2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda?

Arif · Dec 3, 2020 03:32 PM

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 01

The new Hyundai Elantra offers an alternative option if you’re shopping for a C-segment saloon. Being a CBU import from Korea, it is a bit tougher for the Elantra to compete with the CKD Honda Civic. A CBU rival of the Hyundai Elantra would be the Japan-made  Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5.

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The Hyundai Elantra is now open for booking, but prices are yet to be announced. We expect the price to be around the price of the Mazda 3 sedan 1.5, which is around RM 137,660.

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2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 01

Picture is of Mazda 3 Sedan 2.0 High Plus

One Korean and the other Japanese, we figured we’d have a look at how these cars compare to each other on paper. Let’s begin.

Exterior – Aggressive Elantra, elegant Mazda

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 02

Picture is of Mazda 3 Sedan 2.0 High Plus

The Mazda 3 is undeniably a good-looking car. The sleek headlights and good proportions give it an athletic look. The hatchback version emphasizes this more, but the sedan is not too bad either.

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 03

Interesting surfaces on the side of the Elantra

As for the Hyundai Elantra, it offers an interesting design for those with an alternative taste. 

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 04

The side surfaces are interesting and kind of remind you of Bangle's flame surfacing.

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 05

Picture is of Mazda 3 Sedan 2.0 High Plus

Size wise, the Hyundai Elantra is a little bit bigger than the Mazda 3 sedan.

Dimensions Comparison
  Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Mazda 3 Sedan (1.5)
Length 4,675 mm 4,660 mm
Width 1,825 mm 1,795 mm
Height 1,430 mm 1,440 mm
Wheelbase 2,720 mm 2,725 mm
Tyre size 225/45 R17 205/60 R16
Curb Weight 1,270 kg 1,361 kg

Performance – very similar numbers

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 06

Naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre SmartStream engine of the Hyundai Elantra

Performance wise, both cars have naturally-aspirated engines, although the Elantra boasts a slightly larger displacement. The Mazda 3 Sedan is the only C-segment saloon to offer a regular torque converter automatic transmission (6 speeds) in the C-segment saloon category.

Performance Comparison
  Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Mazda 3 Sedan (1.5)
Engine SmartStream G1.6 MPI SkyActiv G 1.5
Induction NA* NA*
Displacement 1,598 cc 1,496 cc
Transmission CVT (8 virtual speed) 6-speed auto
Max. Power Output 123 PS @ 6,300 rpm 120 PS @ 6,000 rpm
Max. Torque 154 Nm @ 4,500 rpm 153 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

*NA = naturally aspirated

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 07

Gear shifter in the new Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra, like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis come with CVT. What Hyundai likes to highlight here is the fact that their CVT is called the Hyundai IVT (Intelligent variable transmission). The main difference is that a chain belt is used instead of the normal metallic belt.

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 08

The Hyundai IVT with a chain belt in the new Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai IVT in the Elantra is meant to simulate 8 distinct gear ratios, and we are curious to try it out.

Safety Features – Elantra has ADAS 

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 09

Camera on the Hyundai Elantra's windscreen

Unfortunately, the Mazda 3 1.5 lacks ADAS. That feature is reserved for the 2.0 High Plus variant only.  Entering the Malaysian market in 2020, the new Hyundai Elantra is equipped with Hyundai’s version of ADAS, the Hyundai SmartSense.

Safety Features
  Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Mazda 3 Sedan (1.5)
ABS & ESC yes yes
AEB yes yes
TCS yes yes
Hill Assist yes yes
ADAS yes no*

*Equipped on 2.0 High Plus variant only

The Hyundai SmartSense includes:

  • Forward collision warning & avoidance assist
  • Blind-spot collision warning & avoidance assist
  • Lane keep assist & Lane Following assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert & avoidance assist
  • Smart Cruise Control with stop & go
  • Driver attention warning
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system 
     

Interior features – both get phone connectivity

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 10

Inside the Hyundai Elantra

Both the Hyundai and Mazda offer Andoid Auto/Apple Carplay connectivity. An extra luxury feature of the Hyundai Elantra would be the wireless charging dock.

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 11

Inside the Mazda 3

The interior of the Mazda 3 is sporty and driver oriented while the Hyundai Elantra’s interior (with the asymmetrical center console) gives off some futuristic vibes.

Interior
  Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Mazda 3 Sedan (1.5)
Android Auto/Apple CarPlay yes yes
Screen size 8-inch 8.8-inch
Wireless charging yes no

Additionally, the Hyundai Elantra comes with a fully digital instrument cluster, which is nice.

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 12

Full digital cluster in the Hyundai Elantra

2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda 3 Sedan 1.5 - A Hyundai over a Mazda? 13

Half digital cluster in the Mazda 3 1.5

The Mazda 3 only offers a half-digital display even on the 2.0 variant.

Both cars are fully-imported decent-looking sedans with naturally-aspirated engines. While they may not be able to compete with prices of the CKD Honda Civic, the cars are plausible alternatives. 

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The Hyundai Elantra comes in one variant only and is set to launch before the end of 2020. The Elantra is rather well-equipped and looks pretty good on paper. We’re curious to see how things will turn out for the Elantra.

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Arif

Writer

Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.

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