On fuel economy alone, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf/TDI makes a strong case to compact-car buyers.
There are many engaging competitors, though.
The Honda Civic is a perennial favorite here, though its latest design isn't a favorite.
The Hybrid version has TDI-trumping fuel economy.
The latest Ford Focus matches the Golf with two body styles, and buyers tend to be attracted to its powerful SYNC entertainment system, but it's styled poorly.
The Mazda3 is the perennial favorite for handling, but it can't match the VW's solid feel, even after a full redesign this year that thoroughly upgrades the interior.
|2010 Volkswagen Golf||2010 Mazda MAZDA3||2007 Honda Civic Classic|
|$17,620Browse Used Listings||$15,345Browse Used Listings||N/ABrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I5||Gas I4||N/A|
|2-Door HB Manual||4-Door Sedan Manual i SV||N/A|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A|
|2 Door HB||4 Door Sedan||N/A|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||N/A|