IMHO Elantra if you prioritize on space and unconventional good looks. Fiesta if you value engine performance and handling a lot. They say that the Elantra's ride is not that good what with the torsion beam rear suspension in a car that's supposedly tuned for performance and in the end giving a rather bumpy ride and not-so-good handling if driven in spirited conditions. Both should give pretty good gas mileage numbers especially with the Elantra 6 speed manual.