We are 108,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

Volkswagen Golf / GTI vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata 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  
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
38% Best 104% Worst
See problems for this generation
2015 - 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI
45.4285714286% Best 117% Worst
See problems for this generation
2006 - 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata
0% Best 33% Worst
See problems for this generation
2010 - 2014 Volkswagen Jetta / Golf / GTI
34% Best 97% 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


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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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
 

TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the Mazda Miata MX-5

Mazda Miata MX-5 Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearComment
2012 A major reason Miatas hold their value is that they've proven to be among the most reliable cars you can buy. If something does happen to break, it will usually be cheap and easy to fix. Not much complexity here. full 2012 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2016 The new Mazda MX-5 Miata is, well, new, so TrueDelta has no reliability data on it. But past Miatas have all been reliable, and other current Mazdas have been reliable, so there's little reason to think that the new Miata won't be. MINIs, though not on average as bad as their reputation suggests, have been considerably less reliable than Miatas. And, if you do get a bad one, too often it's horror-story bad. Scion FR-Ss initially suffered from a few common issues, but the average for the 2013s has been improving and the 2014s have been good. full 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mazda Miata MX-5

Mazda Miata MX-5 Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2009 2dr Convertible 167-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual RWD
Good reliability history according to all research. full 2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2008 2dr Convertible 158-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I only have about 15,000 miles so far. This car does not get driven in the winter because of road salt. Nothing has broken or needed repair yet. full 2008 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2007 2dr Convertible 166-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual RWD
Knock on wood - the Miata has proven totally reliable so far. The maintenance bills are very low, and the Mazda dealer service is good. full 2007 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
Mazda has closed the gap on Honda and Toyota. It hardly gets better than that. That plus the warranty and I have no worries. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
I bought this car at about 40,000km and so far after 8,000km it has olny cost me gas, and 1 oil change that I will need to do this week. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
its a mazda, it may be said to be too reliable, is there such a thing, this is my second masda mx-5, i ran my first one for 6 years, not one trip to the mazda garage full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
Flawless/bullet-proof drivetrain. Few gizmos and needless luxuries = fewer things to break. No need for repairs in 32k miles. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
Car had a major issue with its engine computer, fixed under warrantee. Other than that, no real issues. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual RWD
I haven ot had ANY problems with it. The car only goes to the mechanic for scheduled maintenance - what mroe can one say. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review
2006 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual RWD
Has been 100% reliable over 6 years, 30,000 miles and two 2 month cross country trips. full 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 review