2016 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2016 Volkswagen Golf
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The top alternative to the Volkswagen Golf is definitely the Ford Focus.

which is offered in a very flamboyant, Euro-influenced hatchback and also influenced technology, features, and driving enjoyment—the latter perhaps a bit more in the Focus than the standard Golf.

The Mazda 3 is another top rival, and from the driver's seat it's one of the most fun-to-drive compact cars.

The newest Mini Cooper, which has a novel three-cylinder turbo and lots of performance extenders, is smaller and perhaps less versatile than the Golf, but it's zippy and great for city streets.

And a sporty hatchback version of the Honda Civic returns for 2016, so competition for the Golf will surely escalate.

And yet another model to consider, for those especially budget-conscious, is the new Scion iM—essentially a sporty hatchback version of the Toyota Corolla.

Keep in mind that none of these rivals can match the Golf's wide range of powertrain choices, from base-model gasoline to eGolf electrics and high-performance GTI and Golf R models.

2016 Volkswagen Golf2016 Volkswagen Golf
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2016 Ford Focus Electric2016 Ford Focus
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2016 Mazda 32016 Mazda MAZDA3
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2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible2016 MINI Cooper
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2016 Scion iA2016 Scion iA
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2015 Honda Civic LX Sedan2015 Honda Civic
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Quick Specs
8.0
Between base, e-Golf electric, and high-performance GTI and Golf R versions, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf lineup doesn't forget about the space-and-versatility fundamentals of hatchback—or SportWagen—ownership.
8.4
From efficiency-minded models to the high-performance ST, the 2016 Ford Focus remains one of the best-driving small cars on the market.
8.4
The 2016 Mazda 3 is one of the best-driving and best-looking small cars, with a more premium feel than its (now even lower) price might suggest.
8.6
The 2016 Mini Cooper is as cheeky as its retro style implies—and its three-cylinder engine is a charming surprise.
6.8
The 2016 Scion iA isn't fast or particularly roomy, but it delivers a great blend of features and performance for a remarkable subcompact price.
7.8
The 2015 Honda Civic is refined, comfortable, and offers top-notch safety ratings and features.
MSRP From     
$18,495$17,225$17,845$20,700$15,700$18,290
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy31 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMinicompact CarsSubcompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
2-Door HB Manual TSI4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport2-Door HB4-Door Sedan Manual (GS)2-Door Manual LX
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555455
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackSedanSedanHatchbackSedanCoupe
Transmission     
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2016 Ford Focus2016 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2016 Mazda MAZDA32016 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2016 MINI Cooper2016 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2016 Scion iA2016 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2015 Honda Civic