2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2017 Volkswagen Golf
Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

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.

2017 Volkswagen Golf2017 Volkswagen Golf
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2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch2017 Chevrolet Cruze
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2017 Ford Focus2017 Ford Focus
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2017 Honda Civic Si First Drive2017 Honda Civic
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2017 Mazda MAZDA32017 Mazda MAZDA3
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2017 Mini Cooper2017 MINI Cooper
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Quick Specs
There's a Golf for nearly every taste and need—Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen— and don't forget about the EV eGolf, which is very balanced and fun to drive.
The 2017 Chevy Cruze adds a hatch to the family that retains the same good ride and ample space, without being boomy or loud.
The 2017 Ford Focus has great road manners and scorching high-performance editions, but it's compromised by a small back seat.
The 2017 Honda Civic gains a hatchback body this year, but we were already sold. It's a very good compact car.
The 2017 Mazda 3 is near the top of our favorite compact cars on sale today. Its good performance, good fuel economy, and good value make for a very good car.
The 2017 Mini Cooper is still one of the most fun cars to drive on the road today.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Turbocharged Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsSubcompact Cars
Style Name     
1.8T 4-Door S Manual4-Door Sedan 1.4L L w/1SMS SedanLX ManualSport ManualCooper FWD
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Chevrolet Cruze2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Ford Focus2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Honda Civic2017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 Mazda MAZDA32017 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2017 MINI Cooper