Compare 2016 VW Golf vs Mazda3

Serving Stamford, CT, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Darien, and New Canaan

There are a lot of small sedans and hatchbacks on the market today, and not all of them are a good value for your money. Some, however, stand out from the crowd. Like the 2016 Volkswagen Golf and the 2016 Mazda3. Both are versatile, spacious, and efficient. The Volkswagen Golf is beloved for being practical, well-equipped, and also fun to drive. In fact, it’s one of the best-selling cars in the world. Ever. Can the Mazda3 stand head-to-head with the consumer-favorite Golf or does it fall short?

2016 VW Golf 1.8T S


2016 Mazda3

1.8L Turbo 4-cylinder

Standard Engine

2.0L 4-cylinder

170 hp


155 hp

200 lb-ft


150 lb-ft

6-Speed Automatic


6-Speed Automatic

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Sometimes, your driving experience gets overlooked in the name of practicality. But is this the case with the 2016 Golf or Mazda3? Well, the Golf is the more powerful car of the two — with 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque compared to the Mazda3’s 155 hp and 150 lb-ft. If you’re looking for something that really responds when you press the accelerator, the Golf might appeal to your sensibilities. In Edmunds testing, its zero to sixty time was impressive — blowing away its closest competitors. The Golf’s smooth ride, fast shifting, and zippy acceleration makes passing easier. It also has a more refined attitude on rugged terrain. You can get a more powerful engine on the Mazda3, but you’ll have to spend more for an upper trim level. So, while the Mazda3 is a decent pick performance-wise, the Golf delivers a driving experience that is notably more sporty and responsive.


Both the Volkswagen Golf and the Mazda3 feature intuitive instrument placement and sleek, contemporary styling. Both have supportive seats to keep you comfortable, even on long trips. The inside of the 2016 Golf is remarkably plush with soft touch materials and a distinctively European aesthetic. Comfy, but with a sporty edge, it feels more like a high end luxury car than an affordable hatchback. Another win for the Golf cabin is that it’s quieter. The cabin of the Mazda3 is noticeably noisier, and critics say it has little buffer from outside sounds and engine noise.

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2016 VW Golf vs Mazda Mazda3 Interior


Volkswagen has long been known for making safe, sturdy cars and the 2016 Golf is no exception. The Mazda3 is also a great safety pick, with both vehicles earning perfect scores in government crash testing. The Golf did well in Edmunds braking tests, while the Mazda3 turned in “average” numbers. Golf models equipped with Volkswagen’s CarNet emergency telematics system feature roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, geo-fencing, and stolen vehicle location. A smartphone app lets you control these features remotely.

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Visit our Volkswagen dealership in Stamford, Connecticut to see and drive the 2016 Volkswagen Golf. We’ll answer your questions honestly and show you how easy it can be to buy or lease a brand new model.


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