2021 Volkswagen Golf vs. Its Competition

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor

The shrinking hatchback segment has strong entries, but the Volkswagen Taos spells how small crossovers are taking over for utilitarian needs.

Yet the Honda Civic and its Type-R performance variant show why hatchbacks hot or otherwise provide more driving fun without sacrificing much space, in the case of the Civic.

The redesigned Mazda 3 gets smaller and a turbo-4 option, but it lacks the punch of its predecessors.

The Corolla reflects another trend, with the hatchback leaning to sport and the hybrid sedan getting unrivaled fuel economy at 52 mpg.

The Impreza soldiers on as an AWD budget sedan or a hatchback that has been dwarfed by the Crosstrek crossover.

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI2021 Volkswagen Golf2022 Volkswagen Taos2022 Volkswagen TaosGet Your Price2021 Honda Civic2021 Honda Civic
Get Your Price
2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo2021 Mazda MAZDA3Get Your Price2021 Subaru Impreza2021 Subaru Impreza
Get Your Price
2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition2021 Toyota Corolla
Quick Specs
6.7
The 2021 VW Golf TSI compels shoppers for its overall value, but the GTI is a hole in one.
6.2
The Taos offers a winning combination of value, technology, and spaciousness that other small SUVs can’t match.
6.7
The 2021 Honda Civic doesn’t let social responsibility get in the way of a good time.
6.7
The 2021 Mazda 3 straddles the mainstream and upscale markets with a quality cabin, power that ranges from pedestrian to plentiful, and available all-wheel drive.
6.5
The 2021 Subaru Impreza excels at foul-weather traction and value; it’s an exceedingly rational choice among economy cars.
6.7
With the 2021 Corolla, Toyota has almost excised all the bland from its diet.
MSRP From     
$23,195$22,995$21,250$20,650$18,795$20,025
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 36 MPG HwyComing Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4N/ARegular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsSmall SUV 2WDLarge CarsCompact CarsN/ACompact Cars
Style Name     
1.4T TSI ManualS FWDLX CVT2.0 FWDN/AL CVT (SE)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
5555N/A5
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackSport UtilityHatchbackSedanN/ASedan
Transmission     
Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODCVT w/ODAutomatic w/ODN/ACVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2022 Volkswagen Taos2021 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2021 Honda Civic2021 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2021 Mazda MAZDA32021 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2021 Subaru Impreza2021 Volkswagen Golf vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla