2019 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2019 Mazda 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Jetta has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Jetta and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Jetta comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The 3’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Jetta’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Mazda 3’s (10 vs. 5 years).

There are over 12 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Jetta’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Jetta gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 3 Sedan:

MPG

Jetta

FWD

Manual

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Mazda3 Sedan

FWD

Auto

Premium 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the Jetta gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda3 Hatchback:

MPG

Jetta

FWD

Manual

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Mazda3 Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Jetta Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is optional on the Volkswagen Jetta, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Mazda 3.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Jetta’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda 3:

Jetta

Mazda3

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11.02 inches

Rear Rotors

10.8 inches

10.43 inches

Suspension and Handling

The Jetta has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The front grille of the Jetta uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Jetta has .5 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta has a larger trunk than the Mazda 3 Sedan (14.1 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Jetta and the Mazda 3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Jetta is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the Jetta SE/R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Mazda 3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Jetta SEL Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Jetta, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volkswagen Jetta outsold the Mazda 3 by 40% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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