2.0L 135hp engine, timed at 0-60 in 8.4
- 5-spd manual transmission.
- 5 yr, 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 10 yr, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty

List price was a very low $16.7K (US dollars). Until 3/1, Hyundai is giving a $2000 rebate. Dealer threw in an additional $1200 discount, bringing the final price quote to $13,500 even. That's for a brand new 2004 model with less than 10 miles on it.

I was stunned by that price.

This car is definitely a notch below the Mz3 on refinement and performance, but my goodness is it a lot less expensive. After looking over the Elantra GT, I can now understand how Mazda is making a profit on the Mz3.

The sedan version of this car was the winner of Edmunds' best sedan under $15,000 last year, before being supplanted by the Mz3i this year. However the sub-$15K 3i is missing several of the features listed above, such as the hatchback, sunroof, leather, 60K warranty, and more.
 

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I think you'll get MZ3 recommendation more cause you're in a Mazda3 forum :lol: :lol:
Hyundai has a lot of improvement from the last 10 yrs, so it is a great car also, but it may have lower resale value after several yrs than the MZ3. I would say just get whatever you want to have.
 

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Comparison? There is no comaprison! :crazy:

Seriously, the Mazda is light years ahead of any Hyundai, and the resale value of the Hyundai will be depressing.

I've always gone with the "get what you want, want what you get" frame of mind........
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As one who has test driven both, these cars are much closer than what some of you allot. As I stated on multiple times in the first post, the Mz3 is better, but nowhere near "light years ahead." The mere fact that it was #1 on the 2003 Edmunds list in the <$15K catagory is proof enough that it is a good car. The Elantra GT is a surprisingly well-executed European-style hatchback, drawing several positive reviews from European mags, which frequently referred to it as a "mini-Saab."

Resale means nothing to me, my average length of ownership for a new car is 11 years, none of them are worth anything after that.

I was looking for any comments from people familar with both, but I guess few are.

Oh, and it had a few more options that I didn't list, like fog lights, remote key entry, and trip computer.

Here's an older review from Road & Track, they've made some improvements since then, such as adding Varible Valve Timing to the engine, which broadened the powerband.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=6&article_id=81&page_number=1&preview=

I understand this forum defending the Mz3, and have noted its superiority. But I think to get a 3S with all of these options would run upwards of $20,000.
 

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DON'T DO IT! NOOOOO! I owned an Elantra. I took it in every 2 months for something! and the resale value is horrendous. Ok, so resale doesn't matter to you, but the Elantra does not hold up well. Things broke all the freaking time. One plus though: the elantra in 2000 had the most comfortable seats I have ever been in.
 

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I know one person who owns a Hyundai. He bought a brand new Tiburon last year and it's been towed to the dealership twice - TWICE - in one year. Personally if I buy a new car I want to bring it to the dealer for routine maintinance and nothing else. I've seen no major mechanical problems mentioned so far by any member of this board. The Mz3 may cost a few grand more, but you're paying for quality.
 

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Bombadil,

Have you driven a 3 yet? If so, which model and how did it compare to the Elantra? What about fit and finish? Yeah, it is a less expensive car so you would expect the 3 to be better overall, just like there are better cars than the 3 that cost more. However, It sounds like you get a lot for your money in the Elantra. Hyundai's quality has improved quite a bit and resale is not quite as bad as some might think. They are much much better than when they first came out in 1986. I am still not sure I would buy the Hyundai but I can afford and can justify coughing up the extra coin for the 3. If your budget limits you to $13,500 then it sounds like a good option.

BTW, if you go to carsdirect.com you can get it for less than $13,500.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you read the first line in the first post in this thread, you will notice that I said I have testdriven the Mz3 twice. They were both 3S, one with auto, one with manual. I have also spent several minutes looking it over at two different autoshows. And I stated several times in that first post that I found the 3 to be a better car. No question about that.

Reliability is a big issue, and you are right - Hyundai is improving.

Note this article:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2003-03-11-cr-picks_x.htm

And this one:

http://www.carpages.co.uk/hyundai/h...charts_27_09_03.asp?switched=on&echo=11718955
 

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There has been an exhaustive comparison between the Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3 on Edmunds forums. In the end, all parties agreed that the Elantra does not directly compete with the Mazda3. People will not have difficulty choosing between these two cars. If you want a lot of features for a little bit of money, then the Elantra is it. If you want a higher quality vehicle with better driving dynamics, then the Mazda3 is it.
 

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LeeLee said:
There has been an exhaustive comparison between the Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3 on Edmunds forums. In the end, all parties agreed that the Elantra does not directly compete with the Mazda3. People will not have difficulty choosing between these two cars. If you want a lot of features for a little bit of money, then the Elantra is it. If you want a higher quality vehicle with better driving dynamics, then the Mazda3 is it.
Exactly what he said.
 

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Bragging rights

If you want bragging rights, buy a 3. If you want a car that's Point A to B, buy a Hyundai.
 

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I actually owned a elantra, like i said above, and have test driven a 3. THEY DO NOT COMPARE. I can not state this enough. You will be in the Hyundai dealership all the time, they get to know your name, it's that bad. I would much rather take a stripped down 3-hell, even one that's been in a major accident, over another Elantra. Yes, you get your features, but if reliability is an issue, go with the 3. The 3 might have it's problems in the beginning b/c it's a first year car, but all of my mazdas, even my 12 year old mazda 626, had way better reliability than my brand new Elantra.
 

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"People will not have difficulty choosing between these two cars. If you want a lot of features for a little bit of money, then the Elantra is it. If you want a higher quality vehicle with better driving dynamics, then the Mazda3 is it."

Yeah I'd agree with LeeLee.

Hyandai's have come a VERY long way since my 87 Excel that I drove back in high school that I drove into into the ground (and it kept going). I'd even go so far to say that if I was looking for a budget car or a second car I would consider them though I'd still likely just buy a better car used.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
csweeney said:
You will be in the Hyundai dealership all the time, they get to know your name, it's that bad.
Statistics from the 1990s support this claim.

Statistics from 2002-2004 do not, note that in last year's Consumer Reports survey on reliability (URL was cited earlier) that Hyundai moved up to tie Honda for #2, just behind Toyota and actually well ahead of Mazda. Likewise a separate study conducted in England had Hyundai moving up to 6th place out of 23 manufacturers on reliability.

Personally, I was quite surprised to learn this as I was familiar with how poor those numbers were in the 90s.

Apparently this is an outgrowth of Hyundai's decision to offer the long warranties as standard options. For when they did that, when the cars were unreliable, they were being eaten alive on warranty repairs. So they instituted a massive quality improvement program and have reduced warranty expenses by up to 50% on some models. Thus reliability is now approaching the best in the industry. Hard to believe this is true for Hyundai.

As to driving fun, again it is much better than what some here are saying. Take a look at this recent review:
http://www.automotive.com/reviews/12/2004/hyundai/elantra/intro-lineup/index.html

A paragraph from their driving impression section reads:
"What impressed us most was the Elantra GT's balance of ride and handling, which replicates the style of a good European sedan. Some cars that cost $25,000 don't have speed-sensitive power steering or a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, but Elantra has both. The steering requires only a light touch during parking maneuvers or in tight quarters, yet it firms up at travel speeds and gives the driver a good idea of how well the front tires are gripping. The rear suspension keeps the tires firmly on the pavement, even on bumpy roads, to keep the rear of the car from bouncing around."

Just because there are a lot of dogs from Hyundai from the 80s and 90s, and maybe even some current models, doesn't mean they aren't building some nice, fun-to-drive, reliable cars today.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
LeeLee said:
If you want a lot of features for a little bit of money, then the Elantra is it. If you want a higher quality vehicle with better driving dynamics, then the Mazda3 is it.
I agree, and this is essentially what I said in the original post in this thread.
 

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Bombadil said:
csweeney said:
You will be in the Hyundai dealership all the time, they get to know your name, it's that bad.
Statistics from the 1990s support this claim.

Statistics from 2002-2004 do not, note that in last year's Consumer Reports survey on reliability (URL was cited earlier) that Hyundai moved up to tie Honda for #2, just behind Toyota and actually well ahead of Mazda. Likewise a separate study conducted in England had Hyundai moving up to 6th place out of 23 manufacturers on reliability.

Personally, I was quite surprised to learn this as I was familiar with how poor those numbers were in the 90s.

Apparently this is an outgrowth of Hyundai's decision to offer the long warranties as standard options. For when they did that, when the cars were unreliable, they were being eaten alive on warranty repairs. So they instituted a massive quality improvement program and have reduced warranty expenses by up to 50% on some models. Thus reliability is now approaching the best in the industry. Hard to believe this is true for Hyundai.

As to driving fun, again it is much better than what some here are saying. Take a look at this recent review:
http://www.automotive.com/reviews/12/2004/hyundai/elantra/intro-lineup/index.html

A paragraph from their driving impression section reads:
"What impressed us most was the Elantra GT's balance of ride and handling, which replicates the style of a good European sedan. Some cars that cost $25,000 don't have speed-sensitive power steering or a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, but Elantra has both. The steering requires only a light touch during parking maneuvers or in tight quarters, yet it firms up at travel speeds and gives the driver a good idea of how well the front tires are gripping. The rear suspension keeps the tires firmly on the pavement, even on bumpy roads, to keep the rear of the car from bouncing around."

Just because there are a lot of dogs from Hyundai from the 80s and 90s, and maybe even some current models, doesn't mean they aren't building some nice, fun-to-drive, reliable cars today.
well, given the stance you're taking, looks like you already made up your mind.. if you feel the need to defend the hyundai so fervently.. just buy the hyundai.. sounds to me like you're more into the elantra than the 3 right now.
 

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Well, I think he's honestly comparing the two, and he did ask for someone who had owned or driven one I think, and I chimed in, but evidently my experiences are too old for the current models. I still would never go buy another one again. My mother-in-law also bought an Elantra the same day as us-she doesn't have it either, too many problems.

My car was a 2000-don't see how that fit into the article. Yeah, Hyundai used to have a bad rep, and still does. Service was excellent, though this could have been b/c it was at a mazda/hyundai dealership.

Also, I hope you are reading the warranty information clearly. Hyundai has a 10 year powertrain warranty. The bumper to bumper warranty is 5 yrs/60K miles. And even at that, they are just like everyone else, wear and tear warranty is one year. so, really, their warranty is no longer than anyone elses, except the powertrain. Here's the link to the warranty info if you don't already have it: here
 

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Yes and these days you pretty much should expect that any car out there should get 10 years out of the powertrain if not bagged on and maintained regularly so I don't necessarily fall into the 10 year hype column.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, I know the details of the warranty. Again, they are listed in the first post pretty clearly.

I had two Chrysler products where the powertrains did not make it through 70,000 miles.

Got a quote on a 3S Hatch today, with leather, moonroof, & ABS/SAC. Under the S-plan and with $500 Mazda loyalty rebate, it came to $17,766 (list $19,765). So that's a difference of $4266. Both seem to be very good values, no complaints about what is being offered at either price.

Took another spin in the 3S, man that is one smooth clutch.
 
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