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Reliabiltiy/maintenance of VW vs Mazda

I’m looking at possibly getting a VW rabbit or a Mazda3 hatchback. From what I have seen they both get comparable reviews but regarding reliability it has been hard to find.

I know it’s difficult to predict but CR gives both above avg ratings, but then US News gave them 4-5/10. Then there is the JD Power quality ratings, which seem low given the otherwise good reviews.

Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.

It just goes to show that none of those figures are to be trusted, or worried about.

If you would take a close look at each study, you would find differences in the technique and most important the test group. VW owners for example may, on average report more or less faults than say BMW owners. They may or may not be typical drivers (Consumer Reports readers are going to be different than Heavy Metal Monthly readers.)

I did spend many years doing statical work and while I don’t suggest you totally ignore those numbers, I would suggest not worrying about them very much either.

I have had a lot of cars over my 45 years of driving and I loved every one and not one was a looser.

I’d take the Mazda in a heartbeat. VW reliability has been dismal for many years. The newer models may be improving, but the dealer experience isn’t. Then there’s the oil consumption issue. VW builds some attractive cars, but beauty is only skin deep.

The Mazda3 has an excellent reputation for reliability. Now if they’d just fix that smiley face.

I’m sure a previous generation’s front fascia could be retrofitted to the new ones

Edmunds has the true cost to own feature. If you look at a 2006 Rabbit and Mazda3, you will see that the cost over 5 years for maintenance and repairs is about equal. The Mazda averages $100 less. At $20/year, I’d just buy whatever one suited me best. They are both fine cars.

BTW, I chose 2006 to factor out the warranty differences and get a little age on the car to expose possible problems.

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Given the avg cost of ownership is about the same with Mazda tending to have a better history I’m leaning towards the Mazda.

Now it’s just pending a test drive and a look at what that big grin looks like in person :slight_smile:

The Mazda wins easy,my old dealer in Milwaukee sold both so I got the skinny from the other techs. The problem I have with the “number of reported repairs” method is that minor and major problems don’t seem to be well seperated. Its just “how many times did you have to go for repairs” type questioning, unless I have missed the repair catagory breakdown.

I have an 06 mazda 3 with 47000 on it with few, if any, problems. Water and PS pump went out after about 10K, but easy warranty fix. The service people at Mazda dealerships seem to be nicer and more helpful than VW dealerships (I’ve owned both) Overall, I love the little car. I recommend the hatchback, you’ll wonder what you did without it!