Comparison Mazda3 2021 vs Volkswagen Golf 2021

Among compact cars, those who prefer to have a sedan still have options. The 2021 Mazda3 and the 2021 Volkswagen Golf are good examples. Here is how they compare.

2021 Mazda3 hatchback

2021 Mazda3 starting price: $ 22,650 | Price yours Where View listings near you

Above average: All-wheel drive available; high-end interior; optional sedan body style; turbo engine.

Below average: Large blind spot of the C-pillar; manual only available on non-turbo models.

Consensus: The 2022 Mazda3 Hatchback combines flexible cargo space with striking styling. In addition to a premium appearance inside and out, the Mazda3 displays road handling that puts it on par with the best European sports models.

Volkswagen Golf 2021

Buy a compact carVolkswagen Golf 2021 starting price: $ 23,195 | Price yours Where View listings near you

Above average: Spirited handling; performance-oriented GTI trim; high quality interior.

Below average: No all-wheel drive option; last year of this Golf generation; higher prices at all levels.

Consensus: Unlike the Mazda, which comes in hatchback and sedan versions, the 3-box version of the Golf is sold under the Jetta nameplate. The Golf offers a good mix of practicality and refined handling. However, it is the last of its breed, as VW’s focus in the future is on selling performance versions of GTI and Golf R.

Mazda3 vs Golf: a step above the Econobox


The 2021 Mazda3 offers a bit of something for everyone. The main one is handling. The Mazda3 is fun to drive, especially sedans with their choice of 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines in both normally aspirated and turbocharged tuning states. The former develops 186 horsepower, the latter up to 250 horsepower when fed with 93 octane. A base sedan offers a 2.0-liter I4 developing 155 horsepower for $ 2,000 less than the sedan at. tailgate.

Non-turbo models are front-wheel drive and come with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic, with all-wheel drive optional at $ 1,400 on higher trims. All turbo models are equipped with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission as standard.

The interior of the Mazda3 exudes an upscale feel, including the base model with its cloth seats. It has plenty of soft-touch surfaces and a smooth 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment center. This screen is not a touch screen and uses a rotary control instead.

All models are equipped with driver aids including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. 2.5 Turbo models add blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert with braking. Other standard equipment includes a head-up display, power sunroof, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats.

Volkswagen Golf

Among affordable sedans, the name Golf is legendary. However, this is the one that will soon pass from the scene when VW goes from the 7th to the 8th gen and focuses on selling only the performance-oriented GTI and Golf R, both of which will sell for around 30,000. $ or more.

So for 2021, while you can still find one, the entry-level Golf TSI offers a more basic and affordable sedan. This model uses a 1.4-liter turbo engine developing 147 horsepower which is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic. The upgraded GTI features a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo I4 and a 7-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The tasteful interior offers plenty of space for people and cargo, with up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seat is folded down. The Golf comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, a larger 8-inch screen is standard on the GTI.

Other standard equipment on the TSI includes a power tilt / slide sunroof, 16-inch wheels, keyless ignition and heated front seats. All Golfs benefit from Front Collision Mitigation with Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.


Tailgate flexibility; 5 seats; sharp handling; NHTSA 5 Star Safety Ratings.

Advantages Mazda3 2021

More power; all-wheel drive available; lower prices; sedan body style.

Advantages Volkswagen Golf 2021

Loading space; visibility to the rear; touchscreen infotainment.

Which one is right for me?

The 2021 Mazda3 offers a blend of handling, style and comfort that sets it apart from other compacts in its class. The availability of all-wheel drive is a definite plus.

The Volkswagen Golf 2021 is a simple but refined sedan that offers solid handling in a sober package.

Ready to buy a Mazda3 or a Volkswagen Golf? Buy one on sale now near you.

2021 Mazda3 hatchback Volkswagen Golf 2021
Popular powertrains
Motor 2.5 liters I4 1.4 liter turbo I4
Power 186 hp @ 6,000 rpm 147 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Couple 186 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic 8 speed automatic
Fuel economy 31 mpg (28 city / 36 highway) 32 mpg (28 city / 35 highway)
Also available 2.0-liter I4 (sedan); 2.5 liter turbo I4; 6-speed manual; AWD 2.0-liter turbo I4; 6-speed manual; 7 speed DCT
Basic warranty 3 years / 36,000 miles 4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 years / 60,000 miles 4 years / 50,000 miles
NHTSA Global Security 5 stars 5 stars
Maximum seating capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 107.3 inch 103.8 inch
Total length 183.5 inch 167.6 inch
Width 70.7 inch 70.8 inch
Height 56.9 inch 58.2 inch
Turning diameter 37.3 feet 35.8 feet
Headroom, forward 38.0 inch 38.4 inch
Headroom, aft 37.2 inch 38.1 inch
Legroom, front 42.3 inch 41.2 inch
Legroom, rear 35.1 inch 35.8 inch
Shoulder room, front 55.7 inch 55.9 inch
Shoulder room, rear 53.5 inch 53.9 inch
EPA passenger volume 92.7 cubic feet 93.5 cubic feet
EPA cargo volume 20.1 cubic feet 53.7 cubic feet

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