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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • Gee, there wouldn't be a sample bias, there, would there, isellhondas? I would expect the VWs that get traded into Honda dealers to be more problematic than the average, and Hondas traded in at Honda dealers to be less so. Satisfied customers tend not to switch brands.

    From my experiences with VWs and Hondas, recommending a Honda as a high-mileage, long-term vehicle seems quite perverse. Still, you are entitled to your viewpoint, biased though it may seem to me.

    Happy motoring,
  • drazendrazen Posts: 2
    Regarding 106, it's a nice car however Fiat Punto and VW Polo are better (my opinion).
    I red some article about best GTI's sold in Europe. There was Golf,BMW , Fiat, Peugot, Alfa, Honda, ... It was in AutoBild - german magazine so you would expect them to prefer Golf as they usually do, but guess what? Alfa 145 was clear winner and Golf finished 4th (I think). What about Honda? Last place... so much about that.
  • paepae Posts: 3
    greetings from a newbie. I must agree with the vw supporters here - i never even considered a vw at first when i was changing cars, but after i test drive in the golf, i was hooked. So far its been a great 6 months. I've never been happier with a car. Dol the honda owners feel this this way about a car ? Will i feel this way after 100000 miles ? Who knows . Until then
    Da da da da ...
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Welcome newbie (alias pae)! We're glad you found the hatchbacks area. Post early & often!! :-)
  • AlbizuAlbizu Posts: 2
    I'm at a crossroads right now, don't know what car to buy between a Golf GL and a Civic LX Sedan. Both new and about the same price. I do a ton of driving, about 30k/year. Any suggestions ???
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    How long do you intend to keep this car. As much as I love our Golf (it's our third VW in 10 years), I don't believe it will hold up as long as a Honda Civic. YMMV, of course.

    If this is a 3-4 year fling, OK, go with your heart. If it's a 150-200K mile journey, buy a Honda. Of course, the Honda will still require maintenance, and Honda parts are not inexpensive.
    My wallet still smarts from the timing belt/water pump replacement service at 90,000 on my 1991 CRX.

  • AlbizuAlbizu Posts: 2
    I'm a journalist and I drive about 30k miles per year. I definetely need a car that will take the punishment and keep on going. As much as I love VW, I own a 1970 Bug convertible, I'm almost convinced now that Honda is the way to go... :0(
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Well, we all have to make sacrifices, Albizu. ;-) Maybe next time? You're not getting rid of the Bug convertible, are you?

    But not to worry, there are many Honda owners who feel just as passionately about their cars. :-)
  • 95VWGOLF95VWGOLF Posts: 1
    Having just sold a 87 GTI 16v with 160K miles and still going strong the car was great I miss it but I knew it was due for some work....what did I get a used 95 golf. So far the new(to me golf) has been good to me and from all indications hould continue to be. You get out of a car, any car, what you put into it. Take care of it and it will last. The new Golfs have a very advanced electronic system and engine that takes alot of the cost of ownership out of them. I loved my GTI dearly but it cost alot to upkeep. So far the New golf, although not as much fun, has been a relief. Drive them and then choose.
  • DanaRDanaR Posts: 37
    Here's another happy VW owner. My 81 Rabbit Diesel has over 231,000 miles and the only major repairs have been a head gasket and a clutch. I'd rather drive this than a new car, except the New Beetle (on order). Sure there have been jammed door locks, water leaks, etc, but often I can fix them myself or they can wait to be repaired at my convenience. Only once has it needed to be towed, because of a broken radiator hose. I feel the car could go on forever. And it still gets 45+ mpg.

    - Dana
  • moonzmoonz Posts: 2
    I've had the experience to work on European cars as well as Japanese...and I prefer the Japanese
  • BrandoBrando Posts: 1
    This is good to me and a bt confusing... I'm looking to get a new car and have narrowed it down to either a Golf or a Civic ( both Hatchbacks ) and I don't know what to expect! I want all the fancy stuff that the Golf has, but I want the Honda so it'll last me a long time. The 2 cars I've driven were both Hondas ( 91 Accord EXR and 95 Accord EX I believe... both my dad's ) so I'm aiming towards the Honda... try to convince me to change my mind... I want the better car!
  • HFitzHFitz Posts: 13
    Brando - I'm with you! I like the lower sticker price on the Honda and want that reliability above all else (boy did I ever learn the hard way when I bought my '94 (new at the time) Chevy Camaro b/c it looked good! nothing but problems!)

    Anyway - I thought my mind was made up. But that sun roof and extras sure are nice. And they come with a/ I'm confused but think I'm still leaning Honda. It feels like the more sensible choice - especially b/c my budget is really tight right now! I only hope I can be happy in the pretty much "bare bones" Civic for at least 5 years! I plan on darkening windows and putting in an awesome stereo to add some flair and comfort. Advice please.
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    Ok Guys,

    Still confused about these two cars?

    The Civic is a good, solid buy for anyone needing and relying on a daily driver. I think it is a bit overpriced nowadays. I like the older Hondas that were still made in Japan. A lot of people drive Civics.

    As for the Golf 3, what makes you think it will not last a long time? Truthfully, these cars are quite reliable, plus you get a 10yr/100K mi powertrain warranty, if you decide to keep your Golf that long. It also comes with 2yrs free service (which you don't get with a Civic). Let's face it, VWs are not for everybody. I'm not even going to bother trying to convince people that they are, even though the name "Volkswagen" itself means People's Car (but that started in 1930's germany, so...). I think this car, with all of its features, is a good value. It is a solid German-feeling driver which has character. VWs drive like no other car in its class and often compared with cars above its class. I have heard of no major reliability problems for the Golf 3s.
    Don't overlook this car.
  • I would like to add something for all those people who are talking about A3 VW's(93-98) and reliability. For those people out there that are new to cars or just not that knowledgeble about how cars are made and produced. Remember this, the Golf and Jetta were totally remodeled in 1993. This is very significant because as with most car makers new or revamped vehicles the Golfs and Jettas right after this change have been reported to have some minor electrical problems and bad trim fit etc. However the models produced in 96, 97, and 98 have shown great improvements in reliability, even the car magazines like car and driver and consumer reports have written about this. This is not unique to VW this happens with most auto makers. So in your comparison of slightly used Golfs vs. Civics it may be fine to talk about the VW not being quite as reliable, this does not neccesarily apply to the 98 and 99 Golfs.
  • zfarmzfarm Posts: 5
    The reason VW reliability is in question goes back to the "exploding Jetta engines" of a few years ago. For those of you who didn't hear (or didn't have friends who bought one of those terrible cars): Jettas, new, just from the factory, would have engine melt-downs. This happened to my buddy Rob ("Why didn't I buy a Honda!" was his only comment). VW is to be commended for replacing the engines under warranty, but, needless to say, the experience was unnerving for many owners.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    As you say, it is so important to have the current information on the cars you are evaluating. We have a '91 Honda CRX hatchback and it has been very reliable.

    We were surprised to meet someone at our local VW dealer who had a 6 month old Honda Civic hatchback and was ready to throw in the towel because she had already had so many problems with her brand new car! She came to look at the new Beetle (which is what we were doing there!) and was sorry she didn't wait just a little bit longer before buying her latest car.
  • HFitzHFitz Posts: 13
    wow. carlady has ruined things for me. i'm ready to buy the civic hatch - have heard all good reports and now this horror story...anyone else hearing of problems with new civic hatchbacks? my '94 camaro has been a nightmare and above all else i want a reliable car this time around. i thought honda would be a good place to turn for that. help!
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Don't take it too hard.

    One OH NO erases 1,000 OH YEAHs.

    GuyP has it right, Honda probably DOES have slightly higher reliability in the context of a gas-and-go daily commuter vehicle.

    Almost everyone with direct experience of the two marques agrees that Hondas (and Toyotas) thrive on neglect, while VWs (and "insert European maker here") require more diligence to the preventive maintenance schedule in order to achieve the reliability that they are capable of.

    Buy what you like the best, in this scenario. Neither car will remind you of your GM
    experience {;-)

    Bruce, your roving host.
  • boullosaboullosa Posts: 1
    I'm glad I found this site. I too am debating the positives and negatives of the DX and the GL. Does anyone have any knowledge on the "bargaining" aspect with the respective dealerships? I like the golf, but my hunch is that the dealership might not stray too far away from the MSRP. How much can I expect to add for air conditioning on the GL (for those hot Texas summers) . I know that at least one of the local Honda dealerships is tacking on just over a K for A/C. I just get the feeling that the honda folks might be more willing to "work" with me, if y'all know what I mean.
    Any suggestions?
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