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Help Me Choose!

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  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    The current issue of Popular Mechanics tested the Elantra and got well over 40MPG hwy when driven at 55MPH - the mileage dropped to below 40MPG at 70 MPH. Mileage is very driver dependent.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    edited March 2012
    First, the Elantra and Civic and likely the Corolla will give you better FE than a current-gen Accord. You could likely find a good used 2008+ Accord for a similar price as a new Elantra, but it won't have a factory warranty unless it's a CPO car. Of course the Accord has more room--it's rated a full-sized car by the EPA. If you want that kind of room, you should be looking at the Accord plus its competitors e.g. Altima, Camry, Fusion, Mazda6, Sonata, Optima. FWIW, you might be able to get a new Altima 2.5S or Fusion for not much more than an Elantra GLS, as the Altima and Fusion are discounted pretty heavily (they are due for a redesign very soon). Same for the 2012 Malibu, good clearance deals on those before the 2013s come in. But those are all "mid-sized" cars--a size up or more from the Civic, Corolla, and Elantra.

    If you like a lot of back-seat room, the Jetta might be the best "compact" in that area. But the base Jetta has an anemic 115 hp engine and the dash is pretty chintzy. Has a nice low price, however.

    I've driven the Elantra several times, have driven several current-gen Corollas, and have taken the 2012 Civic LX on a long test drive (5MT). IMO the Elantra is clearly the tops in that group, and the Corolla at the bottom. The Civic wasn't terrible but I like the dash of the Elantra much better than the Civic's, and the Elantra has more back seat leg room. The Corolla has a cheap interior IMO and the least back seat room of the bunch. Also I find it uncomfortable to drive. It's possible you'd get a little higher FE with the Civic, but you have to decide if that is most important to you. You might find you can get a Civic LX for less money than an Elantra GLS.

    Be sure you take the cars on a LONG test drive before plopping down your hard-earned money.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    This is true. I really have wanted the Elantra for almost a year now and have test driven in 4 or 5 times. I dont like the looks or style of the corolla or civic and I didn't like the style of the elantra before 2011 but now I can't get it out of my head. All these tests people have done with the mileage and trying to see if it has the 40 mpg highway is something I don't care to do when I get it. Anything will be better than what the 18 I am getting now. I keep my cars a long time (2001 for the mustang and 1995 Montero which i currently have) and I plan on trading in the mustang and keeping this car a very long time. I just want to be sure. Hyundai in the past hasn't had the name like Honda or Toyota so I guess part of me worries about the name. I know when I bought the mitsubishi back in 1995, people told me you will have problems and that Montero has been the best car I have ever had.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    The only reason I threw the honda accord in there is that is what my son has had forever and tells me all the time how great they are. I want a new car as I have never had a new one, so a used accord isn't an option.

    I have never driven a civic. Maybe I should drive one just to make sure I would or wouldn't want one. I have driven a Toyota, but again I don't like the looks of it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    If you want to be more sure that you'll get the fuel economy you want on an Elantra, why not rent one for a week? Rental companies like Enterprise have them. Then drive it as you normally would during the week. Sure, it will cost you a couple hundred bucks or more to rent the car for the week, but it will be worth it to make sure the Elantra is the car for you. It's not much money in the grand scheme of things, given you want to keep the car for a long time.
  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    Forget the Civic. Honda did a bad job updating the latest Civic, so much so that Consumer Reports doesn't recommend it and Honda is going to have to revise the update as soon as it can. The previous version of the car was great to drive, but both the previous one and the current one aren't particularly great when it comes to safety ratings. I say this as a loyal Honda owner -- all three of my family's vehicles are Hondas. But the newest is a 2006. The company has been off its game the past few years.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    backy, great idea to rent one. What do you think of the Elantras?

    mr qone - thanks for that info on the civic. The civic just seems small to me. I like the room in the elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I am looking to buy a hatchback next year and the new Elantra GT hatch is on my list to consider. But it's not available until later this year. I like the Elantra sedan ok, especially the cockpit and rear seat room, which is huge for a compact, but I prefer the Mazda3, Focus, Golf, and Impreza in terms of ride/drive. Of the 3 you are considering, I prefer the Elantra.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    So I am assuming the GT has a bigger engine? (thinking of my ford mustang GT) How is the gas mileage suppose to be? Someone I know just bought the Mazada 3 touring skyactive, which is suppose to be even better gas mileage than the Elantra. I Hadn't considered the mazda, but my daughter has a Mazda 6 and loves it. Does the mazda 3 have a good warranty?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    No, same powertrain on sedan and GT but GT has an adjustable steering feel and sport-tuned suspension, also a different dash (which I like better than the sedan's), several more features/options including backup camera and panoramic sunroof (which I don't need but some people may like them), and of course the hatchback configuration with more rear headroom and cargo room, which includes a flat-folding rear seat (with a flip-up rear seat bottom). Projected FE on the GT will be very close to that of the sedan, I think I saw 1 mpg less.

    You might want to check out the Mazda3 Skyactiv, if you don't need a lot of rear seat legroom. It doesn't get better mpg than the Elantra but is very close, and is a blast to drive especially with the short-throw stick. All new Mazdas sold in the USA have the same warranty, AFAIK.
  • ajfinoakajfinoak Posts: 58
    I am also considering the Elantra GT as an option as I want a hatchback. Also considering the Veloster as I have another 4 door car and like that the Veloster is so different (and also has the 10 year warranty). It has a more premium and solid feel than the others. Also looking at the Ford Focus which I ruled out due to the DSG troublesome tranny- Ford still has not resolved. Drove the Mazda 3 Skyactiv which I liked although, it seems cheaper inside than the Hyundai's and if you drive on hills (I live in SF) the new auto is very sluggish to downshift which helps economy but results in harder acceleration to get it to a jerky downshift. Hoping the Elantra GT comes out soon so I can at least see one. Too bad Honda has nothing interesting to offer- I have had many Hondas and Acuras.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    Ok, a camera on the back? For what. I guess I am not up on the new technology and what is a panoramic sun roof? So wiht the sport tuned suspension it's better around curves etc? I don't really need alot of room in the back because normally there will only be one person in the car or two. I really like the looks of the GT
    I think the maza 3 skyactiv is a little more than the elantra but it's a nice looking car also.
    sorry for all the questions, but you seem like you have done a lot of research.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Backup camera: to avoid hitting something/someone behind you. May not be too long before they are standard in all new cars.

    Panoramic sun roof: think "really big sunroof", as in covering most of the roof. Meh.

    I don't know that real-world price on the Skyactiv is much more than the Elantra's. There aren't the huge discounts on the mainstream Hyundais any more, like there used to be. Since you don't need a lot of back seat room, might be worth checking out the Mazda3. Also have you driven the Focus? Back seat isn't very roomy, but has very nice blend of ride and handling, and price is helped by incentives.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    Ok that makes sense. It would be interesting to see that camera in action. I know the dealership I am going through, if I get the elantra, offers a 1,200 discount to finance through them. The Gls I was looking it is 17,335 before taxes and with that discount. My 2001 ford mustang gt they are giving 7,000 in trade. I think the Mazda 3 skyactiv that I saw online was 19,245 so it might be a little more in my area. ((Utah)

    No I haven't driven a focus. Not quite sure I like the looks of it. I guess that's why I keep looking at the Elantra. I just love the style of that car. The xm radio is a plus too.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    When I think of sunroof, I think "terrarium".

    The thing is, unless it opens fully, like a window (Moonroofs are a joke), it's not actually anything more than yet another windshield to look out of. Except that most of them are so far back that you'd have to look sideways as a driver to see anything. (ie - if it was open, you'd at least feel the wind)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I like the glass moonroofs that tilt up or slide all the way into the roof. Provides a little of that convertible feel, also the tilt feature helps keep the interior cooler on sunny days. But I can do without the "panoramic" moonroofs.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Hey, instead of talking about greenhouses you can drive one. I like sunroofs, but I'm not sure I like that panoramic thing, and I'm wondering if I can get it with everything except the rays...
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I used to own a truck that had a huge oversized glass moonroof, and for the size of the cab, it was equivalent to a panoramic sunroof. the top three inches of the interior were consistently 15-20 degrees hotter than the rest of the car, even with the AC on full.

    I'd end up with heat fatigue in the summer from a roasted head unless I pointed all of the vents at the roof.

    Really bad idea.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm wondering how it would handle the weight of several inches of heavy wet snow and a stiff snow brush myself.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Now that the 2012 Passat starts at under $20,000, I think it should be added to this discussion. Although it's not my dream car by any stretch, I just purchased one after looking at everything else on the market. It broke my string of three straight Accords. I'm still bothered by the exterior design, but I'm happy with the car...and the price :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    This is a general "help me choose" discussion for sedans, regardless of price. And, we have a limit to the number of vehicles we can list in the header, and those are generally selected based on traffic/interest in those vehicles site-wide.

    However, you are most welcome to discuss the Passat here, and any other sedan that strikes your fancy.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I'm leaning towards the Mazda 3 hatchback, but the biggest drawback for me is the rear seat leg room - it wouldn't be a dedicated family car, but it would be nice to get my kids to drive in the back on occasion - these are 5'10" teenagers.

    Does the Elantra offer much more legroom - or is there any other car in the Mazda 3's class that offers a better back seat option?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    edited March 2012
    I am 5'9-1/2" and found the leg room fine in the Mazda3 for occasional use. I wouldn't want to ride more than a couple of hours back there, but I did not feel cramped.

    For compact hatches, I think the cars with the most rear legroom (based on my "sit" tests) are the Prius (much different kind of car than the Mazda3 of course), followed by the Elantra (based on the sedan, since the Elantra GT isn't available yet), Impreza, and Golf. The Versa hatch, subcompact in length, has tons of rear legroom also--maybe the roomiest of any of these cars. But it's a class down from the Mazda3--cheaper though! Forte hatch has pretty good rear leg room also, but for the money I'd rather go with the Elantra.

    FWIW, the current Elantra hatch, the Touring, has limo-like rear leg room, but it's an old design and not nearly as nice and economical as the new Elantra.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,285
    The Golf has WAY more backseat room than the mazda3. I'm 6'5" and could still have an adult sit behind me.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Hi,
    I've drove the Optima and was impressed with the room inside - it actually borders on being too big imo. biggest drawback for me was the dead feel in the stearing that Edmunds mentions. For the Sonata - Edumunds doesn't mention this con (dead stearing wheel). Has any compared the two - I have a hard time believing there would be a difference. I prefer the Optima style and their base packages are less confusing than the Sonata.

    Is it worth test driving the Sonata? or are we really talking the same car?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    If you don't like the steering in the Optima, I doubt you'll like it in the Sonata. The Optima is supposed to have more feel of the road than the Sonata.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    You need to try the VW Golf/GTI. I've ridden in a GTI, often, and the back seat is suprisingly large! Plus, the thing drives GREAT and the interior quality is awesome!
  • according to Edmunds, the gti has less room in the back seat than the Mazda 3 - it have a lower gas milege rating and it cost more. at least that's what I found in comparing the two.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    edited March 2012
    Comparing MT hatches to MT hatches, the Golf (2 door) costs less than the lowest-priced Mazda3 hatch (4 door). The GTI is the top Golf trim, so you need to compare it to a comparable Mazda3s trim. And the Mazda3s does not get the same great fuel economy as the Mazda3i with Skyactiv. Also the GTI has 200 hp--topped in the Mazda3 only by the Mazdaspeed3.

    I recently did a sit-test in the Mazda3 and Golf within a few minutes of each other and found the Golf to have more rear-seat leg room, with the driver's seat adjusted comfortably for me (5'9-1/2").
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,285
    I said the same thing as Backy. The Golf/GTI has way more room, both in front and back. And, yes, you'd have to compare GTI to mazdaspeed3 and Golf to Mazda3s.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

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