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Driving a 2017 Mazda3 2.0L 6MT right now. Clutch is too numb and jerky, steering is too light on the highway, road noise is bearable after I took apart the front doors to add sound deadening. If adding a transmission mount doesn't fix things up, I'm seriously considering trading this thing in.

Now the question is, is the Elantra Sport up to snuff? Most reviews say that it's got a nice powertrain, handles better than most cars (but trails the GTI, Civic Si, and the Mazda3). I don't drive on canyon roads all the time, I just want something that is comfortable on the highway, which is where I do most of the drive.

How has the Elantra sport been on the highway?
 

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Highway has been fine for me. If youre asking for specifically for the manual trans aspect, I cant speak for that since I have the DCT. All around, still a highly enjoyable car and I feel like itd be a definite upgrade from the 2.0 3. I was looking into a 2.5 mazda 3 hatch myself when shopping for this.
 

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I love it i find it smooth for the roads i have to drive. Handlings great. Dct is a bit to get use to but day to day use its great for all tasks. And if i remember correctly. We outbeat the mazda 3. The civic si is a bit better with alot higher price point. Im at 4500 kms now and no real issues or complaints yet. Outside dealer related stufff that doesnt reflect on the car.
 

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Great highway cruiser. I've been to Colorado and back (from Arizona) and California and back a couple times. I also live between Phoenix an Tucson so I spend a lot of time on I-10 between the two of them. Wind noise is great, road noise is acceptable for a sporty car in this price range. The stock tires play a large part in that. I switched to some Pirelli's and it's much better. No complaints from me about the clutch, seems like it tightened up a little since new. Not heavy and not super light. Shifter is better than most but not Honda level. I've replaced all the bushings with aluminum and installed an OEM B&M short shifter for a Kia Soul and it's pretty **** perfect now with MT-85 in the trans. I also have no complaints about the steering but I can't speak for everyone. I come from a long line of performance cars so if the steering was bad I would say something.
 

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Can't go wrong with any newer car now a days. My manual ES has been great. The highway mileage is decent as long as you stay under 75mph. If you are going to creep higher than that, expect to drop the mpg's. I drive about every other weekend from South Bend to Northern suburbs of chicago and must say the car is great. More comfortable than the wife's optima to be honest. I would like to put a tune on the car and upgrade the motor mounts, but the **** mount I found is almost $200. (YIKES).
 

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I’m 6’3” and I find it to be a good highway cruiser. I was actually surprised how comfortable I was considering I usually have trouble getting a good amount of legroom in smaller cars.
 

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Just confirming the sentiments of others here - the ES is surprisingly competent as a highway cruiser. It doesn't have great on-demand passing power at highway speeds (I really miss my E63 AMG in that respect) but that is to be expected.

The clutch in the ES makes dealing with stop-and-go traffic a bearable experience. Make sure you take a test drive on a highway to ensure you know what you're getting into - I'm sure you will be quite pleased.
 

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We have both cars in our household - the wife drives a 2017 Mazda 3 Grand Touring (hatch) and I have a 2017 Elantra Sport 6M.

If you don't like the steering feel on the Mazda you are not going to like it on the Elantra. It's one of the two things I like better on the Mazda. The other being the ride/suspension tuning over less than perfect and flat pavement. Both cars have relatively light steering but it's slightly more vague on the Elantra. On-center feel seems to be pretty identical between the 2 cars (no complaints).

Suspension-wise, the Elantra gets a bit bouncy over bumps in comparison to the Mazda. It's totally tolerable (to me), but the difference is there.

I think both cars are excellent highway cruisers. We had a pre-refreshed (same gen, MY14) Mazda 3 and it was A LOT noisier at highway speeds. But on the 2017 (and up) Mazda made a huge improvement on that. I don't know if the level of sound deadening is the same across all trim levels, but it looks like it's still too loud for you judging by your original comments.
 

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My ES replaced a 2014 Mazda3 sGT - like someone else said, the 2014 3s were miserably loud in terms of road noise.



I find the Elantra the much better car in all respects. Coming from several German cars in the recent past, I was surprised at how stable the ES is on the highway at high speeds.
 

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Highway travel is comfortable in the ES. 6th gear is setup pretty well so you generally don't need to downshift to pass. Unlike some other people I personally think the clutch is a bit on the light side, but I've been told it actually has to do with the throw out bearing in our car. I drive the 6 speed and its actually a great daily driver for a 6th speed. You may find a couple things need to be done to fully appreciate a smooth shift such as a weighted shift knob and shifter bushings. But other than that the ES is a wonderful car on the highway.
 

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I drive about 90 miles round trip daily for work, all highway cursing at about 80 MPH (with an occasional breach of triple digits) and for a compact car, the ES is pretty **** good. It's pretty easy to tell Hyundai made prioritized comfort a little more than its rivals. That's not to say the ES handles badly, it rounds corners superbly, but there's basically no steering feel. The cabin is very quiet, which is great on the highway, but it deafens the awesome exhaust note. I seriously think the only turbo 4 banger that sounds better stock is the one on the Abarth 500. I drove a 14 Focus before getting my 17 ES and the difference is pretty big. I do have the DCT however(needed something my fiancee could drive and i already have an 87 supra turbo with a stick for more spirited driving), the car sits at just under 3k at 80 IIRC, not sure about the 6MT but i assume it isn't worse. Overall, it's a great car, you definitely will not be disappointed if you end up getting one.
 

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I have an 18 manual, and it's great. Comfortable and easy to drive. And it isn't powerless in 6th, which is a huge plus.
 

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I drive about 90 miles round trip daily for work, all highway cursing at about 80 MPH///////the car sits at just under 3k at 80 IIRC, not sure about the 6MT but i assume it isn't worse. Overall, it's a great car, you definitely will not be disappointed if you end up getting one.

I also LOVE the abarth stock sound. Ferrari does good work on exhaust notes haha. Wanted to chime in that my car runs about 3100-3200 rpm @ 80 in 6th (VT, MT). The DCT runs like 300 rpm less which is great. the ES is still on the top of my buy list for that reason - i need a 7th gear. Only two others I’m considering are a Q50S, and the new gti 7 speed.
 
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