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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Volkswagen Jetta Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Mazda Mazda3 or Volkswagen Jetta reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Mazda Mazda3 and the Volkswagen Jetta truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Mazda Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Mazda Mazda3 and the Volkswagen Jetta were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Mazda Mazda3 and the Volkswagen Jetta have been recently.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 Mazda Mazda3 52 Mazda3s, 4.6 months of data per Mazda3, average 4900 miles

Redesigned and off to a very good start.
5
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2014 Volkswagen Jetta   18 Jettas, 4.6 months of data per Jetta, average 5800 miles

* Small sample size.
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2013 Mazda Mazda3 47 Mazda3s, 8.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 8600 miles6
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Jetta 44 Jettas, 10.3 months of data per Jetta, average 13000 miles35
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Mazda Mazda3 67 Mazda3s, 10.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 23100 miles14
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   15 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.3 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 19900 miles

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta 61 Jettas, 8.7 months of data per Jetta, average 26800 miles25
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Mazda Mazda3 45 Mazda3s, 8.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 31900 miles24
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen Jetta 46 Jettas, 7.7 months of data per Jetta, average 41200 miles

Redesigned.
24
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Mazda Mazda3 100 Mazda3s, 9.3 months of data per Mazda3, average 51800 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
15
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   19 MazdaSpeed3s, 9.2 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 46700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan 2.5   12 Jetta sedan 2.5s, 10.6 months of data per Jetta sedan 2.5, average 55100 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan diesel 27 Jetta sedan diesels, 9.0 months of data per Jetta sedan diesel, average 53800 miles40
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   18 MazdaSpeed3s, 9.8 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 50700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2009 Mazda Mazda3 35 Mazda3s, 9.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 65100 miles

Includes 2008.5s.
24
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 29 Jetta 2.5s, 8.8 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 57900 miles19
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 56 Jetta diesels, 9.6 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 70900 miles33
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 29 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.1 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 58800 miles68
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Mazda Mazda3 57 Mazda3s, 10.1 months of data per Mazda3, average 71300 miles27
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   13 MazdaSpeed3s, 9.0 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 77000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 35 Jetta 2.5s, 9.8 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 69800 miles39
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 34 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.2 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 66100 miles61
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Mazda Mazda3 58 Mazda3s, 9.1 months of data per Mazda3, average 80600 miles48
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   16 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.0 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 60700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 34 Jetta 2.5s, 9.4 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 92800 miles79
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 28 Jetta 2.0Ts, 10.6 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 86400 miles93
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Mazda Mazda3 50 Mazda3s, 9.2 months of data per Mazda3, average 95500 miles58
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5   18 Jetta 2.5s, 8.4 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 99200 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T   15 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.3 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 117800 miles

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2006 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 28 Jetta diesels, 9.8 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 123700 miles

Redesigned. Includes 2005.5 Jetta.
132
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Mazda Mazda3 36 Mazda3s, 8.9 months of data per Mazda3, average 95600 miles

Prone to rust where the roads are salted.
67
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   12 Jetta diesels, 9.6 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 141700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 Volkswagen Jetta   10 Jettas, 8.6 months of data per Jetta, average 104900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2004 Mazda Mazda3 27 Mazda3s, 7.6 months of data per Mazda3, average 114200 miles

Prone to rust where the roads are salted.
64
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   11 Jetta diesels, 6.5 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 186000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta   13 Jettas, 11.0 months of data per Jetta, average 97800 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Volkswagen Jetta 30 Jettas, 8.0 months of data per Jetta, average 131100 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
55
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 27 Jetta diesels, 9.4 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 224900 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
123
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Volkswagen Jetta   21 Jettas, 7.4 months of data per Jetta, average 114600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2002 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   14 Jetta diesels, 9.0 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 187600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Jetta 26 Jettas, 7.6 months of data per Jetta, average 140700 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
110
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 Volkswagen Jetta   17 Jettas, 6.6 months of data per Jetta, average 118500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2000 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   11 Jetta diesels, 8.5 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 218200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Mazda Mazda3

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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.
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Reputation for reliability.
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Consumer Reports top rated is always a good choice.
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.
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.
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.
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well
2009 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have owned other Mazdas and liked them.
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
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
good history, from friends
Mazda Mazda3 Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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..
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.
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner.
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!!
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable
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
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
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
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.
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.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I drive an average of 20,000 miles per year and am currently on track to put more than 40,000 miles in two years of ownership. Not one problem whatsoever. No visits to dealership other than routine maintenance. Very solid vehicle so far.
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
We purchased the vehicle new in June 2012. Around Oct I noticed a bubble on the lower half of the steering wheel. It did not bother me until I seen a thread was starting to come undone. We showed the dealer and they said to monitor it, and if it gets worse come back in. On a weekend trip it came undone more. Once back in town we took it in, and they scheduled to replace it. They did so under warranty with not problems. Besides this One problem the vehicle as been flawless. With just over 40k miles on the vehicle we both say we would get another one. Problem is I told the wife she MUST wait tell 150k miles to get a new vehicle.
2009 4dr Sedan 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Comes with a good warranty and free oil changes. VW has a good reputation for building quality vehicles.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
After 105,000 I can say that this car has been very reliable. Timing belt and water pump at 85000 to be safe. A front bearing went bad at 40000. A turbo sensor went bad at 100000. Brakes lasted til 80000. Never has needed an alignment. No other issues. This car just runs and runs.
2008 4dr Sedan 170-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
With the odometer reading over 36,000 miles I have not had any unpleasant surprises or repairs.
2007 0 VW has been turning owners into mechanics for a long time. My Jetta TDI has some "quirks". There are a lot of known problems. At least they are consistent. I live 2 1/2 hours from the nearest dealership, which means I bought a repair manual and I order my parts directly from the dealer to fix my own problems when I can. It's a car, not a rocket ship, and it's really not as scary and you think it is when you roll your sleeves up and jump in. Overall, Oil changes are $50-75 a pop done every 10,000 miles. Synthetic oil is expensive. Major service like timing belt is about $1,100 - wouldn't recommend DIY if you're not particularly skilled. The stealership will charge you a labor rate of nearly $100 per hour. If I ignore the stupid little things that don't matter (radio buttons peeling off, key fob that doesn't work), do work where I can (-replace glow plugs, light bulbs, fuses, brakes, filters) and let the major repairs fall where they will. In 4 years I've spent about $4000 in maintenance INCLUDING OIL CHANGES AND TIRES, most of which was timing belt ($1,100) and dual mass flywheel failure and clutch replacement ($1750).I think you'll find that about average.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Diesel powertrains are renown for their durability. My brother has a diesel Golf with 120,000 still purring.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Diesel reliability and longevity. Gotten nearly 5 years out of the car without any of the stereotypical VW glitches.
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
The car has held together very well in the 26,000 miles I have owned it. True Delta and Consumer Reports both show that reliability is good and improved considerably over older VWs.
2004 4dr Sedan 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
This has been a trouble-free car for four years & 40,000+ miles.
Volkswagen Jetta Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2013 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
Sunroof decided to not close after two weeks, I had to give it a little help with my hand, then after three days it fixed itself. If it happens again it'll have to go back to the dealer for repair. Otherwise no problems.
2011 4dr Sedan 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
VW has traditionally had troubles with reliability. We've had the Jetta for 9 months and 8,000 miles (daughter's car) and thus far there have been four admittedly minor recalls. On positive, structure feels sturdy all controls appear of hi
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
1 year old, shop needed to work on motor at least twice.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
More than a little concerned about Volkswagen’s lingering reputation for poor reliability, high repair costs, parts availability and short livened parts.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
TDI engine lasts forever if you take care of it, but its a VW and they are notorious for needing lots of repairs on everything else on the car.
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
Fuel pump had to be replaced around 73k miles. Car felt sluggish after I bought it used. I had a bad feeling the pump was going to go. Luckily there was a dealer only 36 miles away in Billing, MT that JUST opened. I limped the car in. Wish I had my tools I could've done the repair in the parking lot. Lift the bottom of the back seat up and there it is.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
6-speed automated manual FWD
06 Jetta TDI has a long list of common issues, all of which I have had, Transmission valve body failure, dual mass flywheel catastrophic failure, camshafts wear out which puts steel bits inside engine, expensive EGR coolers fail. Beware!
2006 4dr Sedan 150-horsepower 2.5L I5
5-speed manual FWD
I ran into many interior cosmetic trim issues during the warranty period, however no major mechanical problems. Now at ~67k miles I have had to replace the drivers door latch and one of my radiator cooling fans is acting up.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
A few annoying problems to date. Electrical system issues. Nothing in the powertrain or major subsystems.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
Nothing in the first 42K miles but, reading the newsgroups has me worried down the line....