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Hyundai Elantra GT vs. Mazda Protege5



  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Actually, the 195/50R-16 Dunlop SP5000's that come on the Pro5 are not unreasonably priced (TireRack $81). Replacements wouldn't be horrid, same-sized Pirelli P6000's are only $59. Kumho ECSTA Supra 712's are only $61. Those are decent prices for performance tires.

    I definately see your point though. I won't go bigger then 16's on anything I buy simply because replacement tire cost starts to really get up there. The price jump from 16's to 17's, fo the same tire, can be huge.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    You're right. There are some tires with a decent price available for the P5. However, the Pirelli and Dunlop tires are VERY soft and will likely have to be replaced every 20,000 miles - not something I would want to have to do. The Kumho's have a higher treadwear rating and would likely be a decent-wearing tire, but I wonder about this tire's long-term quality. Anyone know anything about the long-term reliability of Kumho tires?

    I myself am struggling between purchasing the Elantra GT vs the P5. It's a tough decision!
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Did the comparison test on the link you provided for the Elantra GT and Pro-5. Thanks. However, one line item on the Elantra is inaccurate. All Elantras, GLS and GT, have optional traction/stability control. It is package 5 on the GLS and package 2 on the GT. The site lists it as "unavailable." This is bundled with ABS on the GLS and ABS and a moonroof on the GT.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Yup, the stickier the tire, the quicker it wears. It's a tradeoff for increased handling. I would run dedicated snows in the winter (15") but still, I would be replaceing tires ever 2 years or so.. not too bad, but I definately see your point.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Kumho tires aren't bad at all. I have real cheap 13" Kumho tires on my 00 Hyundai Accent and they show very little wear after 16,500 miles. I haven't even needed to rebalance them yet, which is quite an accomplishment for such cheap tires. They have surprisingly good grip in the dry (they have only squealed once in a very fast turn) and are reasonably ok in hydroplane resistance, but overall wet traction is its downside. The front brakes tend to lock up quite easily if the ground is moist and the little 92 horse engine can easily overpower the right tire and make it spin fruitlessly in the rain. The tires are also very quiet and comfortable riding. Overall, I have been quite impressed with these Korean tires and would have no problem buying a Kumho tire over a Michelin. Someone else in the Accent forum has put 52K on his original set of Kumho tires and has praised them for its excellent wear and its resistance to losing air pressure and balance. If the cheap OEM brand tires hold up this well, I have to believe the higher performance ones should be just as good quality wise.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Good to hear about the good experiences with Kumho tires. I'd considered buying them from time to time, but was worried about how well they would last, their performance, belt strength, etc. The last time I bought a generic tire (Continental, I think it was), it developed a bubble in its sidewall after only 10,000 miles of non-aggressive driving.

    Pro5 or Elantra GT? I don't know if I'll be able to decide this one until I drive them both.
  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    I am currently the Owner of the Hyundai Santa Fe and I will look forward for buying the Elantra Gt as well. Here is what I like about the Elantra GT that other company do not offer; An optional of TRACTION CONTROL on the Elantra GT plus the rear SWAY BAR. So overall what I like and plan to buy the top model by 2002:

    1. Side Airbags (safety)
    2. 4 Independent Suspension (smooth ride)
    3. Traction Control (Cornering, Safety, etc.)
    4. Sway Bar (Cornering, Curb wide turn)
    5. Price and Warranty (Best in its class)
    6. Leather Seats (luxury look)
    7. 28.3 cubic ft-rear seats fold (many cargo space)
    8. 25/35 city/hiway MPG (Great w/ sport car ride)
    9. Sun/Moonroof (nice with good price)
    10. ABS (another safety feature)
    11. 3-Point seat belts/pretensioners w/ force limiters

    Here is a list of its competitors:
    1. Mazda Protege5
    2. Subara Impreza Sportwagon
    3. Ford Focus Z5
    4. Pontiac Vibe
    5. Toyota Matrix
    6. Volkswagon Golf
    7. ***Elantra GT***
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    You can buy a 5 speed for around $15k and an auto for $16k or under. That plus the can't beat it, although base GLSs for around $10k or less are the ultimate deal in terms of pounds and content for the dollar.
  • hung0820hung0820 Posts: 426
    Yes! The price on the 5 speed quite awesome as well. I will be getting the 4-speed Auto because my wife can not drive Manual Gear. With the Santa Fe right Now; I always drive the Manual Shiftronic and while my wife drive A/T. The Santa Fe has great feature to drive Manual and A/T. Hyundai make such a great cars now-a-day; I can't believe the quality, price, and warranty they offer (it is extremely faboulous; no word to describe it; I create a website for my Santa Fe; By next year I will create a site for the Elantra GT as well...
  • zcmanzcman Posts: 17
    Read the posts on both the Elantra GT board and the Elantra sedan board. The quality is not there on the Hyundai. Considering the small number of posts on these boards the owners with problems with the Elantra/GT is almost as bad as the Ford Focus ZX3.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    What are you referring to? I have nearly 5,000 miles on a GT and only needed to have the fuel gauge recalibrated and a stuck release button reset. Other than than, no problems at all. No oil consumption, no rattles, no squeaks, no shimmy, nothing but great cruising with an absolutely awesome a/c unit and some of the most comfortable seats you will find this side of $25k. Take a look at Honda and Mazda boards and tell me no one is reporting problems there.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Even the cars of highest quality will have some regular "initial defects." Most cars I've seen tested by Consumer Reports come with two to four minor sample defects, even Hondas, Toyotas, etc. It's the major defects that are most important to avoid, and I've seen little complaint about major defects with the 2001+ Elantra GT and GLS.

    As you also stated, the Protege boards have had quite a few complaints as well about initial defects.

    And, Wow! You've already got 5,000 miles on your GT? Amazing! I've only got 1,700 miles on mine now after 18 days of ownership.
  • hung0820: Some of the cars you listed should not be compared to the GT... namely the Impreza, Vibe, Matrix, Golf, or Jetta Wagon. These cars are in another league altogether.

    I was able to see my first GT at a Hyundai/Subaru dealer while visiting Alberta this weekend. The only one they had was a base model with a cheapo plastic interior and uncomfortable seats with cheapo fabric. There seem to be only two packages available in Canada: base and premium. I would like to have seen the premium version which they were asking $21495 CDN for. This is quite an amazing price considering the equipment included (leather seats, ABS, sunroof, traction control). But still, as soon as you sit down in the GT you immediately realize that this car has nowhere near the level of refinement of cars such as the Impreza or Golf. Nor would I expect it to for that price.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    If you sat in the American version, you might not think that way. I love the Golf, but the state side version of the Elantra GT interior doesn't take a back seat to anything in or near its price class.
  • zcmanzcman Posts: 17
    The topic on this board is the Elantra GT vs the Protege5. Read the problems on the Elantra Gt board vs the Protege5 board. Shimmy/vibrations, warped rotors, malfunctionimg CD players, idle problems, on the Elantra vs zip on the Protege5 board. Add in the problems with the airbag deployment which Hyundai to this date insists is not a problem, and there is no comparision in uality.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    You might also note the vast number of problems reported on the Mazda Protege (sedan) board compared to the Elantra (sedan) board. It looks like there are quite a few defects being found on the 2000 and 2001 models, many of which seem worse than some of the defects reported for the Elantra sedan.

    I'm not knocking Mazda (as my wife currently drives one and I have owned 4 in my life so far), but to me it seems their build quality is slowly deteriorating, especially since Ford has a lot of control now. As a matter of fact, our 1999 Protege ES was built in Japan, but I think the newer ones are built in the US, which, to me, means quality could take a downturn for the Protege. We'll have to wait and see I suppose.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    All current Protege's are built in Japan, with 95% Japanese parts.

    It's important ot remember that what you read *here* is just one step short of hearsay. I's not statistical evidence, it's anecdotal.

    The Protege is rated very highly by EVERY consumer magazine, with overall reliability and longevity right up there with the Honda/Toyota benchmarks. That's supported by statistical evidence.

    I think Hyundai is the most improved auto manufacturer around, they get better every year, but they aren not up to Honda/Toyota/Mazda levels
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Well...I am basing my opinions on first hand experience with 4,800 miles on my GT. The idle issue appears to be a query by some people with 5 speed manuals. Can't address that...I have an automatic. The car is trouble free to date. Besides, the Pro's appearance makes it look like it is a wagon. The GT is a true hatchback. The Pro-5 is also about 7 inches shorter and costs a few thousand more. Comparing them might not even make sense, in that regard.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I'm sorry mpgman, I don't mean to discount your first-hand experience, or to imply that the Elantra is bad. Just the opposite actually.

    My point is that you simpy cannot draw any conclusions, about any car, based on postings by anonymous Town Hallers. It's anecdotal evidence at best, and has no basis in actual, scientific, statistical analysis.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Agree, and every car can be different, either to the good side or the bad, regardless of who made it. I never would have even considered an Elantra until I read the CR review of that, as well as the Sonata and Santa Fe. When neighbors started reporting favorable experiences, I got the courage to go to a dealership and test drive a GT. Will I feel the same way in a year or two? Stay tuned. Guess that is why buying a Civic is the safest bet if you think you made a mistake. You can always find someone to pay top dollar to give you a second chance.
  • dplatnycdplatnyc Posts: 17
    I recently test drove both the Mazda Protege5 and the Hyundai GT. Both cars were automatics but did not have significant other accessory packages. While I had been leaning toward the GT, I
    anticipated preferring the Pro5. I found the Pro5 to have a good steering feel. It was responsive
    and tight, taking the curves well and keeping me in touch with the road. The wheel itself also felt good. I did not find the acceleration particularly good. The car complained
    when I floored it and move sluggishly. The front seats were comfortable and the rear seats adequate. This is not a five-seater. Nor was the luggage space anything but tiny with the
    rear seats up. Moreover, the dashboard is flimsy--pushing a button on the climate control moved and bent the entire panel. I also did not like the italicized gauges. Mazda has a good
    stereo--I have a 1992 626 LX, and I know the radio is strong and has good tuning programming. With respect to price, the Mazda dealer offered to beat the Edmunds TMV for a no-frills Pro5,
    explaining that he would want invoice plus $500.00 or less, because there is a $500.00 cash-back offer right now.

    I ended up preferring the GT overall. Only the steering wheel let me down--it was thin, slippery plastic. I thought the car handled nearly as well and rode more quietly and evenly than the
    Pro5. Although I wouldn't be doing any racing, the acceleration was better than the Pro5. The dashboard and controls were more solid and I prefer the less contemporary dark gauges on the GT to the cheap-looking fake metal on the Mazda. Although in the bright sunshine I had trouble reading the trip computer. I found the seats to be firmer with less side support on the GT, but they were fine and I used the adjustment controls to contour them to my 5'6" frame. Strong smell of leather, though! The cargo space in the GT is much bigger with the seats up. Without seeing them side-by-side, it would be difficult to compare them with the seats down. The GT does, however, have a much cheaper mat in the cargo space than does the Pro5. The GT radio did not pick up stations my 9 year old 626 could get, but it sounded okay to me. A month ago, the dealer's manager, who was on vacation at the time of my test drive, had quoated me $13,800.00 (including the $495.00 destination fee) for a GT with only floormats. The guy who handed me the keys for the
    test drive, which I took alone, noted this offer, said that there weren't many GTs out there and that the 2002s would be in soon, but said that the manager would get back to me. I hope that the
    dealer will not say that they can only sell me the red automatic I test drove--I hate red and I hate automatics! From these boards and my own research, it seems like $13,800 is a decent price, since it's only about $300 over the TMV and less than $400 above the invoice, as reported by Edmunds. I am in the New York, New York area, and I have received higher quotes from others. I would be interested in other peoples' reactions to the price.

    While I have some doubts about the GT's build, reliability and resale value, I think I will probably end up buying one. I really appreciate people's many comments. I cranked this one up
    to 60-70, to check the shimmy. I also pushed the buttons to lower the seats, thinking about mpgman while I did it. As advised on the boards, the buttons popped up when I firmly returned the seats to their upright positions. Further, from the Mazda boards and my own experience with Mazda, I am not convinced it's as well-crafted as some other Japanese brands, and my experience with the Mazda service people has been horrendous.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Hmmm..I thought the steering wheel in the GT was wrapped in leather, not plastic. I agree with your assessment. The Pro-5 with the rear seats up has about as much room as my Festiva did.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    The wheel in the Pro5 is the same, thick rimmed, Nardi 3-spoker that's found in the Miata... it's a very nice wheel. :-)
  • I just came across this review today. The reviewer seems to have nothing but praise for this car. Check it out at:

  • Damn fine review here too...from the same site:

    I don't care much for the bland look of the Elantra GT, and I worry that the resale value will be vastly lower for the Elantra, but for the money its definetly worth a look. Then again, I'm happy as hell with my P5 :)

  • I recently bought a Protege5 after testing most other hatchbacks and small station wagons out there, including the Elantra. I was going to wait for the Pontiac Vibe, but got discouraged after seeing recent price estimates. The Elantra has a more comfortable ride and a plusher interior, and I feel it is a good car, especially for the money. The sound system is better in the Elantra, it is significantly less expensive than the Pro5, and of course, the warranty is outstanding. If Hyundai had produced a true hatchback as opposed to a fastback, I definitely would have given it a lot of thought.

    However, the Elantra's fastback design means that it will hold less than the Pro5 when the rear seats are folded, and it won't hold bulky items over a certain size at all, that the Pro5 can easily handle. This was an important consideration for me. The Elantra is more difficult to park, and the visibility out the rear window is clearly worse. Also, the Protege5 holds corners better. The 130 HP of the Pro5 is fine for normal driving, though I wouldn't race with it.

    As far as intangible qualities go, where reasonable people will differ, I found the Pro5 more fun to drive because of its handling characteristics. I've also gotten a lot of favorable comments from people on its appearance. Lastly, although there were differences of opinion about how good Hyundais are, the mechanics I talked to unanimously preferred Japanese to Korean cars, including Hyundais.
  • fs8gbefs8gbe Posts: 3
    well i have had my eye on the pro5 for a long time now...but i saw a pic of the tiburon, and just for curiosity sake i had to go check that out machine, ended up finding that was nothing but looks with no functionality. passed by the elantra gt and got pretty happy...test drove it. wow, what a nice car. i spent the day going back and forth between the dealers (they are just a few blocks away here) and they are getting in touch with me about final offers today. i fretted about which one i wanted for awhile then i realized that a) both have their pros and cons. b) i would never be able to decide between the two and not have second thoughts about the other. so i just decided that whoever gets me the better deal today will be the victor. i will be happy with either one. but one thing is certain...i can't WAIT!!!!!!!!!
  • abeaughabeaugh Posts: 10
    As a college student who is getting a new Elantra GT in December, I have to say I would never drive a Pro5. They look way too much like a stationwagon, and that is definately not the look I'm going for. While this is a personal opinion and the Pro5 does look better than most wagons, it is way to suburbun and soccer mom-ish.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    That's fine with me... the fewer on the road, the more exclusive I can feel. :-)

    I don't think the Pro5 is the least bit "suburbun and soccer mom-ish."
  • abeaughabeaugh Posts: 10
    The Pro5 seems like a very nice car, its just that as a 20 yr old, my friends would make fun of me if i got one.
This discussion has been closed.