The Volkswagen Golf faces stiff competition from the Mazda 3—and we mean stiff.
The Mazda is almost as fun to drive and just as fuel efficient, not to mention less expensive.
The Ford Focus is our pick based on looks, but its lumpy mill doesn't feel as bright as the turbocharged VW Golf.
The Mini Cooper can be just as fun on the road, but its price outruns the Golf just as quickly.
Chevy's new Cruze is a looker, and it will soon be available in a hatchback.
The Honda Civic is a good bet here, but we like the Golf's versatility and hatchback—the SportWagen is even more useful.
That said, a Civic hatchback has just arrived for 2017, so things are starting to get even more interesting.
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|2017 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings||2017 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings||2017 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2017 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2017 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2017 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy|
|Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3|
|Compact Cars||Midsize Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Subcompact Cars|
|1.8T 4-Door S Manual||4-Door Sedan 1.4L L w/1SM||S Sedan||LX Manual||Sport Manual||Cooper FWD|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Chevrolet Cruze||2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Ford Focus||2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Honda Civic||2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Mazda MAZDA3||2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 MINI Cooper|