The compact car segment has evolved greatly over the course of the past decade. No longer characterized as a “cheap” option, compact cars bring a high level of standard and available equipment at an affordable price, not to mention their efficiency and sporty handling. While there are a lot of good options in this class, ranging from sedans to coupes to hatchbacks, the 2015 VW Golf and 2015 Mazda 3 are among the elite entries. To help drivers narrow their searches, we’ll compare the 2015 VW Golf vs. 2015 Mazda 3 and highlight some of the key differences between the two.
In terms of performance, the 2015 VW Golf is the more powerful of the two compact cars, offering drivers 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of low-range torque. By comparison, the 2015 Mazda 3's four-cylinder engine kicks out 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. While the ratings aren’t staggeringly different, there is a noticeable difference in the driving experience when you get behind the wheel.
While the 2015 VW Golf is considerably more powerful, it doesn’t make much of a sacrifice in efficiency. The 2015 Mazda3 is among the most efficient models in the segment offering 40 mpg on the highway, but the VW Golf isn’t far behind with a rating of 37 highway mpg. That said, the 2015 VW Golf is available with a diesel engine option (TDI), which pushes efficiency ratings to 43 mpg highway, while torque rises to 236 pound-feet.
Standard equipment on the 2015 VW Golf includes heated mirrors, bluetooth connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen interface and satellite radio, among other features. The 2015 Mazda 3 is missing a number of those multimedia features on its base trim, as it does not include bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio or a media display screen until you pay more for higher trims.
While there are advantages to both models, the 2015 VW Golf vs. 2015 Mazda 3 comparison falls in favor of the new VW Golf. That said, the best way to compare the two is to get behind the wheel for a test drive at VW of Topeka.