2018 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2018 Volkswagen Golf R
Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor

For enthusiasts, the Golf range lines up best against the Mazda 3.

They're both a hoot to drive, with the 3 taking crown unless you opt for the well-priced Golf GTI.

Mini's Cooper feels more special inside and out than the Golf, but it gets expensive fast and is something of a polarizing choice for many.

If you're looking to stay mainstream, pair the Golf against the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze; they're both offered as compelling hatchbacks.

The Civic range now includes Si and Type R models that give VW's sportier offerings a real run for their money, while the Cruze is available as a diesel.

VW once offered diesels...

until they got caught repeatedly cheating American emissions standards.

And the recently redesigned Subaru Impreza is also worth a look with its standard all-wheel drive and high-tech interior.

The Impreza begets the Crosstrek, which the Alltrack is doing its best to emulate.

2018 Volkswagen Golf R2018 Volkswagen Golf
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2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Redline2018 Chevrolet Cruze
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2018 Honda Civic2018 Honda Civic
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2018 Mazda32018 Mazda MAZDA3
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2018 Subaru Impreza2018 Subaru Impreza
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2018 Mini Cooper2018 MINI Cooper
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Quick Specs
6.5
There's a VW Golf for everyone, and they're even better for 2018 thanks to a big tech upgrade inside.
6.8
The 2018 Chevy Cruze offers lots of compelling reasons to select it, but we’d like to see more safety tech on its standard equipment roster.
7.5
The 2018 Honda Civic is a good car made better by plenty of options and value at nearly every stop.
7.2
The 2018 Mazda 3 adds standard active safety features to an already compelling value. Among compact cars, this is one to consider.
7.2
The 2018 Subaru Impreza offers all-wheel drive for all of us in a comfortable, refined, tech-savvy package.
6.3
The 2018 Mini Cooper is an icon made better by nimble handling and infinite customization.
MSRP From     
$20,910$16,975$18,940$18,095N/A$21,600
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Turbocharged Gas I4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4N/AIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsN/AMinicompact Cars
Style Name     
1.8T S Manual4-Door Sedan 1.4L L w/1SMLX ManualSport ManualN/AOxford Edition FWD
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
5555N/A4
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackSedanSedanSedanN/AHatchback
Transmission     
Manual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODN/AManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2018 Chevrolet Cruze2018 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2018 Honda Civic2018 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2018 Mazda MAZDA32018 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2018 Subaru Impreza2018 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2018 MINI Cooper