However, the Elantra Touring is an extremely versatile and sporty vehicle, rivaling the five-door Mazda 3.
The Honda Civic could be the Mazda 3's closest competitor in terms of quality and on-the-road character.
You may or may not like the Civic's two-tier instrument panel, so try it first.
The Ford Focus is another competent competitor and a likable mainstream product aimed at mainstream shoppers.
Neither its styling nor its handling is as sporty as the Mazda 3's, but the Focus does offer a two-door coupe body style and an attractive, comfortable interior.
The VW GTI is a robust and enjoyable two- or four-door hatchback that feels a bit more mature than the 3, even though it’s about the same size.
Finally, the Civic Si is an alternative to the Mazdaspeed3; it isn’t nearly as fast, but with its high-revving engine, great handling, and excellent tactile experience, it’s a blast to drive.
|2009 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2009 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings||2008 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2008 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas Turbocharged I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||2-Door HB Manual||2-Door Coupe S||4-Door Sedan Manual GLS|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||2 Door HB||2 Door Coupe||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|