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Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI or Mazda MX-5 Miata reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the Mazda MX-5 Miata truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and Mazda MX-5 Miata reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the Mazda MX-5 Miata 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 Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI and the Mazda MX-5 Miata 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 Volkswagen Golf diesel   20 Golf diesels, 5.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 7600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2013 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   14 Golf 2.5s, 8.1 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 11900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2013 Volkswagen GTI 51 GTIs, 9.7 months of data per GTI, average 13600 miles29
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 41 Golf diesels, 10.7 months of data per Golf diesel, average 17200 miles30
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5 26 Golf 2.5s, 10.5 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 23100 miles22
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 52 Golf diesels, 10.2 months of data per Golf diesel, average 29300 miles36
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 Volkswagen GTI 86 GTIs, 8.9 months of data per GTI, average 24600 miles56
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 68 Golf diesels, 9.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 48000 miles43
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   17 Golf 2.5s, 10.3 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 38600 miles

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2011 Volkswagen GTI 51 GTIs, 9.3 months of data per GTI, average 38300 miles58
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata   12 MX-5 Miatas, 8.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 19700 miles

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2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   24 Golf 2.5s, 9.1 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 39300 miles

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2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 73 Golf diesels, 9.6 months of data per Golf diesel, average 64500 miles

Redesigned.
53
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Volkswagen GTI 61 GTIs, 9.6 months of data per GTI, average 45000 miles

Redesigned.
54
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 30 Rabbits, 8.9 months of data per Rabbit, average 59800 miles22
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Volkswagen GTI 29 GTIs, 9.1 months of data per GTI, average 63300 miles82
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata 31 MX-5 Miatas, 9.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 45800 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
16
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 38 Rabbit 2.5s, 8.9 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 74000 miles42
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Volkswagen R32   12 R32s, 11.0 months of data per R32, average 55000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 Volkswagen GTI 39 GTIs, 9.3 months of data per GTI, average 70700 miles79
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata   19 MX-5 Miatas, 7.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 47400 miles

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2007 Volkswagen GTI 30 GTIs, 10.7 months of data per GTI, average 86900 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
83
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 35 Rabbit 2.5s, 9.1 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 95000 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.
94
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata 37 MX-5 Miatas, 9.7 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 54700 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
20
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Volkswagen Golf diesel   13 Golf diesels, 8.6 months of data per Golf diesel, average 139300 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   11 Golf / GTIs, 7.8 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 110200 miles

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2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata   20 MX-5 Miatas, 9.9 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 65000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   16 Golf / GTIs, 10.6 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 100100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 32 Golf / GTIs, 7.6 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 132600 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
64
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 28 Golf diesels, 8.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 220500 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
127
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Mazda MX-5 Miata   10 MX-5 Miatas, 8.0 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 42000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 25 Golf / GTIs, 7.3 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 117400 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
52
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   14 Golf diesels, 9.8 months of data per Golf diesel, average 189000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata   13 MX-5 Miatas, 9.6 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 62500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Golf diesel   12 Golf diesels, 7.9 months of data per Golf diesel, average 192300 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI 25 Golf / GTIs, 8.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 142200 miles96
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   13 Golf / GTIs, 8.2 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 118500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2000 Volkswagen Golf diesel   10 Golf diesels, 9.2 months of data per Golf diesel, average 226800 miles

* Very small sample size.
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1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata   21 MX-5 Miatas, 6.4 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 98800 miles

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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI

Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / 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.
2010 4dr Hatch turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
I may be risking jinxing myself, given the brand's reputation, but it's been very reliable for three years now! No major problems, no big out-of-pocket expenses.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed manual FWD
The diesel engine is built to last.
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
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
Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit / GTI Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2006 4dr Hatch turbocharged 100hp 1.9L I4 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Lots of repairs so far, minor and major ones.
 

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

Mazda MX-5 Miata 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.