We are 107,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

Mazda Mazda3 vs. Volkswagen Golf / GTI Reliability by Model Generation

Results are for year ending September 30, 2016. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year and Model Percent of Average  
2014 - 2016 Mazda Mazda3
23.7142857143% Best 79% Worst
See problems for this generation
2015 - 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI
45.4285714286% Best 117% Worst
See problems for this generation
2010 - 2014 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI
34% Best 97% Worst
See problems for this generation
2010 - 2013 Mazda Mazda3
7.71428571429% Best 51% Worst
See problems for this generation
2004 - 2009 Mazda Mazda3
35.1428571429% Best 99% Worst
See problems for this generation
2007 - 2009 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI
49.4285714286% Best 124% Worst
See problems for this generation
2000 - 2006 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI
40.2857142857% Best 108% Worst
See problems for this generation

Return to top


What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mazda Mazda3

Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
It was neck and neck between the Mazda3 and the MINI COOPER. I had my heart set on the MINI, but reliability was the deciding factor. I spent countless hours researching vehicles over the last several months and was very dismayed at all the mechanical issues that plague the MINI. On the other hand the Mazda3 seems to be very much trouble free. I really wanted a MINI, but I knew its 'cool' fun to drive personality wouldn't be enough to overcome the reliability headaches I could expect. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2012 4dr Hatch 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I do have to hand it to this car; it's been DEAD RELIABLE. Nothing has been broken enough to warrant a trip to the shop. THe only issue I had was with the heater fan making noise, and then the heater stopped working at the end of last winter, but it is woring normally now, without a repair. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Reputation for reliability. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Consumer Reports top rated is always a good choice. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Mazda has been a reliable purveyor of fun cars, and its Mazda 3 is no disappointment. The new-for-2010 version features overhauled sheetmetal and extra cabin refinement, and a 3 s Sport model. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I;ve had them in past and have had no warranty issues and other than regular maintenance had not had to take them in to get serviced. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I have been impressed with previous Mazdas I have owned. The 3 was well rated with CR and other automotive sites. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have owned other Mazdas and liked them. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
reliabiilty is excellent so far. both rear shocks leaked after about 65,000 miles. one oxygen sensor replacemnent. that is it so far. made in hiroshima says it all i guess full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
According to various sources it is not as good as Honda/Toyota. I had 0 problems with the 3. In equal time and distance the Corrola had given me some light headache though. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
The drivetrain reliability on this car is awful. Clutch started failing at 40K, axles have gone bad, wheel bearings have gone bad, suspension has been replaced.. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
My alternator went out after 10,000 miles of gentle driving. It happened to fail as I was driving through the coastal Oregon mountains, causing me to lose power steering intermittently on the twisties. Inexcusable for modern, brand-new automobile!! full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I am getting an intermittent CEL coming on, and it seems to be missing every now and then. Not sure if it is bad tank of gas, or a plug is dirty, but it is a little disconcerting. Sometimes when you pull away you feel it jerk a little, and then it kicksin full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
Perhaps I have a lemon or drive it too hard, but have replaced: Clutch at 22k (free fix from dealer) Right Axle (CV joints clicking) at 65k ($480 part!) Left Axle (CV joints) starting to click Broken engine mount (rear, #3 I think) at 50k inspection full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Had several repairs during warranty. None engine related except one. Nearly every repair was covered by a TSB so known problems. Plus developed rust on inside door panels due to improper factory clean;Mazda has a lot of problems with rust in this model full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I've owned many great Mazdas in the past and they have always been exceptional cars, but this 3 has been awful. Everything was OK until around 70k miles and from there on out it has been nonstop issues.
  • Brakes - Plan on replacing rotors every time you do pads
  • Tie Rod - Broke clean in half at 80k miles. The car was never in a collision or anything that could have explained it. If I was on the highway I could have seriously crashed the car
  • Belt Tensioner - Only available OEM (and pricey)
  • Control arms, bushings (front and rear), constant clunks and thuds from the suspension.
  • Broken shock mounts
  • Heater Core at 90k miles
  • Wheel bearings - In 127k miles I have done all 4 twice. My mechanic says that this is common on all of the 3's he services.
  • Front End shimmy - It has had a shimmy of varying degrees constantly since about 50k miles on. I will get a bunch of front end work done, replace rotors, or balance tires, and it will be better, but never gone
  • All sorts of electrical weirdness (Sometimes the "you forgot your key in the ignition" chime wont go off until you turn the car back on/off)
  • Headlights - You will replace them so often that you can do it in your sleep. We also have a Mazda 5 and it is the same way. I have even had to replace the weird socket adapters they use. Currently I am getting no power at all to the passengers side. Also, those clear lenses haze like crazy.
  • Horn - even the slightest puddle drowns it. Mine seemed to have been shorted out as the relay trips but now I dont even get power to the horn itself
  • The condensate drain for the AC clogs constantly. If you dont notice it, it will slowly start to seep into the carpet and cause a wonderful mildew funk. Its easy to fix with a chopstick or pencil, but I have never had a car where this is an issue before.
  • Cruise Control now toggles off/on/off/on creating a wonderful seasick sensation
I would like to mention that I'm not some boy racer constantly hooning around. My car is completely stock, I'm a 38 year old dad, and 90% of the miles on it are highway back and forth to work. This is my daily commuter. full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2004 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
No major problems but there are still some problems with brake dust in the rear. Had to have the front passenger window fixed (got loose). Purge valve was found defective. Transmission 2nd gear shifted hard until the software was updated. full 2004 Mazda Mazda3 review
 

TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI

Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearComment
2015 I'm coming up short on reasons not to buy the new Golf. Sure, Volkswagens don't have the best reputations for reliability, but the horror stories generally involve those from the early 2000s, manufactured over a decade ago. In our stats more recent VWs tend to hold up reasonably well for the first four to six years, and the 2012s and 2013s have been quite reliable, at least so far. Will the all-new 2015s further improve on the 2012-2014 cars, or will there be some first-year glitches? We'll likely have our first fairly precise reliability stats for the new Golf and GTI in February 2015. For now, they're a bit of a gamble. Update: Our earliest data suggests that the new GTI has had a glitch-free launch. But it's early, so stay tuned for quarterly updates from February 2015 onwards. full 2015 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2015 Range is the most obvious reason not to buy a Volkswagen e-Golf, or any EV with the possible exception of the Tesla. If you drive more than 100 miles in a day more than a few times a year, the e-Golf isn't a viable option. Most of the other reasons not to buy an e-Golf (including all of the non-obvious ones) are far less compelling than the reasons to buy one. Some people will figure that, since VW has had trouble with relatively simple electrical components in the past, a VW EV might not be a good idea. The latest Golf has been pretty good in our car reliability survey so far, but the cars are still very young. At this point the e-Golf's long-term reliability is unknown--as is the Soul EV's. full 2015 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2016 You might have heard horror stories from Volkswagen owners. Most such stories involved cars from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Volkswagens have become considerably more reliable since then, with the cars from the late 2000s onward about average or even a bit better for the first four to six years of ownership (after which they do tend to take a turn for the worse). This said, Golfs with the 1.8T engine have been a little troublesome during the first year of ownership. Looking at the repairs behind the stats, most don't involve the engine, so it's not clear why they affect cars with the 2.0T engine less often. The glitches seem to pop up early in the cars' ownership, then taper off, as the 2015s have looked much better than earlier in recent updates. The 2016s, in the red zone as I write this, could similarly improve. (If you're reading this after November 2016, check the latest stats.) At the moment I don't see much cause for concern with the Golf. But Mazdas in general and the CX-5 in particular have had less variable records, so for those who are especially risk-averse they're more comfortable bets. full 2016 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI

Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
The car is not old, but so far, so good. Oil changes are required only every 10K miles at first, and the first three are taken care of - not a high-price incentive, certainly, but a nice touch. I haven't had a single cause for alarm so far, and the car operates as it did on the day I bought it. VW has an iffy reputation in the US right now, but it's also said that quality control is best in Wolfsburg, where this car is assembled, and for what its worth, Consumer Reports ranked the MK6 Golf well above average for projected reliability. full 2012 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2011 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
I've never had any problems whatsoever. Regular oil changes with good-quality products, premium gas, the occasional bottle of techron and she's been good to go for almost 60k now. full 2011 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
No complaints once we sorted out a few initial problems. Car is reliable and I would drive it anywhere. full 2009 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2009 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
No problems so far, the car feels durable and does not creak or make funny noises full 2009 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2008 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
The 2008 VW GTI is a car that you can't depend on. It has tons of issues that affect a high percentage of owners, which include: Diverter valve failure PCV faliure Cam wear Fuel pump failure Air conditioning failure Misfires Carbon build up Avoid this car at all costs. Don't make the same mistake I did. full 2008 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2008 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
very safe car, rated well in crash ratings, better warrenty than most, full 2008 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2008 2dr Hatch 250-horsepower 3.2L V6
6-speed automated manual AWD
Rated by Edmunds as a "least cost" vehicle, coming in at a rate below the comparable vehicle costs of operation and ownership full 2008 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
The diesel engine is built to last. full 2006 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2006 4dr Hatch 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
We had a very high recommendation from a close friend regarding Golf and we are finding it to be exactly as stated. Solid and reliable, plus easy to drive. We are aware of expensive parts and service but we have not had any repairs to date other than tire full 2006 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2005 4dr Wagon turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
Engine has 150K+ miles, and I should be able to get another 150K full 2005 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2016 2dr Hatch turbocharged 210hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Suspect durability of new tech TSI full 2016 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2013 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
There is a major potential problem with the Golf TDI in the form of the high pressure fuel pump. The concern is that the Bosch unit does not like American low sulfur diesel fuel because of its relatively lower lubricity compared to Euro diesel fuels available where the car was designed. When the pump fails, it can send metal shavings throughout the fuel system, and require major replacements to the tune of $8-10,000. This is a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of any TDI owner. Three or more design revisions have been implemented, but the problem still shows up. Are you willing to take a chance they finally got it right in your car? full 2013 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2012 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
My GTI had a water pump failure inside of 20k miles. Other than that, all was good. full 2012 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Do not trust VW to be well built or have dealers that will honor the warranty. full 2010 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2008 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
The 2008 VW GTI is a car that you can't depend on. It has tons of issues that affect a high percentage of owners, which include: Diverter valve failure PCV faliure Cam wear Fuel pump failure Air conditioning failure Misfires Carbon build up Avoid this car at all costs. Don't make the same mistake I did. full 2008 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
In a year of ownership I have had far more dealership experiences than I care to remember. Lots of check engine lights, parts acting funny, and several parts that have questionable long-term durability. full 2007 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2007 4dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Averaging 2 to 3 shop visits per year. Concerns about how much it will cost to own this vehicle over the long haul. full 2007 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
I have had to return to the dealership three times for "Airbag Fault" warnings. full 2007 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
OK, everything comes with a price, right? Rattles, bad tranny, warpped timing belt cover, cracked tail light lens. Did I mention the rattles? Know what? I STILL like it. Thank God for warranties. full 2007 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review
2007 2dr Hatch turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
VW needs to address reliability concerns with bulletprood reliability and a good service network. full 2007 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI review