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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    181kmiles, in addition to the responses you get here, please be sure to check out the Smart Shopper conference. I believe they have a topic on best dealers that could be helpful to you.

  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    There is no Civic stock with 200hp.
    Motortrend just test drove the Jetta 1.8L (turbo) with 150hp and put it up against the Nissan Sentra. The VW did 0-60 in 7.8s and the Civic Si with 160hp (it's the fastest Civic there is in the US) does it in 7.2sec.
    Tell us which magazine you saw this in, what month and the page# please.
  • qwordqword Posts: 20
    I've seen two different specs on the 1.8t Golf. SportCompact which was 8.2, and European Car which was the lowest at 7.3. In European Car they compared a 1.8t Beetle to an Si a few months back. They were able to launch the Beetle to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. While getting the Si to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The Golf was supposed to be faster than the beetle because of aerodynamics and weight. I could be wrong but I do believe that the little Golf has always been just a tad faster than the Jetta.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    However, simply looking at the numbers doesn't tell you much about a car's real potential. No one will argue that the Si is a powerful, performing little fun car. But in order to accelerate properly, like only1harry points to, you have to rev up the Honda engine a lot, to the point that it's the clutch which 'gradually' transfers the power to the wheels (not very elegant, makes a lot of noise, and wears out both tires and clutch in a fast time). It's exactly the same if you compare a Ferrari and a Porsche. Both are great (and fast) cars, but if your aim is to scratch other cars at green lights, go for the Porsche. I am not saying that car is better, it just has a lot more torque than the latin competitor. Interestingly, in Europe, high revving cars are associated with Southern Europe and 'torquey' engines with Northern Europe. Having spent much time in both regions, I am still undecided, and would love to see both a Ferrari AND a Porsche in my garage!
    Formula One cars, I believe have a 1.5 liter engine from which they churn out 600-800 bhp. Weighing in at about 1000lbs, they will do the 0-60'' in about 2.5 seconds I believe, although their torque is absolutely miserable (these cars rev up to 16,000 rpm)
  • snakrichsnakrich Posts: 10
    alfaromeo, for the good and enjoyable information!
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    You're welcome! My technical knowledge is not as thorough as that of many who participate in this column.
    By reading some posts (and not only in this column) I get the impression that people get all worked up in trying to define the better car.
    To me, that's nonsense.
    Setting 'everything' aside, choosing between Honda or Wolksvagen is a question of what sort of driver you are. One is high revving, the other is 'germanic', i.e. low torque.
    Assuming you drive a stick shift, this means that a Honda will require you to 'pull' through the gears, and to some that contributes to driving pleasure (more 'sporty'). You also need to down shift a lot more. Again, some like that style.
    VW, on the other hand appeals mostly to people who like a 'no-nonsense' ride, with power and torque in the low range.
    Better? More fun? There is no absolute answer to those questions.
    Again, to make a proper analogy, Honda's roadster (I can't remember the name) is very powerful, yet produces very little torque. That is why it addresses another buyer than the guy who would buy a Mercedes roadster with the same power.
    Blondes? Brunettes?
    American food? French?
    Italian or English?
    Need we say more?
  • qwordqword Posts: 20
    I completely understand where your coming from alfaromeo; however in my opinion the specs produced by the magazines can be pretty helpful in giving a person some type of an idea on the performance capability of a particular car. Take for instance any sport bike (which cost a heck of a whole lot less than any Formula One race car) which can be propelled from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. Now I know for a fact that the best I can do 0-60 mph on a bike is about 4-5 seconds; however it gives me one heck of an ego boost to know that my bike is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. I know that I don't have a way with words like most people, but hopefully you can see my point.
    Only1harry, this months issue of Sport Compact has a VW Golf 1.8t vs Honda Si article which is pretty interesting I think.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    I 'll try and get hold of one. Until I do can you summarize the tests a little? I 'm sure they liked the VW better. I would too because of the torque. I 'd take a 1.8L over a 1.6 which is why I chose the Integra GSR after looking at the SI.
    I 'm really glad there is a mid-level VW now. The gap was too big before between the 115 & 170 V6 motors.
  • liwenliwen Posts: 3
    I'm interested in the Golf GLS and the Civic EX. I'm leaning towards the Golf after I test drove it (it was a lot of fun to drive!), but I still have some questions:

    1)Is the Golf GLS is a good investment?
    2) How reliable is it? I plan to keep it for awhile
    3) Any great deals? Great warranties?

  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    My '97 Civic just hit 100K mi. The car has been back to the dealer once for a warranty repair (stupid speed sensor). That 's it!
    Most of my friend's that have owned a VW have spent a lot more time at the dealer before and after the warranty is over. This is my reason from staying away from VWs. I 've also seen a few new ones on flat bed tow trucks with the temporary registration and plates on them! But I 'm sure there are some good ones out there. I don't think all of them are like that. I think the new Golfs are built a little better than the Civic as far as the chassis, stability, stuff like that (hek they 're 400-500lbs heavier, they ought to be) but a Civic will always blow away a regular 115hp Golf or Jetta due to its power to weight ratio. The '01 Civics will be a lot more comparable to the Golfs and other cars with more standard options, better handling and even more power but with the same or better gas mileage! If you can wait, fine. If not, you can't go wrong with an EX and you 'll have amazing resale value and reliability. My friend's '95 EX just hit 130K mi. and he 's never had a problem (has kept up with the maintenance of course, you have to) and a guy at work has almost 240K mi. on it but he just recently paid for a new head gasket which is normal at such high mileage (normal for a Civic, most cars blow a head gasket much earlier). The Golf will be more fun to drive, a little safer probably due to ABS, better stereo, etc. Good luck.
  • cdyercdyer Posts: 3
    Both the Honda & Golf are great, here are my opinions/answers to liwen's questions:

    1. NO car, and I mean no car, is a "good investment." New, used, classic, whatever. Car ownership is a losing proposition. You simply have to weigh your preferences vs. your budget. (like "should I buy used and save money, but expect repairs, or buy new & have a warranty?") If you "need" a new car, typically leasing is the best alternative for many folks.

    2. Since the new Golf/Jetta family is totally new as of last year, I wouldn't worry about reliability. VWs totally turned around in the last 2 years.

    3. Check Honda's & VW's websites for their warranties. Typically the best time to buy in fall to year-end, when dealers want to max their balance sheets and clear old inventory. Also, check your local weekend paper & online buying services.

    To all, I've been following this thread, interesting. But keep in mind that VW is consciencely trying to move their products & company upscale, hence their slightly more luxurious look n' feel & higher prices (according to their CEO Ferdinand Piech). Honda, however, is perfectly happy where they are.

    There's also a lot of bunk here (mine included! ;)), so I suggest: "Car n' Driver" as the best, most objective car rag. Great for helping decide what vehicle is right. (no, I don't work for 'em!)

    That's my $.02.
  • I've been off-line for a while (put 1000 miles on my Beetle TDI this last week alone).

    Although Only1Harry says VWs have lots of problems, he refers to the older ones.
    They are no longer competing with Honda, they are competing with Mercedes now. (see the V8 Passat at the next Detroit Auto Show).

    As for value, if you look at 15-year old cars for sale, there are as many VWs as Hondas even though there were a lot more Hondas sold. The VWs last longer. But if you're in the market for a new car the value when its 15-years old is irrelevant. You'll have traded it long ago.

    Honda makes awesome cars too, but I have a bias.
    I'm 6'5" tall and I don't fit in any Honda!
    Or the Golf ... only the Beetle and Passat.

    The Golf is roomier and safer, but thousands of dollars more than a Civic ... its not an even comparison. All VW cars have 4-whl discs with ABS, and 4 air-bags which is part of the price difference. High end models have stuff like rain-sensitive automatic wipers ... I don't think that an option on ANY Honda/Acura model yet.

    But they are very different cars in handling, seating position, response, etc.

    Try them both and buy whatever you like and can afford.
    You can't go wrong with either of them!

    (IMO - I don't think there are any Japanese or European made cars sold in North America that are "bad" cars ... but some of the Korean stuff I'm not so sure of)
  • Unless you barely drive a car, I think the VW base 2.0 liter is a dud of an engine.

    If you want performance, you NEED the 1.8 turbo.
    Chip-it and you have 200 reliable HP.
    Its much more economical than the V6 and faster.

    If you want economy get the TDI diesel.
    Its faster than the base gas engine too!
    At some Canadian dealers (where gas is a bit pricier) sales of Diesel Golfs is now greater than gas powered models (and VW does NOT advertise their diesel engines).
  • Check out the lastest SCC(sports car compact). It has a comparision between the 2 cars. The Honda had a slight edge in handling. 0-60 and 1/4 mile times are almost equal. They both agreed that the VW had a better motor. In the end they said it really was a choice. The GTI was 2 grand more. The GTI is more of a car then the 2 grand difference. I myself would choose a GTI. I race both a '97 GSR and '84 VW GTI at weekend autocrosses. For the 80 more horsepower the GSR produces it really is not any faster around a sea of cones. The GTI is always within a second of the GSR. If the GTI was setup nearly as well as the GSR it would be faster. German cars rule!!!!!
  • goopgoop Posts: 23
    Hi All - these are all great cars, it's true. Civics are fine cars - I came close to buying an Si but got a GTI 1.8t. My reasons are many, but personality is one of them. Yes, the Civic is a fine car, but hello? Personality? Those things are as bland as English cooking - in my humble opinion, that is.
    Which is not to say that I'm one of those new Mk IV owners who's been swayed by VW's new upscale image - I unabashedly love the cars and the company. What has Honda put out to match the likes of a Scirocco or Corrado? That's what I mean by personality.
    Again - I'm not trying to put down Hondas at all. I'm firmly convinced they are more reliable (less stuff to break). My $.02...
  • snakrichsnakrich Posts: 10
    How do you mean, my friend? After all, the base Civic has 16 valves, the Golf a mere 8; the Civic and independent rear suspension, the Golf a mere twist axle which certainly enploys fewer parts. Perhaps Hondas are more reliable for, shall we say, substantial reasons. Now, substantiate yourself!
  • goopgoop Posts: 23
    Hiya - I guess I'm coming from an electrical/gadget perspective. German cars have an unfortunate reputation for occassionally being a bit finicky in the electrical department. A friend of mine with a '00 GTI GLX has had some problems with his power windows, and I've read more than a few posts about similar issues over at the vortex. I'm not sure how substantial that is since that does boil down to hearsay, but just the fact that that VW is more feature laden than the Honda gives it more opportunities to break. :)

    And after rereading the topic of this thread I see it's about the Golf versus a Civic DX, but the GTI 1.8t has 20 valves. :)

    Which one are you looking at - the 1.8t or the VR6? I guarantee you'll be thrilled. After almost 2000 miles I still sometimes crank the up the Average White Band and drive for an hour after work, and it always puts a smile on my face despite crappy Houston roads.
  • eludwigeludwig Posts: 82
    If you'd rather spend time with your friends and family than your dealer's service department, buy a Civic. Sure, Golfs are loaded with equipment, but they have a sketchy service record, get embarrasing mileage for a car in this class, handle like a Buick (these days), and come at a totally unjustified price. Oh, I forgot to mention that dealers can't guarantee getting you the car you want. Overall, the Civic is a much better deal, is more fun to drive since it has a far superior 5-speed and motor, and is guaranteed to last 200k miles if serviced regularly.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    My friend is up to 240k mi. on his '91 Civic. He replaced the head gasket at about 210k mi. and the car 's been doing fine. He 's on the original clutch!
    I 'll hit 102k mi. on my way home today,
    ('97 DX htbk) and my exhaust hasn't even begun to rust. I 'll be really happy with another 50K troublefree miles and then I 'll buy another Civic.
  • rjjensenrjjensen Posts: 7
    crack 200K sometime in August. I am planning on keeping it after I buy something else. I have only changed the timing belt once and the clutch is the original.

    What can I get a new civic hatchback for? An SI in particular? What are people paying?

    Thanks in advance!

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