2015 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2015 Volkswagen Golf R  -  Driven, January 2015
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The top rival to the Volkswagen Golf is the Ford Focus; with a flamboyant, Euro-influenced design and an emphasis on technology, features, and driving enjoyment, it remains a strong alternative to the VW.

The Mazda 3 has been one of the most fun-to-drive compacts on the market.

We'd say the same of the newest MINI Cooper, which has a novel three-cylinder turbo and lots of performance extenders.

The Hyundai Elantra GT has an entirely different, more swoopy design than its sedan counterpart, as well as a strong roster of features for the money.

Finally, Honda still has its Civic Si, but we're no fans of the current car's duller handling.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R  -  Driven, January 20152015 Volkswagen Golf
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2015 Ford Focus ST2015 Ford Focus
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2015 Honda Civic LX Sedan2015 Honda Civic
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2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 Hyundai Elantra
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2015 Mazda Mazda32015 Mazda MAZDA3
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2015 MINI Cooper S 4-Door Hardtop, Catskill Mountains, NY, Apr 20152015 MINI Cooper
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Quick Specs
7.8
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI trade flashy looks for great interior and cargo space, especially in the SportWagen model—but they don't give up anything for driving fun.
8.6
The 2015 Ford Focus lineup gets a clean new look for 2015, as well as a high-mileage three-cylinder engine option and revamped cabin comforts. From efficiency-minded models to the high-performance ST, it remains one of the best-driving small cars on the market.
7.8
The 2015 Honda Civic is refined, comfortable, and offers top-notch safety ratings and features.
8.2
Snappy sheetmetal and smart packaging puts the 2015 Hyundai Elantra on most must-drive lists, though it's not as engaging to drive as some compact sedans.
8.6
The 2015 Mazda 3 is one of the best-driving small cars, with efficient engines and smooth transmissions that help give it a more premium feel than its price would suggest.
8.6
The 2015 MINI Cooper hardtop is a slightly larger car with all the virtues of earlier MINIs and fewer drawbacks; it's nicer and quieter inside, the base car is closer to the Cooper S in performance, and it retains the rollerskate handling and cheeky character it's always had.
MSRP From     
$17,995$17,170$18,490$17,250$16,945$20,700
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMid-Size CarsCompact CarsMinicompact Cars
Style Name     
2-Door HB Manual Launch Edition *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual i SV2-Door HB
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555554
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackSedanSedanSedanSedanHatchback
Transmission     
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 Ford Focus2015 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 Honda Civic2015 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 Mazda MAZDA32015 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 MINI Cooper