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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • Jason,
    I don't recall the site where I saw this, but there are a few out there that help consumers determine a "fair price" for various makes of vehicles. Every manufacturer gives its dealers different amounts of holdbacks (if you're not familiar with dealer holdbacks, there is an explanation here on the Edmunds site) and for VW, it is 2% of total MSRP. The site I saw called an additional 3% a "fair price" for a VW -- but you add 3% to the dealer's invoice price, not MSRP. Your $17,000 is then about right. Good Fahrvergnugen!
  • lckclckc Posts: 2
    I have never driven a diesel before...but when I saw the m.p.g. I had to give it a try. I was also hesitant about the price jump from the Honda, I mean how much difference could there really be? Ok, besides A LOT, it truly is smooooth! I'll be the first to admit I had to do my homework to prepare for my first new car since collage. (Not only because I know absolutely 0 about cars but also for some confidence at the dealerships.) Knowing what I now know about the two (thanks to everyone here, Edmund's and others) I am 90% sure I'm going with the Golf after the test drive. I recommend that you get out and do the same if you are hesitating between the two, I'm not going to have a problem eagerly waiting and saving up the extra cash!
  • First off, thanks Dean for your reply.

    Second, I just want to share with everyone what price I got on my 2000 Golf GLS w/Auto. I figured out the invoice price is $16,557 minus the 2-3% holdback for the dealers. I went into my local VW dealer and gave them my buying price of $16,800 and stood my ground. I figured they have at least a $500 margin if they sold this car to me at this price. Not counting the $199 "processing fee". Anyways, it took about 1/2 hour to get within $150 of my price but the dealer would not come any lower. I walked out.

    Next day, they called me and agreed to $16,800. The car is a Golf GLS w/Auto.

    With tax,tags,and title, my out the door price will be around $17,500. I haven't signed so I don't have the final numbers.

    I think I got a decent deal on it. Hope this info helps others who are thinking of buying this car. I can't wait to get mine.

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Good work, Jason! It feels good to wrap up the sale, doesn't it?

  • A new 2000 Civic DX hatchback, with $1095 dealer installed A/C, $250 dealer installed cassette deck, factory AM-FM radio, power steering (now standard on stick shift DX's!), and stick shift, is $13,960. Three Honda Dealers have offered me this car with this equipment for $12,700 plus tax and title, basically giving me the AC and tape player for free. However, for my $12,700, I would rather buy three 1997 Geo Metros. Just my opinion, but the dealer price for the AC and tape player seem high. Sure it includes labor, but it makes a $12,500 car a $14,000 car.

    Each dealer is offering the extended 7 year 100K warranty for free, but that makes me think it is free to anyone anyway.

    I would be happier with my Metros, though. I can live with manual steering and 13" tires. I also don't mind the stigma of being a Geo Metro owner because the darned cars keep going. I have 101K on my 1995 LSi and it is fine. It has been through half a dozen alternators and thanks to a truck running me off the road, I have a bent right lower control arm that eats up my right front tire every 6 weeks. The replacement part is $159.xx and the labor is prohibitive, so I would rather buy a $15 used tire every 6 weeks or so than do the work.

    Also for $13,960, you could buy a nice used 1997 Toyota Camry CE/LE or Honda Accord DX/LX and have the most bland car ever, but it will last forever.

    Your $13,960 will also purchase a three-to-five year old Volvo 850 or Audi A4, if safety is your concern.

    And one more idea, if performance and looks are your MO, you could buy a late eighties Corvette convertible.

    So a new car isn't always the best choice when a two or ten year old version of your dream car is within your reach.

    But if you WANT a Civic, buy a new one. A $14K new 2000 Civic is a much better value than a $10K used 1997 Civic.
  • Can I find a Honda Civic DX Hatchback with power steering, ac, am/fm and an automatic for under $15,000 or am I just dreaming?
  • After much test driving, everything from Acura Integras to Honda Civics and even BMW 318Tis, the only car theat really set itself apart was the Golf with a TDI (turbo diesel) motor. What an amazing little unit. Seems like the car was designed for this engine. The base 2.0 gas engine is uninspired and the V-6, only available in GTI trim ($20+ grand), is really too much engine for that car, at least with front wheel drive. The awd V-6 Golf, if they ever offer it here in the states, would be worth looking into, but then again, we're talking well over $20 grand.
    Anyway, if you havent driven the TDI, you are missing out on one of the best kept secrets around. They are available, but hard to find, at about $16,250.
  • Pricilla1:

    A friend of mine bought a Civic HX, which is a higher model than a DX for 15,500 out-the-door. This price included everything, tax, tags, and title. His car was automatic, a/c, am/fm/casette, power everything. Your 15,000 sounds more than reasonable.
  • Anyone care to comment on how reliable the TDI engine is in cold weather? Does it have trouble starting? Do you need a warmer? Apprciate any comments on this engine.
  • rgoetzrgoetz Posts: 13
    For TDI info (cold weather & much more), check out Fred's TDI Page,

    Based on what I read in Fred's forums, I've ordered a 2000 Golf GL TDI.
  • wj27wj27 Posts: 6

    I am a potential first time VW Golf owner. I am
    a bit concerned on the reliability of VW's in general (and especially the Golf).

    My reason for this is the fact that VW only offers a 24 month/24,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty while Honda and Toyota offer an extra year of coverage. Why is this?

    Also, are parts and repairs more expensive on VW Golfs vs. Toyota (Corolla) adn Honda (Civics)?

    I also welcome any comments from VW Golf GL owners (1996-00 model years). Are you happy w/ your purchase? Have you had any problems?

    I really would like to get the Golf GL. Compared to the conservative corolla and commonplace civic, it is the only car I get "excited" about. But the above issues make me wonder if I should go for the excitement (and driving fun) of a GL or stick w/ the boring corolla and/or civic.

    Please help!
  • wj27wj27 Posts: 6
    I forgot to mention--I am interested in the 2000
    VW Golf GL.

  • If you're concerned about reliability, buy a product with a proven track record - in other words, get a Honda. If it's not "stylish" enough, get some aftermarket wheels and tires and you're set!
  • After reading a number of comments, I feel I must tell my story.

    I drive 30K miles a year for work. I bought my first new car, a 1998 VW Golf GL, in black. I loved it. I pined for one for years before I bought it. I read Consumer Reports, Edmond's, etc. I wanted a VW!!

    Nine months later I traded it in for a '99 Honda Civic DX. Yes, I may have took a bit of a beating - Hondas can be pricey - but I had no choice. I felt I needed reliable transportation and the VW was turning out to be pricey. Here are some problems I had with it. Keep in mind though, after all of this - I miss my VW. My Honda is boring. I'm so torn!

    My VW had switches falling off in my hand; and believe me, I babied that car. The check engine light kept going on and the dealer said this would happen every 15 to 30k miles due to the humidity. They replaced the distributor, the rotor, and the starter!!! OUCH! Had it not been under warranty it would have cost me a bundle. The dealership was VERY nice though I have to say (Concours Motors - I recommend them highly) and the repairs were quick and the parts were in stock. The check engine light kept coming on, though, and it was scaring me. After owning three Hondas which NEVER had a problem, I was concerned.

    So now I have a Honda. My Civic has NOT been without problems though people!!!!!!! Squeaky belts which were fixed after three trips to the dealership, bad fit 'n finish in the interior, stripped bolt on a hardware piece on the door which rattled something awful. Also, I have a friend that had major weather stripping problems with his Civic.

    What's the answer here? Do I miss my Golf? Hell yes - in retrospec, I should not have traded it in on what I consider to be a boring car. My decision was irrational, I think. The Golf was MUCH more fun to drive and had more features for the money. Although the fuel milage on the Civic is better, keep in mind you also have a smaller tank so you're fueling up just as often.

    The grass is always greener on the other side. I believe that my VW Golf would have served me well had I kept it; but that's easy to say now that my Honda, at 30,000 miles, has been very reliable (lately?!). But VW's are more than "point A to point B". They're a love affair. One which I miss a great deal. My Honda will be traded in for a new Golf or Beetle in three years.

    Last words (finally) - life is too short not to go with something if you REALLY love it. If that's the case and you have your eye on a VW, then who cares if you have to fix it once in a while. I wish I still had mine!
  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34
    I have a '90 civic DX with manual. It now has 109K miles on it an going strong. Has a few rattles here and there, and the clutch is still working. Of course, I baby it with synthetic oil changes and a top-quality filter every 6 months. If you get one, make sure you get the paperwork showing the timing belt was already changed, required at 90K miles, I believe. And, of course, a compression test on all the cylinders to make sure it's in good condition.
  • ray67ray67 Posts: 1
    I have an '89 CRX Si with 140,000 miles and although it's beginning to show it's age, it still serves well as a daily driver. No major problems over the past ten years + but right now the starter won't engage and the battery's good. I don't know whether i should fix-it-up or trade it for something else
  • I keep posting the same thing whenever the topic of VW reliability comes up... so here i go again...

    VW are great cars, if you want something fun to drive and a little more stylish. Their problem is their service. If you get one without any problems, then you are set and the car will be great. If you have a problem, the dealerships will be very unhelpful in diagnosing and fixing it.

    My girlfriend has had some problems with her '98 Golf (actually one reoccuring problem), but I drive it every chance I get. I can't even tell you why I like to drive it so much, but i can't get enough of it!
  • jimjetjimjet Posts: 27
    As has been posted, the Civic CX Hatchback with 5 speed does not have power steering. This can be a bug-a-boo at times even for men. It was the one complaint my wife had about our '96 model. I found a cure - purely by accident. The '96 came with 13 inch wheels and was a weekness in the car's appearance. So, I ordered a set of 14 inch mag wheels with Dunlop D60A2 60 series tires from Discount Tire (found in car mags and internet). I thought that the steering / turning would be even more strenuous at very slow speeds because the contact patch with the road is greater. I was way wrong. The steering is now much lighter. My wife couldn't believe it. It must be a combination of higher pressure in the tires (mine are "normal", about 30-32 lb psi), and/or the tire's tread pattern and thickness. I'm definitely staying with the D60A2's when the current set retires. Theses tires are easily of better grade than than the OEM's at a reasonable price.
  • I really wanted to buy a Golf but also like a Honda Civic DX. Which one will be bettter? I mean does Golf have more problem than a civic or the other way around.
  • I am posting this everywhere were someone may see it and care.

    there is a huge backorder on replacements

    My girlfriend's tape player just stopped working recently (she puts in a tape it says side A, then it switches to side B and then it says TAPE ERROR and pops the tape out). I took her car to VW to check this out and they said they have to change the radio and it might take a while because they have them on backorder. I asked if I could have the info on the radio to see if someone else has one in stock and he gave it to me. After checking with 3 or 4 dealers, one of them finally told me this is a known problem and there is a backorder for the entire US that may take weeks. I called VW service and they could offer no help or estimate as to how long it will take. Also, the dealerships don't seem to be very open about this problem.
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