2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. Its Competition

2014 Hyundai Elantra
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The Hyundai Elantra has value, space, and styling in its win column, but it also has some extremely determined competition.

Our favorites in this size class include the Ford Focus, our Best Car To Buy 2012 winner thanks to excellent handling, standout technology, and fun styling, and in spite of a slightly cramped back seat.

We'd lodge the same complaint with the new Mazda 3, but its expressive styling and thoughtful features are great companions for its composed feel.

We like the Honda Civic now that its interior is finally up to grade, but it's still less well-packaged and less engaging than any pre-2006 Civic.

The Chevy Cruze is an easy choice for its conservative looks and its new diesel option--but we have more reservations with the latest Kia Forte, now that it's received a rather low crash-test score despite solid improvements in every other way.

2014 Hyundai Elantra2014 Hyundai Elantra
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2014 Chevrolet Cruze RS2014 Chevrolet Cruze
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2014 Ford Focus2014 Ford Focus
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2014 Honda Civic Coupe2014 Honda Civic
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2014 Kia Forte2014 Kia Forte
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2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring  -  First Drive2014 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The Hyundai Elantra already had the bases covered--we'll see if a new engine and new tuning draws it even closer to best in class.
The 2014 Chevy Cruze is comfortable and practical--and now it offers a diesel engine that can return 40 mpg in real-world use.
Even without considering the top-performance ST, the 2014 Ford Focus is one of the best-driving small cars on the market--with the impression of being an accessible premium car, not a spruced-up econobox.
The 2014 Honda Civic brings better refinement back to the lineup, but there's more to come, we're told.
The 2014 Kia Forte finds better focus with well-rounded performance and grabby good looks, but its safety scores concern us.
The 2014 Mazda 3 stands out from the small-car crowd, with its sport-car-influenced proportions and sporty driving experience; but its tight, noisy cabin means that it’s not at all the best pick for pragmatists.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Ulsan Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan S2-Door Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i SV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2014 Ford Focus2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2014 Honda Civic2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2014 Kia Forte2014 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2014 Mazda MAZDA3