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New 2010 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2010 Mazda MAZDA3

by Jeff Wysaski
August 20, 2010
2010 vw golf

2010 vw golf

The new 2010 Volkswagen Golf and 2010 Mazda MAZDA3 both sport a zippy engine and good gas mileage. They also both offer impeccable styling among the compact vehicle class. Compare the 2010 Volkswagen Golf and 2010 Mazda MAZDA3 to determine which model is right for you.

Both the Golf and MAZDA3 boast an aggressively styled exterior. Of the two, the MAZDA3 is perhaps the sportier option, with pulled-back headlights and a more angular design. The MAZDA3 also offers the option of a sedan or hatchback body style. The Golf, on the other hand, is only available as a hatchback (though four-door models are available). Still, many drivers will find the VW's European design more attractive.

Check out VW Golf photos and Mazda MAZDA3 photos.

Inside, refinement and good fit and finish complement both vehicles. However, in the category of overall class, the Golf takes the cake. A well-designed dashboard, supreme materials quality and good seat comfort all add up to an impeccably pampered drive. While the MAZDA3 also does all of these things well, the engineers at VW put it all together to deliver a slightly more impressive package.

In terms of interior volume, the MAZDA3 offers a bit more real estate. The VW also offers slightly more storage - a fact which helps cement the Golf's interior as an all-around better environment.

With a base price of $15,345, the Mazda MAZDA3 is the clear value winner. For all that added class, the VW Golf comes with a base price of $17,620. Start adding on upgrade features, and that price can easily escalate above $26,000. Granted, those features are impressive - base models come standard with cruise control, power everything, heated exterior mirrors and an eight-speaker stereo. In contrast, the base MAZDA3 lacks power locks, cruise control and only delivers a four-speaker stereo. However, a few MAZDA3 upgrades - such as leather seats - can't be had on the Golf. If you don't mind the sedan body style, then the MAZDA3 offers the better value.

Review VW Golf prices and Mazda MAZDA3 prices for all trims.

Both vehicles tout better-than-average engine power. However, the Golf zips past the MAZDA3 with a base five-cylinder engine that outputs 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque. The base MAZDA3, on the other hand, offers a four-cylinder that makes 148 horsepower and 135 lb-ft. of torque. An upgrade 2.5-liter four-cylinder brings the MAZDA3 up to 167 horsepower and 168 lb-ft. of torque. The VW's diesel upgrade is an acceleration champ with 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque.

For those concerned about fuel consumption, the Golf TDI delivers the amazing advantage of 41 mpg on the highway. Comparing base models, the Golf wins out as well.

Review VW Golf specifications and Mazda MAZDA3 specifications.

The MAZDA3 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, brake assist, front, side and side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The Golf adds stability control and subtracts the head restraints. Side rear airbags are optional on four-door Golf models.

From performance and styling to fuel efficiency and refinement, the VW Golf does almost everything just a little better than the Mazda MAZDA3. Of course, that's not to say the Mazda isn't a better option for some. If you're looking for a better bargain or a more aggressively styled ride, then the MAZDA3 may be for you.


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