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Golf or Mazda 3?

Ask the People Who Own One:

2015 - 2018 Volkswagen Golf / GTI
call2coll

I am finally moving on from my Nissan Sentra. I want something comfortable for long drives, fun to drive and reliable. I like hatchbacks, but could go for a trunk. I plan on holding it for 8 years, four years to pay mine, then another four years to pay for a car for my wife.
Love driving the Golf, worried about reliability. The Mazda3 is also great to drive. Other possible options are the Focus and Leon. I really liked Carplay in the VW, would like to have it in my new car. I\'m open to suggestions if you think I am missing a trick.
Thanks
Just noticed I put this in the wrong place, I intended for it it go into "My next cat", sorry about that.

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Response from mkaresh

8:36 pm March 26, 2016

I've had a Gti for 7 years, tried the Mazda 3 and others. 80,000 miles and no problems, needed front brakes at 70k and probably need rears now. Tires and windshield wipers are the other thinks I've grlaced, love it still

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Response from mkaresh

10:50 pm March 26, 2016

I have had just the opposite experience with my GTI. Many, many visits to the dealership for transmission issues, oil consumption issues, a bevy of electrical glitches, air conditioning breakdowns and premature brake wear. And that is just a short list. I have owned my GTI for eight years. They are great vehicles if you are lucky enough to get a good one. I would stick with the Mazda simply from a reliability standpoint. Repairs on VW's can become frustrating and expensive. If you buy one, dump it at the first sign of trouble after the warranty runs out.

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Response from mkaresh

12:12 am March 27, 2016

Thanks. I have been looking around, and what Nailocr says seems to ring true. Lots of people have a trouble free driving experience with the Golf, but if they go wrong they seem to do it again and again. As I said, once purchaced I am stuck with it for 8 years, and that worries me.

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Response from mkaresh

12:21 am March 27, 2016

I so want to buy the Golf. It has so many things I like. It is very comfortable, super quiet inside, great tech, roomy (for a small car) and great to drive. But more than anything I need a car to work, I guess I am looking for either confirmation of my worries, or have them dispelled.
I drove the Mazda3, great car and tech, bit noisier inside, bit less comfortable, but great to drive. Stats seem to put it ahead of the VW on reliability, does that ring true with mazda drivers?

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Response from mkaresh

1:22 am March 27, 2016

From conducting the survey, your impressions strike me as accurate. Many Golf owners have few problems, but some have many problems. The latest generation car could be better, but it's far too soon to say. I'd be more comfortable with six years than eight. German cars too often take a turn for the worse around the time they turn six. The Mazda is less of a risk. Unless it rusts around age six, but those produced since 2009 seem good so far.

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Response from mkaresh

2:01 am March 27, 2016

Rust won't be a problem, I live in Mexico. One thing I do worry about are the speedbumps down here. The last gen Mazda was very low, and scraped its ass over many of them. I've been told the new version has less of a problem, to be fair it was the dealership who told me that :)

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Response from mkaresh

2:06 pm March 27, 2016

In the past 30 years we have owned 11 VWs. Starting with an 83 Quantum, 4 Jettas, 1 Golf, 3 GTIs, 2 New Beetles. VW builds a great product and through all the listed vehicles we never had one that was so problematic that we would change our loyalty. I perform the standard maintenance myself and have taken full advantage of the wealth of internet knowledge and comraderie. I recently purchased a 2016 GTI S and it is the best VW I have owned. As with all cars of late there is a significant amount of tech included with the car as standard. Handling is well beyond competitors. The Germans know how to make a great handling car while remaining somewhat conservative with engine power. Of course there are options to boost power through software from after market vendors. I would not slight the Asian manufacturers, they seem to bring high reliability in place of performance. We have also owned Mazda and Toyota Minivans along with an occasssional Subaru or Toyota econo box. I lean towards VW for price and performance and I am willing to put time and money into preventive mainatenance. I can also say that there are issues with just about every car. I currently own and drive a Porsche Cayman S Black Edition which is close to bullet proof, but still has it's issues.

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Response from mkaresh

7:03 pm March 27, 2016

Thanks jbx2. The GTI is a bit out of my league, but I have to agree that the 2016 golf is lovely. Do you use android auto or CarPlay? If so, is it better than the stock system?

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Response from mkaresh

10:13 pm March 27, 2016

I have connected my HTC M8 using Android Auto, but really haven't found much use for it. Maybe if we take a trip I'm sure Google maps would be cool on the display.

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Response from mkaresh

10:19 pm March 27, 2016

We have owned both the2006 mazda3 gt with 2.3L motor and the 2013 Golf with 2.5L motor. The Mazda was a 5 speed manual and the Golf is a 6 speed auto. Both good cars, but these exact models are discontinued, so the current models will be different. We found the Mazda 3 ( 2.3L) was the more sporty car with excellent engine response while the Golf is the more comfortable of the two, better on the highway and better seats. The new Golf currently at dealers comes with a smaller turbocharged motor made in Mexico, which is an unknown factor re reliability, and I don't like turbos at all because of poor throttle response and very costly repairs when the turbo seizes up. So, the previous models are not a real indicator of what to expect from the new models.......JR.

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Response from mkaresh

8:29 pm March 29, 2016

I decided to hold off for now. As mike said, too early to judge the reliability. New platform and new factory in mexico makes me nervous. In 6 months we should have a better idea of where reliability is heading.
Thanks for all your feedback, I will call on you again about September.
Happy motoring

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Response from mkaresh

10:32 pm March 29, 2016

I have waited for so many cars over the years, my wife wishes we would have written a book on our car shopping experiences. You have to be patient and only make the move when you are certain it's the right car and the money makes sense. At least you are keeping this purchase objective which is the one thing dealers hate. I have walked away from countless deals in order to have time to think. Good luck.

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