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

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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 Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 26
46.1038961039% 46.1038961039% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  30 MX-5 Miatas, 7.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 3700 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Very good so far. Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
2016 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 27
48.7012987013% 48.7012987013% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  104 GTI and Golf Rs, 7.3 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 4800 miles

A year ago the 2015 Golf 1.8T had a similarly high repair frequency, while the GTI has generally been better.
2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 48
100% 100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  45 Golf 1.8Ts, 6.6 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 6800 miles

A year ago the 2015 Golf 1.8T had a similarly high repair frequency, while the GTI has generally been better.

 

2015 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R 16
16.6666666667% 16.6666666667% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  88 GTI and Golf Rs, 10.1 months of data per GTI and Golf R, average 16000 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T 25
38.0952380952% 38.0952380952% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  33 Golf 1.8Ts, 8.9 months of data per Golf 1.8T, average 11900 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.
2015 Volkswagen Golf diesel 29
47.619047619% 47.619047619% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  30 Golf diesels, 9.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 17700 miles

Redesigned. Golf 1.8T initially had a higher repair frequency than the GTI, and the TDI still does. Unclear why. All might have a somewhat common problem with failing AC compressors.

 

2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel 11
2.74725274725% 2.74725274725% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  43 Golf diesels, 10.2 months of data per Golf diesel, average 33200 miles
2014 Volkswagen GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 GTIs, 7.9 months of data per GTI, average 25200 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2013 Volkswagen Golf diesel 9
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  44 Golf diesels, 9.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 45200 miles
2013 Volkswagen GTI 22
21.921182266% 21.921182266% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  61 GTIs, 8.9 months of data per GTI, average 33400 miles
2013 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  19 Golf 2.5s, 10.2 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 38200 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5 24
25.8620689655% 25.8620689655% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  27 Golf 2.5s, 9.4 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 45400 miles
2012 Volkswagen Golf diesel 24
25.8620689655% 25.8620689655% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  60 Golf diesels, 9.0 months of data per Golf diesel, average 58500 miles
2012 Volkswagen GTI 50
77.0935960591% 77.0935960591% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  61 GTIs, 9.4 months of data per GTI, average 47600 miles

 

2011 Volkswagen Golf diesel 30
22.5274725275% 22.5274725275% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  64 Golf diesels, 9.3 months of data per Golf diesel, average 74400 miles
2011 Volkswagen GTI 44
43.0402930403% 43.0402930403% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  41 GTIs, 9.9 months of data per GTI, average 58000 miles
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 Golf 2.5s, 9.0 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 60500 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 MX-5 Miatas, 7.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 32700 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen Golf 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 Golf 2.5s, 10.4 months of data per Golf 2.5, average 63800 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2010 Volkswagen GTI 54
57.6923076923% 57.6923076923% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  43 GTIs, 10.3 months of data per GTI, average 64600 miles

Redesigned.
2010 Volkswagen Golf diesel 58
63.5531135531% 63.5531135531% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  59 Golf diesels, 10.5 months of data per Golf diesel, average 93000 miles

Redesigned.

 

2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 62
50.8746355685% 50.8746355685% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  40 Rabbits, 9.2 months of data per Rabbit, average 77500 miles
2009 Volkswagen GTI 82
74.1982507289% 74.1982507289% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  25 GTIs, 10.0 months of data per GTI, average 74100 miles

 

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata 16
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  26 MX-5 Miatas, 8.8 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 48000 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
2008 Volkswagen R32   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 R32s, 9.5 months of data per R32, average 71900 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2008 Volkswagen GTI 50
33.5164835165% 33.5164835165% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  25 GTIs, 7.6 months of data per GTI, average 83900 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 72
57.6923076923% 57.6923076923% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  32 Rabbit 2.5s, 8.9 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 92800 miles

Average odometer much lower for the R32.

 

2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  24 MX-5 Miatas, 10.0 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 64500 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 Rabbit 2.5s, 10.6 months of data per Rabbit 2.5, average 113200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Volkswagen GTI 84
61.3300492611% 61.3300492611% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  30 GTIs, 8.5 months of data per GTI, average 100100 miles

Redesigned. Includes the 2006.5 Rabbit and GTI.

 

2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata 27
7.68194070081% 7.68194070081% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  37 MX-5 Miatas, 9.7 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 63900 miles

Redesigned for this model year. Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.

 

2005 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 Golf / GTIs, 9.4 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 134100 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 MX-5 Miatas, 10.1 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 82800 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2004 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 Golf / GTIs, 8.9 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 110500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2003 Volkswagen Golf diesel 101
55.5238095238% 55.5238095238% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
  26 Golf diesels, 10.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 231100 miles

Note high average odometer for the TDI.
2003 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf / GTIs, 8.5 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 150900 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2002 Mazda MX-5 Miata   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 MX-5 Miatas, 8.0 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 62400 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Golf diesel   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  14 Golf diesels, 9.1 months of data per Golf diesel, average 235000 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2002 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf / GTIs, 8.4 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 110600 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 MX-5 Miatas, 7.1 months of data per MX-5 Miata, average 85000 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2001 Volkswagen Golf / GTI   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 Golf / GTIs, 6.0 months of data per Golf / GTI, average 153200 miles

* Small sample, members only.

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

You won't find Volkswagen Golf / 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 / 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 / GTI and Mazda MX-5 Miata reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Golf / 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 / GTI and the Mazda MX-5 Miata have been recently.

See TrueDelta's information for all Volkswagen models and Mazda models.

TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen 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 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 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 Golf / GTI review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

2015 Volkswagen 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 Golf / GTI review
2015 Volkswagen 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 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 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 Golf / GTI review
 

TrueDelta Reviews the Reliability And Durability of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearComment
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 MX-5 Miata review