Volkswagen Golf vs Mazda 3 Hatchback - Performance or Elegance?

Volkswagen Golf vs Mazda 3 Hatchback - Performance or Elegance?

There is no doubt that crossovers have become the go-to vehicles these days for several reasons. But that doesn't make the hatchbacks any less accessible, especially for those with small families or frequent commute in dense traffic areas. Hatchbacks are often confused with cramped, budget cars with near to zero design appeal. But that's not the case with today's contestants - the VW Golf and Mazda 3 Hatch, as both the cars hail from the premium category and come with a feature-loaded specs sheet.

Out of the two, Mazda 3 hatch is the latest arrival. The 2019 model arrived in Malaysia in July last year with three trim levels and two body styles. The VW Golf is also offered in three variants and is known for its substantial German body fame and safety kit. Today we'll be comparing the two cars based on exterior design, cabin features, performance, safety, and price. So, let's get started and later conclude which amongst the two is the better pick.

Also Read: 2020 World Car Design of the Year award goes to…



VW Golf

Mazda 3














The VW Golf showcases a dynamic design language. It is often confused with the Polo, especially from the front. But on closer inspection, the differences start to show like the Golf gets a slim grille with a single slate and gets wide lower air intakes. The full-LED headlight unit with LED DRLs isn't the sleekest option you'll see around in the segment, but like many, they flow from the grille. On to the side, it gets prominent wheel arches that carry 19-inch alloy wheels (depending on the variant). The rear receives full-LED taillights with dynamic indicators that add to both the style and safety front.

Volkswagen Golf vs Mazda 3 Hatchback - side profile

Mazda 3 hatch, just like all the other siblings embrace the Kodo: Soul of Motion philosophy. Compared to the previous version, the 2019 model is more seductive, sporty, and energetic. Features like the black honeycomb grille, adaptive LED projector headlamps with LED DRLs, 16-ich alloy wheels (depending on the variant), and LED taillights enhance the car's appeal.


Open the gates, and you'll know that Golf is an extremely feature-rich car. Its seats are covered in Zoom fabric as standard, and Vienna perforated covers in top models. The steering wheel and gear knob, too, are wrapped in leather. The centre console gets an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Mirror Link. The boot space is pretty good at 380-litre; holding the rear seat goes up to 1,270-litre.

Volkswagen Golf vs Mazda 3 Hatchback - interior

The Mazda 3 cabin has a more driver-centric approach. The car features new steering, and the driver even gets two dedicated air vents. Compared to the previous-gen model, it features a much larger infotainment system with the latest version of the Mazda Connect system. The following features are available as standard fitments: single-zone air-con system, an 8.8-inch central display with Mazda Connect and eight speakers, a windscreen-projected head-up display, soft-touch dash, and manually operated front seats. The Mazda 3 hatch offers a luggage capacity of 343-litre.


The Golf is offered in two engine options - a 1.4-litre TSI turbocharged unit and a 2.0-litre performance-based motor. The former produces a maximum power of 150 PS and a peak torque of 250 Nm, while the later thrust out 290 PS and 380 Nm. In both the powertrain options, the power is sent down to the wheels through a 7-speed DSG gearbox.

The Mazda hatch is also available in two mill options. A smaller 1.5-litre DOHC 4-cylinder unit making 120 PS and 153 Nm of torque. The bigger 2.0-litre DOHC 4-cylinder with VVT making 162 hp and 213 Nm. Both the mills are coupled to SKYACTIV DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.

Volkswagen Golf vs Mazda 3 Hatchback - safety


VW has fitted the Golf with multiple safety and security features like ABS with EBD and brake assist, airbags for driver, front passenger, side, curtain, and driver's knee. Besides, the car is equipped with many drive assistance features like electronic stability control, automatic post-collision brakes, hill hold control, and differential lock.

The Mazda 3 standard safety equipment list includes i-Stop idling technology, G-Vectoring Control Plus Technology, 7SRS airbags, ABS with EBD and EBA, dynamic stability control, and traction control system, hill launch assist, emergency stop signal, and engine immobilizer anti-theft system. Top variants get a few additional features, including walk away lock, high-beam control, adaptive front-lighting system, Mazda radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart brake support, driver attention alert, lane departure warning system, lane-keep assist system.


As mentioned earlier, the Golf is available in three variants - R-Line, R, and GTI, and its price range sit between RM 168,505 to RM 294,905.

The Mazda 3 hatchback is available in two trim levels - G 1.5 and G 2.0, that'll cost RM 135,070 and RM 154,679, respectively.


Both cars have a lot to offer on each side - form, and functionality. However, on the one hand, while the Mazda 3 might appeal more to the eyes, the Golf stores in more power. So, we'll suggest you weight your priorities and then pick a companion.

Also Read: 

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