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Honda Civic Si vs. VW GTI



  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    Some Honda worshipper says

    A/C was designed that way. If you don't like it you should have bought something else. A problem is a malfunction. You A/C performs as designed. You just don't like the way Honda designed it.

    No AC in most mass production car in this world DO NOT ALLOW you to shut it off if you so desire to in defrost mode. What's the point of you keep arguing?? You can say it ten times, a thousand times, the Honda AC is still defective. On top of that, when I change the mode back from defrost, the A/C still stays on when it was off before. Argue all you want, you'll never win this.

    Michelin tires are known as some of the best quality tires on the market. I'm sure the "average" comsumer will disagree with you. Do you think the 17" tires on the VW will perform better in the snow? I doubt it.

    Average consumer?? I'm an average consumer and I dislike the tires that came w/ the Si. Why do I care what the performance of the VW tires?? I bought the Si and I dislike the tires and I'm giving my opinion about the tires. I don't care if another tires perform the same or worse. I only care about how the tires on my car perform and on the Si, it is bad. Maybe you shouldn't care too much about what other people think about you, your car, your gf etc.

    Gas mileage gets better after the break in. You car is still new. Not quite in the position to judge it.

    Didn't I state that it is only my second tank and I said hopefully as I drive it, it'll improve. But in my 2 weeks of ownership, I'm reporting my gas mileage and I'm saying it is bad. So, what's your beef?? I'm reporting my experience. What does it concern you?? If I reported a good results, would you care to rebutt me??

    Seat belts? Shoulda bought a different car. that's the way they designed em. Not a problem.

    What is it with you?? When I found a seating position that is comfortable for me in the car, the seat belt is too far away for me to reach comfortably. Maybe you don't have a problem with this in your 00 Si or in your gf's 02 Si BUT I have a problem in my car w/ my stature. Me and my car. Not you and your car.

    Cold creaks are normal. Check other forums all cars do it. It's cold ya know.

    It is just the beginning of Dec. I didn't have this in my previous car (01 A4). But then again, one cost $28k and the Si cost me $16k. You can choose what you want to accept. Car makers love consumers like you. But for me, I'm critical of things that I spend my hard earn money on. Did I say it is a problem for you?? I'm reporting it is a problem for me. Moi! Understand??

    All Honda trannies whine in reverse. They designed it that way. Not a problem. It's the design. Honda is the gold standard of FWD manual tranmissions.

    What is wrong with you?? No other cars that I've driven makes this whinny sound. And yes, I'm questionning it coz' it is really annoying to me and it sounds *bad*. Maybe when all the V6 Honda/Acura breaks, Honda will just say it is normal which I'm sure you are aware of since there have been tranny failures and Honda/Acura cars have been replaced with rebuilt tranny.

    Dash lighting is the same as it was when you bought the car. The way they designed it.

    I'm not the only one complainning about the dash lighting. Auto reviewers have said the same thing. Unlike you I don't take the usual "This is normal" line fed to the drivers of Honda when they take their car for repairs. The dash lighting white/orange, makes it hard to read the numbers during dusk/dawn driving condition. I noticed it again this morning driving to work. I could turn OFF the headlights and it would have been better (or dim the dash lighting manually) but it was still a little dark out.

    Here's a bit of advice to you. Don't worry too much about what you hear from other people or read too much into surveys. And lastly this is my car and I reporting my experience with the car. I just have a higher expectations for my car and I'm sure there are a lot of people who share the same views as me. If there are more consumers like you who just accepts, years from now, we'll have a lesser car for more money and I think we can agree that's not a good thing.

  • The main area the GTI always fails in comparisons is the suspension calibration. They rave about the interior fit and finish, the engine performance, ergonomics and overall design. For some reason VW puts a rather soft suspension on the GTI. You can get VW/Eibach sport springs installed as a dealer accessory that tightens up the ride a lot. Just putting those springs on a comparo GTI would make a big difference in test results.

    What I really like about a VW is all the aftermarket support for it. The GTI is a great car as-is from the factory but I looked at it as a blank canvass, I've had fun seeing how much performance I could wring out of it without spending a lot of money.

    I like a very controlled suspension so I've upgraded my GTI's suspension with Neuspeed race springs (2" drop) and 25mm adjustable rear sway bar, Koni Sport adjustable shocks, front and rear upper stress bars and lower front tie bar - it handles like it's on rails - all the stress and tie bars make the body extremely rigid, an amazing transformation and a very acceptable ride as long as I leave the Koni's on the soft setting (which is far from soft compared to factory shocks/ struts). I adjust them to rock hard for Autocross events.

    The 1.8t engine is a gem, extremely over engineered and is actually somewhat de-tuned at the stock 180 HP factory output. I chipped it ( for 235 lb ft of torque, Made it breath better with a Neuspeed turbo inlet pipe (70% more flow into the turbo), downpipe (ditto out) Eurosport exhaust (not loud perfect tone)for a total of around 240+ HP. Plus I vented the wheel well (like an Audi S4) for better intercooler breathing. With all these enhancements it's drivability is still perfect, nice smooth power delivery, minimal turbo lag, etc.

    All told I've spent a little over $2k in upgrades that have transformed very nice factory car into an extremely competent hot hatch that embarasses a lot of expensive sports cars. Two of my track buddies have 99 and 00 MCoupes that I can keep up with all day long. Another friend has a BMW 330 coupe with sport package that I easily beat. IS300's stock S4's, etc - no problemo - talk about raised eyebrows. All for a total of $22,500 or so (including the car). I belong to SCCA and a local Euro tuner club with lots of enhanced VW's, BMW's, Audis - the majority are VW's - no one has major problems with their cars - maybe a window regulator here or there (before the redesign) and a few other minor things - nothing major ever goes wrong with these VW's that get beat on and abused performing way beyond what the factory intended. VW drivetrains are extremely over engineered, I'm continually amazed at what they can edure without a wimper.
  • I drove an 02 SI - I didn't spend hours analyzing every detail of the test drive after it was over - all I can say is I was extremely unimpressed. I came away with a feeling that if felt tinny, cheap, I can't really describe it. Completely different from the GTI which feels like a little tank and has most of the material quality, fit, finish and features of my X5.

    When I lived in the snow belt I'd buy a winter beater to commute in, ususally a small inexpensive FWD car - I could have cared less that it was a tin can - the SI would be perfect for that, a winter beater commuter car. Although personally I'd get a TDI Golf or a base Mini Cooper with no options before I'd get a $16k SI for a commuter car - but that's me.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I would answer your post but it would only be a rehash of my previous one.

    If you didn't like the car you should not have bought it. There's not much else to say about it. No wait yes I will.

    Performs as they designed it so it's not defective. Again. Shoulda bought another car.

    Don't drive in the snow then. Now you know. Go buy new tires. Not a defect.

    One tank of gas and you are getting bad gas mileage now. Not worth answering.

    Seat belts are in the same place they were when you test drove the car. Shoulda bought another car.

    Not a problem for those who know in cold weather things contract. May cause a creak or pop or two until they reach normal temp. Simple physics. Not a defect. All cars will do it. Guess you'll have to walk.

    Honda trannies are the standard of the industry. Let me know when they break. They all whine in reverse. Not a defect. Shoulda bought another car.

    What part of the dash lighting are you going to repair when it's not broken. That's the way they designed it. Shoulda bought another car.

    All in all it seems like someone just bought the wrong car. Not a single "defect". The car is performing as designed. But of course you can't please everyone. Thank though for buying the Honda product though. They've made their money anyway. And since most other SI owners seem to be happy with their Si's, those with complaints look to be in the minority. Those that aren't happy are definitely not average.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    It is good to know Honda has a customer like you. No wait. 2 customers counting your fiance.

    FORD should pay you to be their spokesperson during the Focus recalls.

    "That's how we designed it".


    According to your theory, if anyone has any complaints about his or her car, we bought the wrong car. You are a genius.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Sounds like a Golf GTI to me. Because by the time an SI is cheap enough to be called cheap, a GTI is junkyard bait. But wait. Who wants to be stranded in the cold in the winter anyway. Yeah I guess I'd buy an SI too.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    The Focus has several recalls for fires, wheels falling off, and gas tanks. The SI has none. So again there are no defects.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    did not read carefully what I wrote.

    The way the AC system works is DEFECTIVE. Honda was retarded to design it in such a manner. Why is it no other AC systems in other cars that I am familiar with works in the same manner?? I challenge you to show me a car that DOES NOT allow you to shut off the AC system while in defrost mode.

    The other problems I have with the Si, I DID NOT say they are defective. I said I'm not satisfied with them or do I need your permission, or anyone for that matter, to voice out their disappointment in the Si?? Do you think I'm the only one who complains about the tires? The dash lighting, the seating position, the gas mileage etc?? It must kill you inside that your beloved 00 Si and your fiance's beloved 02 Si is not perfect in our eyes. Why is it so important to you that we must agree with you that the Si is perfect and the VW is crap??

    Get a hobby, please.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Domestic products with the defroster setting but no A/C button. Whenever you turn on the Defroster the compressor kicks in. There is no option to turn off the A/C. My 1997 RAV 4 did not give the option to turn off the A/C. Regardless of switch position the A/C would come on just like my Civics.

    Sure you can voice disappointment. But why did you buy the car with so many of them? If I hated so many aspect of a vehicle I would not have bought it.

    We haven't even said anything about my 2000 SI(which will become a 2003 Accord EX-L 5 speed in a couple weeks). What you wanna talk about?

    This IS the SI vs. GTI room. Where else are you going to go to call the GTI crap?

    I need a hobby? But you are right here with me.
  • Look man, you obviously did not do a good job of test driving the car. All Hondas and Acuras have that whine in reverse, what's the big deal with that? If you really cared about such things, you would have thrown the car in reverse before you bought it. As for the Ac/defroster, there is a way to turn it off. I suggest you go to a dedicated message board about the SI to find out how. I can turn the feature off of my RSX type-s by following a few simple steps. And next time you buy a car do a better job test driving it (which means drive it more than once and try all the features). It's not the cars fault you did not do this.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I haven't noticed it yet on my golf...nor I have tried to notice it, or gone reverse faster than idle (TDI). My old Toyota Camry did it also...

    Reverse gears are typically a spur (straight-cut) gear, which is more efficient for power transfer.

    Forward gears are hylical gears, which has greater thread engagement, but less efficient (do to design), but is quieter.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I happen to like the Si coz' it will be my daily commuter/beater. When I bought the car, I know about the whine in reverse. I didn't know about the quirk in the AC (which by the way, I've fixed based on the tips).

    But what my complains generally is in a good intention. I complain about the tires for example. Honda could have given us summer tires or at least more aggressive tires than the all season in 15" rims that we have now. Is it wrong for me to ask Honda to give us better performance tires?

    I complain about the dim lighting. I know of no one who places the sole decision on buying a car on dim or well lighted cluster. What I am saying is, the lighting is indeed dim IMO and especially so in the dawn/dusk driving conditions. I want Honda to improve on this aspect. What is wrong with that?

    I also complain about the seating position that I'm comfortable with with respect to the seat belts. Again, don't I have the right to give my opinion as to how I feel about the car?

    Sure, this is a Si vs. VW forum. VW has better interior lighting and tires/rims. I'm sure it doesn't have the quirk in the AC system either. I can fix the quirk which I have. But why can't Honda allow it from the factory?? For those who doesn't want to shut it off, the AC still comes on as expected even after we apply the fix. But at least now we can turn it off if we so choose to. At least you admit this is a quirk and have applied the fix. What gee35coupe and anony still hold to is it is a design feature. Honda design it as such, so it must be right coz' it is Honda.

    I don't buy into that mentality. Sure, I'm one voice but I sure would like them to hear my dissatisfaction about the car. Even if in the future I buy a $50k car or a $100k car you bet I'll never be satisfied with the car. Hey, if you are satisfied with what the car makers give you, good for you. As for me, I would like them to work harder to get me to spend my hard earn money.

    But that's just me.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Because it's a Honda. As per the examples I gave there are cars that give NO option whether or not the A/C will come on. Not only Hondas do this.

    It's the same as the separate detents on the airflow direction. In manual controls you can control the amount of air going through the upper and lower vents and vary it with the slider. The automatic ones are designed that they are fixed detents. Not a defect, but the design.

    If there is enough light outside to make the lights of the instrument panel look dim then there must be enough light to still see the instruments. I doubt Honda will "fix" it.

    Honda has been using this model Michelin throughout the model line. I doubt they'll "fix" them. I mean the RSX Type-S has only 16's.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    the AC-defrost system....

    Chrysler, Ford, & I think Subaru are the same also. It's meant to improve the full defrost mode performance.

    I agree with you...I rather have the ability to control the AC compressor.

    It's probably outlined in the owner's manual (maybe not...I don't own one).

    I've noticed you've been accused of being a "defective owner" -- this is my impression of some how are treating your ownership of the car (based on reading the threads, if they had experience with the car, they might offer you a real solution, instead of chatizing you).

    of course there's some quirks of the Golf & GTI (Jetta), the ventilation -- routing of air isn't quite right....AC seems kinda weak....the ignition switch is different from what I'm used to (toyotas and honda), opening the hood....
  • You say the SI is not comfortable for you because of the seatbelt, you say the lights are too dim on the dash, you don't like the way the AC/defroster were designed, and you hate the tires. Why did you buy this car? If you just wanted a commuter car you could've bought a Jetta, Golf, Corolla, Sentra, Focus, Cavalier, Lancer etc. You didn't have to buy the SI. If there are so many things that you don't like about it there was no reason for you to buy it. But given your past history you might not even have an SI. Nobody knows.

    You have yet to name one problem that is a problem instead of just naming things you don't like about the car that you should've found during the test drive. I love my SI. Do I think it's the perfect car? No. But for $16,000 it's as close to it as any other new car out there.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    The Focus has several recalls for fires, wheels falling off, and gas tanks. The SI has none. So again there are no defects.

    Typical Honda fanatic line. LOL.
    Poor Focus.
    Still beating the dead horse even in the VW/Honda forum?

    BTW how come you are still ignoring numerous complaints about the oil burning Civic Si/Acura RSX engines and faulty RSX transmissions?
  • The Focus has been recalled for everything that Gee35 listed. No recalls have been issued for the SI or RSX and if you research the oil burning you will see that engines that were properly broken in consume a little oil for the first few thousand miles or so and then it tapers off dramatically or stops. I burned 1 qt before 3000 miles and have burned none since.

    Faulty RSX transmissions? That's a new one. As is happening with some other 6-speed transmissions people are grabbing 2nd gear instead of 4th. It's happened in the S2000, GTS, and M3.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Do you mean these recalls?



    What about gas tanks???

    Acura Tranny TSB:

    Acura Oil consumption thread:

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    I think you may be the only person here who has actually experienced ownership of the two vehicles being debated! Thus you may be the designated "expert" on the subject!

    How long have you had your 02 civic Si? How many miles on it now? Did your 01 Golf have the 1.8T motor?

    What is your opinion on comfort for trips in the Si vs. VW?

    How about fuel economy comparisons?

    Any oil consumptions with the Si yet?

    If I missed anyone else who has had both a golf 1.8T (or GTI) and 02 Si, forgive my oversight. I would value your experience as well.
  • vadp: I would really leave the SI and the RSX alone. The Focus complaint sites and recall history have used up 50% of the entire internet.
This discussion has been closed.