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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone who has driven both and would care to comment on the two? I'm in the market for a new car, and the ES is the leading contender. The GT Sport is looking like it's toughest competition, but I've yet to come across a direct comparison of the two.
 

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i test drove a gt recently at my hyundai dealer just to see how it handled and to be honest it wasnt that much better than the es in terms of handling. and although i like the looks of hatchbacks i dont like how the new gt looks. i think the previous gen gt looked a little better but thats all a matter of opinion.

acceleration wise due to being the same engine they felt basically the same.
 

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GT Sport with ES interior.

Prefer the hatchback form factor, but not a fan of the etch-a-sketch stuck on the dashboard and the red accents everywhere.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've seen conflicting information about whether the rear suspension is the same in both models, but it appears to be. There aren't any GT Sport models in stock near me, but I'll have to give one a spin when I locate one. I like the exterior looks of the ES better, but the hatchback might be more utile. But good to know there's another option.
 

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GT Sport with ES interior.

Prefer the hatchback form factor, but not a fan of the etch-a-sketch stuck on the dashboard and the red accents everywhere.
I must say, I thought it would be the exact same as the ES so I was like "what dumb*** thinks it looks like an etch-a-sketch..."

Googled it and literally laughed out loud because that is 100% an etch-a-sketch if I have ever seen one. spot on hahahaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I must say, I thought it would be the exact same as the ES so I was like "what dumb*** thinks it looks like an etch-a-sketch..."

Googled it and literally laughed out loud because that is 100% an etch-a-sketch if I have ever seen one. spot on hahahaha
Holy smokes, you're all correct. The aptly-named etch-a-sketch takes the GT off my list, as it doesn't look like a double-DIN aftermarket head unit could be fitted without pretty substantial dash mods. I was so caught up in performance characteristics that the dash flew right past me. Thanks for pointing that out!
 

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Holy smokes, you're all correct. The aptly-named etch-a-sketch takes the GT off my list, as it doesn't look like a double-DIN aftermarket head unit could be fitted without pretty substantial dash mods. I was so caught up in performance characteristics that the dash flew right past me. Thanks for pointing that out!
Keep in mind it's still sick man!! My wife has a Scion iQ and it looks like that. If that car is all you dreamed of, don't let that stop ya! You'll get support from any of us here either way. :)
 

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This trend has to be the worst looking thing in car design since fake wood panel sides.

WHY is it a thing?!
 

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I peeked at one the other day when I went to the dealership to get a paint pen. The interior is arguable, but I think it looks slightly uglier but also more "premium" or "upscale". Also keep in mind the "etch a sketch" seems to be closer to the windshield, which means you don't have to take your eyes as far off the road to glance at the track title or nav or whatever which is very nice. I liked the seats better, and it had things not available in the sedan like rear vents, ventilated seats, panoramic roof, gobs of space.

My biggest problem with it is the exhaust. I've heard someone drive my car past me and it is very loud. It sounds a lot louder/better than I expected for being stock, almost like it has an aftermarket exhaust. Almost too loud... Anyways, Just as I was getting in my car someone from the dealership happened to punch it out of the lot right past me in the GT sport. It was silent, just like any other car on the road. Very disappointing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, richyrocket. Based on photos, I don’t like the GT’s much more prominent red interior highlights; makes it look rather silly to my eyes. I know those red highlights would bother me to look at every day, although perhaps they could be colored out with a Sharpie (ha!) or maybe more sophisticated technique. Personally, I’m looking for a vehicle to be low-key and not attention-grabbing, despite that seeming to be a bit at odds with the thrust of the design of the ES and GT Sport.

If I go with one of these models (which is very likely), I may do a small amount of work to make it more of a “sleeper” car which doesn’t advertise itself, to police or anyone else. I’m clearly in the minority here, but your description of the GT exhaust sound makes it more appealing to me. I’m even curious whether any ES aftermarket exhaust systems can lower the sound output without sacrificing performance. As much as I do actually like the sound of the ES engine from the cockpit, I’ll be doing major sound treatments to the car, and lowering the engine/exhaust sound will be part of that focus. I’m a freak about stereo sound quality, which I prize far above any sounds from the car itself. I suppose I could fabricate (or pay someone to) a double-DIN head unit enclosure for the GT, but that’s more time and money spent.

I totally agree about the ES’s lack of rear vents and, to a much larger degree, ventilated seats. I live in the Los Angeles area; while I don’t mind them being included, heated seats are of essentially no consequence to me. But ventilated seats sound fantastic, and the extra space and versatility of the hatchback is pretty appealing, as well. I would have to assume the GT has greater rear visibility, which is a plus. From the outside, I prefer the look of the ES, but I could easily live with either one. I also hadn’t realized the GT is pretty substantially more expensive than the ES.

My perfect scenario would be a GT for the extra and more flexible cargo area, but with the more subdued interior color scheme, double-DIN stereo mounting space, and the same price as an ES, but I find no product is ever perfect for me.
 

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It shouldn't be that hard to paint the red plastic. My previous car was a Cruze and I hated the silver plastic trim they put everywhere. I simply found instructions to remove the silver trim and painted it flat black with a rattle can. It looked much better.
The exhaust on my car is perfect for me because it's barely audible with the windows up, but sounds mean with the windows down. I could understand why you would want it to be quieter and the GT is definitely substantially quieter.
I actually love the head unit in my car, but I'm no audiophile by any means.
 

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I drove both before getting my ES and IMO they drove identical. I couldn't feel enough or a difference between the two to matter. Exterior, I honestly preferred the GTS front-end, but did not like the rear. Too bland. ES's wheels look much better as well. Interior, I thought the GTS had a bit of an edge quality-wise. Soft-touch doors were nice. I do agree about the screen, though. The etch-a-sketch is not a good look at all.

All being said, I'm quite happy with my ES...and it was A LOT cheaper to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Mazda3 has a very similar etch-a-sketch head unit, as well. Since not having the ability to upgrade to a big time stereo system without hacking apart the dash and fabricating a head unit enclosure is an absolute deal killer for me, this dropped the Mazda off my list of contenders, same as the GT. Nice to hear that the GT doesn't really have any performance/ride quality advantage; makes it easier for me to skip it.
 

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I drove both and ended up buying the GT Sport.

I agree with all the points others have made here. The exhaust on the sedan is louder. The etch a sketch display looks tacky. The cars drove identical. To me it came down to "future proofing". I hope to drive this car for at least 5 years and the GT Sport just had way more features that were appealing to me - smart cruise, auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, pano sunroof.

Obviously these are all personal preference things. I did like the look of the sedan better but in the end the added features won out. The GT Sport with Tech Pkg basically drives itself on the highway - to me that is super cool. Yesterday I spent 5 mins looking up at the sky through my panoramic roof while the car did its thing. :)
 

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Just to add to the feature list differences - my car also has rear vents, ventilated front seats, wireless charging for phones, Auto Hold (can take your foot of the brake at lights), power driver seat. I don't believe the sedan has any of these.

Granted it was also prob ~$5K more than a fully loaded ES.
 
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