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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Volkswagen Jetta Reliability

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Results are for year ending December 31, 2015. 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 Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2015 Mazda Mazda3 8
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  71 Mazda3s, 8.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 7300 miles
2015 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 Jettas, 6.5 months of data per Jetta, average 6500 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2014 Mazda Mazda3 23
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  95 Mazda3s, 9.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 16800 miles

Redesigned.
2014 Volkswagen Jetta 21
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  41 Jettas, 9.8 months of data per Jetta, average 18500 miles

 

2013 Mazda Mazda3 9
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  59 Mazda3s, 9.1 months of data per Mazda3, average 29200 miles
2013 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.8 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 27500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2013 Volkswagen Jetta 27
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  44 Jettas, 9.0 months of data per Jetta, average 36500 miles

 

2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.4 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 36800 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2012 Mazda Mazda3 12
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  78 Mazda3s, 9.0 months of data per Mazda3, average 40500 miles
2012 Volkswagen Jetta 33
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  50 Jettas, 9.4 months of data per Jetta, average 47800 miles

 

2011 Mazda Mazda3 7
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  37 Mazda3s, 9.9 months of data per Mazda3, average 46900 miles
2011 Volkswagen Jetta 58
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  36 Jettas, 9.8 months of data per Jetta, average 66100 miles

Redesigned.

 

2010 Mazda Mazda3 15
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  91 Mazda3s, 9.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 64900 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 MazdaSpeed3s, 9.4 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 62600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 Jetta sedan 2.5s, 9.0 months of data per Jetta sedan 2.5, average 66200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta sedan diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Jetta sedan diesels, 9.4 months of data per Jetta sedan diesel, average 73500 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2009 Mazda Mazda3 38
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  35 Mazda3s, 10.0 months of data per Mazda3, average 80100 miles

Includes 2008.5s.
2009 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.8 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 67100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 60
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  43 Jetta 2.5s, 9.2 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 71600 miles
2009 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 71
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  46 Jetta diesels, 9.2 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 86500 miles
2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 81
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Jetta 2.0Ts, 10.5 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 69000 miles

 

2008 Mazda Mazda3 63
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  57 Mazda3s, 9.4 months of data per Mazda3, average 87800 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 60
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  40 Jetta 2.5s, 7.0 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 82800 miles
2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 Jetta 2.0Ts, 10.6 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 79500 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2007 Mazda Mazda3 72
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  46 Mazda3s, 10.5 months of data per Mazda3, average 98100 miles

First model year for the MazdaSpeed3.
2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 MazdaSpeed3s, 10.2 months of data per MazdaSpeed3, average 75900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T 76
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 Jetta 2.0Ts, 9.8 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 98400 miles
2007 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 97
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 Jetta 2.5s, 10.0 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 106900 miles

 

2006 Mazda Mazda3 80
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  38 Mazda3s, 9.4 months of data per Mazda3, average 108300 miles
2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  17 Jetta 2.5s, 8.3 months of data per Jetta 2.5, average 115800 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 Jetta diesels, 9.6 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 135500 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 Jetta 2.0Ts, 8.3 months of data per Jetta 2.0T, average 130300 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2005 Mazda Mazda3 86
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  30 Mazda3s, 8.8 months of data per Mazda3, average 115400 miles

Prone to rust where the roads are salted.
2005 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  11 Jettas, 7.9 months of data per Jetta, average 131100 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2004 Mazda Mazda3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Mazda3s, 9.9 months of data per Mazda3, average 128100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2004 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 Jettas, 8.6 months of data per Jetta, average 111800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  22 Jettas, 8.3 months of data per Jetta, average 137400 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2003 Volkswagen Jetta diesel 162
100% 100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 Jetta diesels, 10.1 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 224800 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.

 

2002 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  17 Jetta diesels, 9.1 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 198900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 Jettas, 9.0 months of data per Jetta, average 113400 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2001 Volkswagen Jetta diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 Jetta diesels, 8.9 months of data per Jetta diesel, average 216300 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2001 Volkswagen Jetta 100
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  25 Jettas, 8.1 months of data per Jetta, average 154800 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.

 

2000 Volkswagen Jetta   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 Jettas, 4.8 months of data per Jetta, average 150700 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

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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.

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
2014 4dr Hatch 184-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I can't speak to other cars within my bracket but from previous purchases my car simply put is a lemon. I haven't yet taken legal action against Mazda but am highly considering it. I have owned 3 previous Mazdas and my current 3 has been in the shop more times than the other 2 combinded over a 10 year period. First it was minor vibration and harshness from the engine bay, then several electrical issues from door locks to headlamps to the infotainment to finally my vehicle will stall completely dead shortly after ignition. The dealership I am working with certianly isn't helping. My car has been in and out of the dealership since I have owned it at least once a month. The only reason I had not taken it back sooner is because the last time I brought it by they put two deep 1" scrapes by the fuel door and refused to cover it. This in turn caused almost $2000 worth of damage to repaint and surface the car of which I paid $500 to my insurance company.
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 Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well
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 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 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.
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
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.
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..
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner.
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable
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!!
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
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
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 0 I'm about to buy a 2006 Jetta tdi. I'd buy any tdi if it took my eye but I found a 2006 Jetta for $4200 au with only 97,000 on the clock. It's automatic.. I want to know if it's a yay or nay with this model. When things are too good to be true they usually are.. Cheers! Michael
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.
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.
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 manual FWD
This car has required too many repairs: clutch master cylinder failure (125k miles) clutch slave cylinder failure (167k miles master replaced again, just to be sure) DMF failure (186k miles converted to SMF) HPFP failure (167k and 190k miles) - $5500 repair (VW paid for first one) motor mount failure (drivers side) P2015 intake manifold flap problem (fixed with dieselgeeks kit) Exhaust pressure sensor 2 failure Delayed air conditioning Forgot that it had aux input when battery disconnected I did drive the car for 115,000 and its ability to generate expensive repairs never ceased to amaze me. Parts are very expensive and the labor times are long because it is difficult to work on. Also this was the first year of the Common Rail diesel engine, and there are a lot of problems that weren't worked out. (example: High Pressure Fuel Pump and single piece diesel particulate filter). Bottom Line: think really hard before you buy a 2009 VW Jetta TDI
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 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 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....
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.