2015 Mazda3 5-Door vs. 2015 VW Golf

2015 Mazda3
2015 VW Golf

Hatchbacks like the 2015 Mazda3 5-door blend efficiency and agility with the ability to easily carry lots of cargo. That makes them ideal for city driving, or for anyone that wants a practical and affordable vehicle. The Mazda3 stand out because it also offers a healthy amount of style, efficient performance, and a long list of premium features. Learn how it stacks up against the 2015 VW Golf, a similar hatchback, and then plan a visit to Cox Mazda in Bradenton to take a test drive.


2015 Mazda3Why pay more for the VW, especially since it offers less than the Mazda3 5-door in so many other categories? The entry level Mazda3 trim is available for only $16,945. You can’t get into a 2015 Golf for less than $17,995. On the high end, the premium Mazda3 trim has an accessible MSRP of just $25,045. The nicest Golf sells for $25,935 and comes with an underwhelming list of enhancements.

Fuel Economy

Efficiency is a major consideration when choosing between hatchbacks, and the 2015 Mazda3 5-door is consistently able to use less conventional gasoline than the VW Golf. The 2015 Mazda3 is available with two different powertrains, a 2.0L four-cylinder that gets 29 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, and a stronger 2.5L four-cylinder engine that gets 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.

The Golf has only once conventional gas powertrain available, and it tops out at 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. While the Golf does have an efficient diesel engine, the cost of diesel fuel is considerably higher than regular gasoline.

A regenerative braking system is available on the Mazda3, and it raises the 2.5L four-cylinder engine’s fuel economy to 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The VW offers no comparable system.

Trims and Features

2015 Mazda3The 2015 Mazda3 5-door is available at five distinct trim levels, each with a long list of features, and many that don’t come with the comparable VW trim. If you are looking for premium amenities and advanced technologies, you will find that many are totally unavailable in the Golf.

The entry level iSport Mazda3 hatchback comes with cruise control, HD radio, smartphone integration, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The Golf is missing those first four features, and the included touchscreen only measures 5.8 inches.

The highest level sGrand Touring trim of the Mazda3 comes standard with bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, active grille shutters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and lots more. In the Golf, those same features either come as cost-added options, or are not available at all.


The 2015 Mazda3 5-door is objectively the safer car, and has been shown to better protect drivers and passengers against the riskiest kinds of collisions.

  • Safety Ratings: Both the Mazda3 and the Golf were named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, but the Mazda3 earned the extra Plus distinction awarded only to vehicles that provide advanced front crash impact measures. This is a small but significant difference between the two cars.
  • Safety Features: The Mazda3 either comes standard or offers high-tech safety features like blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warning, and a collision mitigation system. Unfortunately, none of these features is available on the Golf.

Transmission Performance

2015 Mazda3Automotive critics log a lot of miles and spend a lot of time figuring out what works and what doesn’t about a car. It’s notable that one of the features that the Golf often gets criticized over—its automatic transmission—is referred to as a highlight of the Mazda3. The quotes below are from the experts at Edmunds:

  • Golf: “The six-speed automatic paired with the gasoline engine is a bit balky, however, prone to searching for the right gear when accelerating from a stop.”
  • Mazda3: “The automatic transmission is a bright spot, offering shifts that are remarkably intelligent, quick, responsive and smooth. The available “Sport” mode on 3s Touring/Grand Touring models further improves the already intelligent programming of the automatic transmission.”

Drive the 2015 Mazda3 5-Door Today at Cox Mazda

We can’t say the 2015 VW Golf is a bad car, but we can say it’s not as good as the 2015 Mazda3 5-door. To fully appreciate the current Mazda3 hatchback you really need to observe its attention-grabbing styling, explore its fun and intuitive features, and experience how well it drives.

So make your way to Cox Mazda, conveniently located at 3101 Cortez Road West in Bradenton, FL. Look for us just a few blocks west of the Manatee County Shopping Center where we are only a short drive from Tampa and Sarasota. We are open seven days a week, and there are lots of Mazda3 5-doors waiting at our dealership right now.