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 GolfGet Your Price2022 Volkswagen Taos2022 Volkswagen Taos
2021 Honda Civic2021 Honda CivicGet Your Price2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo2021 Mazda MAZDA3Get Your Price2021 Subaru Impreza2021 Subaru ImprezaGet Your Price2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition2021 Toyota CorollaGet Your Price
Quick Specs
6.7
The 2021 VW Golf TSI compels shoppers for its overall value, but the GTI is a hole in one.
The spacious 2022 Volkswagen Taos is one of the roomiest in the class and comes with good standard convenience features.
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     
$23,195N/A$21,250$20,650$18,795$20,025
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4N/AIntercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4N/ARegular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsN/ALarge CarsCompact CarsN/ACompact Cars
Style Name     
1.4T TSI ManualN/ALX CVT2.0 FWDN/AL CVT (SE)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
5N/A55N/A5
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackN/AHatchbackSedanN/ASedan
Transmission     
Manual w/ODN/ACVT 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