2023 Volkswagen Golf R Vs. Mazda3 Hatchback Comparison

If you're looking for a fun-loving hatchback to enhance your commute every day, comparing the 2023 VW Golf R vs. Mazda3 Hatchback differences is likely on your mind. The 2023 VW Golf R offers AWD, a power tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof, and a premium Harman Kardon® audio system. The Mazda3 Hatchback also has a few outstanding amenities, so which one should you choose? To help you decide, we've compiled a Golf R vs. Mazda3 review and comparison of trim features, performance, efficiency, and everyday driving comfort.

2023 Volkswagen Golf R vs. 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback Trims

The new 2023 VW Golf R comes standard with summer performance tires on 19-inch alloy wheels, Climatronic three-zone automatic climate control, and a 10-inch touch screen with navigation. Regarding performance, the new 2023 Golf R has a Drive Mode Select system that includes "Drift" and "Special" race modes for those afternoons at the track.

The 2023 model year also sees the arrival of the Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition. This new special VW Golf R can quickly be identified by its Lapiz Blue mirror caps with Pure White or Gloss Black exterior paint. You'll also find "20 Years" logos on the B-pillars and "20 Years" mirror puddle light projection. The 20th Anniversary VW Golf R has genuine carbon-fiber interior trim, 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels, and limited availability.

To learn how to order a 2023 VW Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition, please contact our sales department.

When comparing the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback vs. VW Golf trims and features, the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback comes in seven trim packages to make sense of. There are five Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 S variants plus two 2.5 Turbo models. The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo and Mazda3 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus offer turbocharged performance, but they do not offer drive modes that include "Drift" and "Special" race modes for those afternoons at the track.

2023 Volkswagen Golf R vs. 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback Trims

Mazda3 Hatchback vs. VW Golf R Performance and Efficiency Specs

Mazda3 Hatchback vs. VW Golf R Performance and Efficiency Specs

When choosing the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback or VW Golf R, which is faster? The VW Golf R has been the hot-hatchback benchmark for over four decades, and for 2023, it shows no signs of slowing down.

The Golf R has 315 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque thanks to a 4MOTION 2.0 TSI engine that pairs with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode.

The upper-echelon Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 Turbo models deliver up to 250 horsepower, which is significantly less than the base model VW Golf R.

How about efficiency in our 2023 VW Golf R vs. Mazda3 comparison? The 2023 VW Golf R the six-speed manual is incredibly efficient and delivers an EPA-estimated 20/28/23 MPG1 (City/Highway/Combined). Drivers who opt for the seven-speed automatic transmission can expect an EPA-estimated 23/30/26 MPG1 (City/Highway/Combined).

As you'd expect because the Mazda3 Hatchback has significantly less horsepower than the VW Golf R, it has a slightly better estimated fuel economy rating. The FWD Mazda3 Hatchback produces an EPA-estimated 26/36/30 MPG2 (City/Highway/Combined), though this rating drops to 23/31/26 MPG2 (City/Highway/Combined) with the turbo engine, which is almost identical to the Golf R even though it loses a lot of horsepower.

Ultimately, you need to ask yourself if gaining a couple of miles per gallon is worth losing the fun of a six-speed manual transmission, 4MOTION AWD w/ Active Control and Driving Mode Selection, and a sport suspension.

We didn't think so either.

Mazda3 Hatchback vs. Volkswagen Golf Dimensions

For a VW Golf R vs. Mazda3 Hatchback size comparison, both vehicles offer five-passenger seating and a 60/40 split second row. Let's compare dimensions.

The VW Golf R has 91.1 cubic feet of total passenger volume and 19.9 cubic feet of cargo room with the second row up. Fold the rear seat to expose 34.5 cubic feet of total cargo volume.

In the driver's seat, you'll have 37.8 inches of front headroom, 55.9 inches of shoulder room, and 41.2 inches of legroom.

Now, let's look at the Mazda3 Hatchback dimensions. The vehicle offers 92.7 cubic feet of passenger room and 20.1 cubic feet of cargo room. The car provides 37.5 inches of headroom, 55.7 inches of shoulder room, and 42.3 inches of legroom. In the driver's seat, the VW Golf R and Mazda3 Hatchback are nearly identical in size.

Discover Your 2023 VW Golf R Lease Deal

Thanks for checking out our VW Golf R and Mazda3 Hatchback comparison guide. To see how other VW models stack up to the competition, we can help you compare the VW Tiguan and Jeep Grand Cherokee. If the efficient, spacious, and fun-loving VW Golf R has your attention, visit our dealership today to discover its many other benefits with a test drive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a VW Golf R bigger than a Mazda3 Hatchback?

The 2023 VW Golf R and Mazda3 Hatchback are nearly identical in interior dimensions and cargo area. The Mazda3 Hatchback offers slightly more total passenger volume than the VW Golf R, 92.7 cubic feet vs. 91.1 cubic feet, respectively. The VW has 19.9 cubic feet of EPA-estimated cargo area, whereas the Mazda3 Hatchback has 20.1 cubic feet.

Is a VW Golf R faster than the Mazda3 Hatchback?

The new VW Golf R and VW Golf R 20th Anniversary Edition have 315 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is more power and performance than the new Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 models. The naturally aspirated Mazda3 Hatchback models are significantly underpowered compared to the VW Golf R, with only 191 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.

Is Mazda3 Hatchback a luxury car?

No, the new 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback is not considered a luxury car. The new Mazda3 Hatchback offers attractive styling elements and high-quality features that offer value for its price point, but it is not a luxury vehicle. The vehicle offers ample comfort, conveniences, and performance but does not fall into the luxury segment. It provides less performance than its rival from Volkswagen – the new VW Golf R.

Continue Your VW Research:

Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Need Help Finding Your Next VW? Contact Us!

* Indicates a required field

1EPA estimates only. Your results will vary.

2EPA-estimated mileage. Actual results will vary.