In the past few years both Hyundai and Mazda have taken great steps to bring a luxury look and feel to their vehicles, especially the mid-sized sedan. For 2016, Hyundai updated the Elantra in an attempt to gain a larger segment of this ultra-competitive market. Today we are going to look at how this new 2016 Elantra compares to the 2016 Mazda 3, which many consider to be a leader in economical luxury and style.
Trying to determine which car is “better looking” is difficult as so much of the external look is subjective. That being said, with the 2016 Elantra, Hyundai did an impressive job of upping the style factor. The front grille was updated to be a prominent chrome piece which fits in with other vehicles in the Hyundai family. In addition, the 2016 Elantra still has a very impressive drag coefficient of 0.3 which is difficult to do on a small car. The overall look is very fluid and impressive from any viewpoint. The 2016 Mazda3 continues with the redesign done in 2014. The body is longer than the Elantra, and although it does capture a stylish and dynamic look, the end result is not quite as aerodynamic as the 2016 Elantra.
Both these cars come with an impressive array of technology on the interior depending on which trim package you are considering purchasing. Both bring a very luxurious look to the interior with stylish gauges and controls as well as detailed trim pieces inserted in various places. The 2016 Elantra has push button start and a 7” touchscreen, although the latter is only available on higher trim packages. The 2016 Mazda 3 features a more impressive touchscreen and control set up that is very European in its design. They also feature six-way power seats, although only on high end models. The 2016 Elantra however features a ridiculous eight-way power seat on all models. Finally, the 2016 Elantra boasts considerably more cabin room especially in the back seat where the Mazda 3 is notorious for being a very tight fit.
The 2016 Elantra has upgraded to a 173-hp 2.0L engine. This compares to the Mazda 3’s 155-hp 2.0L engine. It should be noted that the Mazda 3 GT does get a 2.5L 184-hp upgrade as well, although that comes at a cost of an extra $5000. Both vehicles perform well with their various engine specifications, but the extra horsepower in the Elantra is a nice fit with the 6-speed transmission both cars feature. The 2016 Elantra also is a quieter ride, especially on the highway where the engine is sitting at a constant higher rpm. The 2016 Mazda 3 can get a little noisy around that 2000RPM mark.
Overall the 2016 Elantra is a great re-design from Hyundai and does a lot to match up to the Mazda 3. Numerous aspects come down to driver’s preference, so be sure to check out both and make the decision for yourself.