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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si

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  • 1 Hondas have higher insurance rates than VW. I own a GTI and the insurance rate is not higher than for a regular Accord. That's probably because you have a lot more safety features in the VW.

    Doubt it totally as the Accord is a 4 cylinder with 160 hp engine while the GTI is squarely aimed at the enthusiasts, it's got 200 hp and 20 years of bad drivers behind it. A low production German car, body work, parts, etc will be far more expensive than anything available for the 2nd best selling car in the USA. Aftermarket support/non-OEM parts are readily and cheapily available for the ubiquitous Accord.

    2 Gas mileage is WAY better than the 4 cylinder Accord which gives EPA ratings of 23(city) and 34(highway) but gets way under (18-19 city).

    http://www.edmunds.com/used/2003/honda/accord/100144770/specs.html

    26/34 on regular gas with an automatic. The GTI's 25/32 is on premium and as the previous owner of a turbo and one who frequents vortex most report mileage far below the 32 mpg freeway listed by VW/EPA.

    3 Turbo engines need synthetic oil for best performance but everybody knows that you don't need to change as often as you would change a regular one. VW recommends every 10,000 miles.

    Ah, actually the GTI requires a change at 5k, 10k and every 10 thereafter. So in the first 3 years of ownership you're looking at 5 oil changes in 45k miles. Or about $250. Assuming 5k with the Honda, you're at 9 oil changes but at about $25 a change. Max. With a coupon you can actually hit closer to 15-17 an oil change.

    4 Reliability for VW is better than for newer American built Honda's(known as rattle traps and needing new transmissions at 50000 miles.).

    Utter balderdash. The CR data, JD Power all back up that a 4 cylinder accord of about 3-4 years old is rock solid vis-a-vis a GTI. VW makes fun cars, but they're not very well put together and they use shoddy, expensive components.

    5 According to Forbes GTI has one of the best resale values

    New car: 25k
    OTD = 27.5k
    To be extremely generous we'll give you 58% residual

    25k * 0.42 (depreciation) = 10,500 + 2500 for first year TTL = 12.5 depreciation in 3 years.

    2003 Accord = 13k
    TTL: 1.3k
    Depreciation according to Edmunds is 4k, so including ttl, you're down 5.3k in 3 years, not including savings on gas and maintenance and insurance.

    The GTI is fun. But it's expensive to operate, unreliable and expensive to repair. For a kid, there's zero reason to get such a car. He simply doesn't need it. A 3-4 year old accord or better yet civic would do the job just fine: slower, more economical, reliable, etc.

    Fun? If he wants fun get a j-o-b.

    And I'm not bashing the GTI. I really enjoy it. But I'm also realistic about how unreliable, poorly made and entertaining VWs are.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    2 Gas mileage is WAY better than the 4 cylinder Accord which gives EPA ratings of 23(city) and 34(highway) but gets way under (18-19 city).

    Not really sure where you pulled those numbers from.

    A manual Accord has EPA numbers of 26/34, an Automatic has 24/34. I've never achieved under 26 MPG in my Accord (I4 Automatic), and I don't drive only freeway (usually on a suburban commute into Birmingham, Alabama - a city of about 1/2 million people, so traffic is dense enough. Usually, Im around 29 MPG, with upper 30s on trips.

    3 Turbo engines need synthetic oil for best performance but everybody knows that you don't need to change as often as you would change a regular one. VW recommends every 10,000 miles.

    Interesting, but not something to write home about. our 2005 Accord needed oil changes every 10,000 miles on regular Dino Juice, not synthetic (Just saying it since you keep referencing Accord 4-cylinder's for some odd reason). $20 every 10k for oil changes.

    Anyway, don't settle for some garbage like Civic or Accord. I had cars from Subaru STI to Cadillac. I can tell there is nothing worse than owning a Honda or Toyota. Have you ever seen a happy person driving one of these. Reserve owning Hondas for when life feels meaningless to you.

    geez, I'm a happy Honda owner (of a 1996 with 170k miles and a 2006 that I'm just getting started in with 16k miles). You make it sound like I should be contemplating suicide with comments like "drive a Honda when life feels meaningless..."

    Kill the dramatics and worthless comments like this. They knock your own credibility, and make finding the actual good points in your posts hard. "That GTI is complete garbage." See how smart I sounded by saying such a thing?
  • While I don't (yet) own a GTI, I do drive a Passat which basically has the same engine/mileage ratings as the GTI.

    In my 8+ years experience as a Passat owner, I'd say I get under the EPA city estimate, and well over the highway estimate. If there's no traffic, and I can hit the cruise control to 70 to 75 mph, I easily get 35 mpg on the highway.

    In bumper to bumper city driving, mileage is usually around 17 to 18 mpg... but that's with fairly aggressive low gear stick shift driving...

    As for insurance, I KNOW the GTI is expensive to insure, because my auto insurer allows you to do online quotes... I basically input same driver, same policy, but switch around the insured car. GTI is $410 more a year than my current car... the jump might be even much higher than that for a teen.

    The Audi A3, which is more expensive, is actually cheaper to insured... gives you an idea what kids wrecking their cars will do to insurance prices!
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    "1 Hondas have higher insurance rates than VW. I own a GTI and the insurance rate is not higher than for a regular Accord. That's probably because you have a lot more safety features in the VW."

    You really shouldn't make such blanket statements. I just got quotes on the VW GTI 4 door, Mazdaspeed3, Civic SI sedan and Acura TSX. My insurer ( a mainstream company) put the GTI at the tope. It was $20/year more than the Mazdaspeed $70/year more than the Civic SI and $170/year more than the TSX. Now, you may not find that significant, but it does--in my case--make the VW the most to insure. My insurer significantly bumps up anything with a turbo and that trumps any safety features included on the VW.

    "I had cars from Subaru STI to Cadillac. I can tell there is nothing worse than owning a Honda or Toyota. Have you ever seen a happy person driving one of these. Reserve owning Hondas for when life feels meaningless to you."

    So that makes you some kind of expert? I owned a VW and enjoyed driving it when it wasn't in the shop. This forum and others are replete with consumer complaints about their VWs--try checking out carreview.com I have nothing against VW, I think their cars are exciting to drive, but for me the biggest excitement was always whether I was going to have problems that day or the next. Also, everything, in the admittedly nice interior, eventually broke--knobs, handles, mirror, headliner, wiper stalk, etc. Conversely, I have never had a bit of trouble with my Honda or Toyotas. You can say it's anecdotal, but, then so are your experiences. I have also enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of my 1992 Toyota MR2 and friend's 1985 Toyota Supra so your generalization about who's happy driving what is just that, a generalization.

    Finally, no adult with any sense should be advising a 17 year old to get a car like the GTI--especially a 17 year old who has stated that he has a lead foot-- even if he's getting it for free and/or someone is paying all the insurance and other fees. It's just plain irresponsible.

    Gogiboy
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Very well said, respectful, and all-around good post.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Reliability for VW is better than for newer American built Honda's(known as rattle traps and needing new transmissions at 50000 miles.).

    Honda has had to deal with tranny issues, mainly in their V6 models. However, the engine's and trannys are still built in Japan, and shipped over here to be placed in the vehicles.

    So, you would say the Mexican built VW's are more reliable then the American built Honda's?

    We should keep in mind here, we are comparing the GTI, Mazdaspeed3 and Civic Si, not Honda, VW, and Mazda.
  • This started with a 17 year old kid asking if he should get a GTI. We suggested alternatives that are cheaper, more reliable and far better suited to an inexperienced driver.
  • I don't have anything against Mazda. I owned Mazda before and contrary to what most of the people think here, that Mazda means Ford quality(another prove of lack of education when it comes to cars), I actually believe is a great car. But, not when you compare it with a VW. Even if VW has a bad reputation in America doesn't mean that is still not the best seller in its segment, in Europe. There, the Honda SI and Mazdaspeed 3 are still not considered interesting even if they cost several thousands dollars less.
    Mazdaspeed 3 is a fast car but only when you smash the pedal. It is not responsive in normal driving and it feels downright slow. The power comes suddenly (after the huge turbo lag) between 3000 and 4500 and then it feels like the turbo gave up on you. It is a weird car. It feels like is put together by a group of enthusiast in a garage. They dropped a turbo and some bigger brakes, and some "aftermarket" suspension. This car just doesn't come together as a whole. If you want a track car like I said you get a Subaru but if you want a hatchback born in the top of its class, GTI is the only way to go. This is what the entire international auto industry believes and some editor from Eadmund's is not going to change that.
    Honda SI the American version is downright pathetic. That is a choice only if you fall for the words "It's a Honda".
  • " Fun? If he wants fun get a j-o-b."

    This is what I was talking about. I mean how predictable is for a guy that bashes VW and recommends a Honda to say something like that? 100%.
    Loosen up..get a VW GTI, maybe you will learn how to smile.

    A VW poorly made? You probably never sat foot in a VW your entire life.
    After a comment like that is hard for anybody to take what you say seriously.
  • "This started with a 17 year old kid asking if he should get a GTI. We suggested alternatives that are cheaper, more reliable and far better suited to an inexperienced driver. "

    You didn't suggested alternatives. You want him to join a crowd of zombies that think Consumer Reports is the Bible.
    The only better alternative for a 17 year old that thinks driving is more than having a phone in the left hand and a hamburger in the other hand is a car like VW Rabbit. Hondas, Toyotas are never a good start. Let's give him hope, not brake his spirit.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    probably alot. I remember that a while back i was in the market for a tc and considered this option. It was pretty dang expensive. To the point where the value in the tc was lost in favor of a more expensive vehicle if i was going to pay that much!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    True, I forgot about that. Non the less, this is still a thread about the GTI vs Mazdaspeed3 vs Civic Si. She should take a peak at perhaps the Mazda3 vs Rabbit vs Civic thread.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You probably never sat foot in a VW your entire life.
    After a comment like that is hard for anybody to take what you say seriously.

    On the contrary, blueguydotcom's suggestions are clear and well intentioned.
  • This is what I was talking about. I mean how predictable is for a guy that bashes VW and recommends a Honda to say something like that? 100%.

    Actually, the GTI is at the top of my list for my next car. How predictable for a VW fanboy to think that anyone suggesting a non-VW must be anti-VW.

    A VW poorly made? You probably never sat foot in a VW your entire life.

    Had a 2001 Jetta 1.8T WE. It was a lousy car - broken parts, bad ABS, broken electricals, bad AC, etc.

    Drove the 06 GTI in 05 before buying my 06 330i. Let me put it this way, after the test drive the salesman 1. was sure I raced often, 2. told me nobody had taken him on a GTI ride that much fun before and 3. was shocked beyond belief that I didn't want it.

    In late 06 I took out a 4 doot GTI for a few hours and found that car fit me and my fiancee's lifestyle better. The extra doors, the space seemed different and the car felt lively, fun and light after 9 months of driving my behemoth 330i.

    So, as of right now I've got about 1 year left on my 330i's lease and the GTI is the front runner, with the 335i as the second choice and A3/Mini as the darkhorsea and the 1 series as a big time wish. I like the packaging, space, engine, etc of the GTI.

    The GTI 4 door is fun. But it's expensive to maintain/operate and I count on it having the same quality as my previous German cars (2 BMWs, 1 VW): lousy.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Mazdaspeed3, as is the GTI, is on Car and Drivers "10 Best" for 2007.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually, blueguydotcom's comments have been much more mature than some others going around here. Interior quality (which the VW has) does not equal a well-built and reliable vehicle, or a good vehicle for a 17 year old. I take him quite seriously. He doesn't need to "loosen up" and I'm not sure why we keep coming back to personally-directed comments.

    If he gets 12 MPG in a V6 SUV that is supposed to get 50% higher than that, he's driving REALLY hard and fast. I'd worry about how that kind of driver would do with more speed that he's not used to controlling. If he likes VW and won't drive past the warranty, I'd suggest the Rabbit.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Allright kid here it comes. Hopefully you are still reading this thread and havent been turned off by what many of pretty much everyone here is saying.

    For the honda buff, you'll always see lots of reliability stats, cost to own stuffs and a lot of other things that you may deem useless especially once you discover that *gasp* vw warranty is in fact longer than hondas and many of the vw bashers here are bringing up past vw models and not any of the newer ones, such as the new gti which you are considering. You have no doubt noticed a much more sublte way to bash the car, in which it is not explicitly said 'i think vw's suck, but consumer reports says so, so i'll leave it at that.'

    The mazda buffs will tell you that the mazda 3 and the speed 3 are the most unflawed and most rewarding vehicles to drive in their respective price range. Just remember that these folks are probably biased too and if something greater were to come out, they would finally understand what it would mean to prefer a car over another one even if that other car out performs it. The mazda is a good car, a very good car even but the overshowering of greatness is kinda cheesy sometimes.

    And then the vw buff. The one who supports duetschland like if it was the only carmaker that ever existed. Bear in mind that this person will also ignore ANY claims that vw have not had reliabilty issues in the past, and can seem a bit haughty, but nonetheless a bit more passionate it seems about thier vehicles than the others...(it leads one to wonder that if the reliabilty of a toyota, honda or mazda were to falter a bit, if their fan base would remain as strong as vw has remained? Hmm dunno. maybe yes but maybe no. And that rhymes which is what makes it awesome. ;) )

    All in all i'd say that everyone here is going on and on about all the wrong things. If i had the chance to drive a gti when i was 17 and was going to get a good deal on it, i'd go for it. Its great fun. Great fun without being to over the top, for as many mazdaites have pointed out, it is not the absolute best performer in its category, but nonetheless very very fun. Will it be the most reliable? Its chances don't look as good as some of the other vehicles in the segment, but having personal experience with its brethren (an 07 rabbit) things are looking at least brighter than before. Will the insurance be higher? Yes. But if you are looking for a sporty compact, chances are that the insurance will be more expensive than the more mild mannered versions of the car, and more expensive than the cars that they precede in each vehicles company line up.
    But that the price you pay for having a sport compact.

    Look up the insurance figures yourself, some of what has been posted is a little extreme and has been tailored to each persons driving record and NOT yours. Look it up yourself and THEN factor it in.

    I would recommend the gti. It didn't win auto of the year for sucking. It makes a nice middle point for performance. It may not be as ultra precise or high wrung as the si, or as gutsy as the mazdaspeed 3, but it looks great, has a great resale value and it has great power off the line and delivers better mileage or at least comparable mileage with other cars in its class.

    If you were to get a honda, more power to you. I used to have an 06 civic ex. I loved it. Great fuel ecomomy , smooth engine, roomy and it handled very well...and everyone else thought so, because everyone else has one. That is one major problem with hondas; don't expect to be original. I think they are great great cars and i consider myself a honda and vw fan, but i won't fail to recognize the flaws of both. You probably wont have many problems with any honda you get, but they also are not without their lemons. (i.e. my civic had broken vanity visors after six months, and i have yet to have any real issues with my vw.)

    As far mazda goes, you face less of the identiy loss that honda offers, but by no means are you being ultra orginal. The 3 is quite the handler, and if handed to me i would be happy with it, but sometimes its undiscovered greatness is a little off putting for me at least. You may find it different though.

    Look it all boils down to this. You have the opportunity to get a great car for a good price despite not having ultra high mileage and having higher than average insurance costs. I would reccomend you to do it for any one of these cars, granted that you would still be getting the good deal that it seems you are getting. But the fact that its a gti which does run a little pricey, makes it very sweet indeed and i think you should not pass it up man. Good luck with your decision and happy driving.
  • That is one major problem with hondas; don't expect to be original.

    It's a mass produced car. Don't expect to be "original" in any mass produced car. If you're talking about a Veyron in some podunk place like Oklahoma, sure you'll be a one-of-a-kind. But a GTI is just a Civic in terms of numbers sold. Actually more golfs are sold than civics by a wide margin worldwide.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Come on blue guy don't be silly; you know what i meant. Obviously they are all mass produced cars, no one is questioning that. An yes by a WORLD WIDE marging the golf has the civic beat. But the golf has been around longer and is much more popular in europe than it is here in the states. And in all honesty when you think about how common a car is the average person, such as this teen in question, probably isn't worried about worldwide sales, and more worried about what he'll see on the road. And the fact of the matter is that you are more likely to see many more civics and accords than you will a rabbit, gti or a passat. I hate when people get all technical. 'oh well worldwide the sales are bigger'. God grief! Think about the context in which someone is speaking for once. You think i don't know that they are mass marketed? :blush:

    Oh and seeing as how although it may not technically be the segment leader, the gti did singlehandedly start the hot hatch thing. Thats a known fact. So yes, you can call it orginal. Maybe not rare or scarce, but orginal yes. :P
  • guy1974guy1974 Posts: 87
    Post 645 was very fair and balanced.
    I am currently looking to buy one of these three cars to complement my Subaru Legacy wagon as I want to have a fun car.

    I did have a MkIV Golf when I lived in the UK several years ago and it was reliable but dull to drive. I am currently steering towards the GTi at the moment (but this can easily change as all 3 cars are good).

    Regarding reliability of the VW I would say the following ;
    1) VW's newer models which were released in 2005-2006 (new Passat, Rabbit and Jetta) seem to have better reliability ratings than there previous models. It is worth looking at CR and other sources to see if these newer VW's are, more reliable rather than relying on old, and potentially outdated data/perceptions. Manufacturers can get better (or worse) over time.
    2) I read somewhere (can`t remember now) that Japanese cars were the most reliable with 1.1 faults per car over a 3 year period. American cars had approximately 1.6 faults per car and European cars had 2.1 faults. So the real difference is that, on average, European cars (essentially German cars) have one extra fault over a 3 year period than Japanese cars. Depending on the fault I would say this is not a huge deal when comparing Civic to GTi.

    I agree that VW reliability has been an issue in the past and is still at least a little worse than the Japanese but someone in an earlier post said VW reliability was terrible. That is over stating the "problem" since you are seeing an improving picture in CR, 1 extra fault over a 3 year period and the fact that VW is the best selling brand in Europe.
    They would not be the best selling brand in Europe, where Europeans spend much more on their average car than Americans (and therefore expect more), if they had a truly terrible reliability record.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Thanks guy. Agree with your post whole heartedly. Good point about europeans spending more time in their cars as well. I wonder how cr gets its relaibility numbers, i figured they'd send something to the owners, but being one of the 'fairly' few new rabbit owners i have not really heard anything from them, but from other automotive rating companies asking to rate my rabbit for them. Good post!
  • > So, you would say the Mexican built VW's are more reliable then the American built Honda's?

    If you are referring to the GTI, the GTI is made in Germany.
  • "And then the vw buff. The one who supports duetschland like if it was the only carmaker that ever existed."

    Germany is not the only car maker, is the only good car maker. ;)

    Let me clarify something. I am not a VW fan, I am fan of good cars regardless of their make. I want the best car for the money regardless of who produces it. It just happens that in this segment under 30000 VW is practically untouchable. People in Europe know this and they have a much larger palette of choices than we have here...still best sales go to VW. Note that VW Passat beats the European Honda Accord in sales, which there is the same car as Acura TSX here. A VW Passat is chosen over Acura, while here we have people taking things so far that they will compare an Acura with a BMW, which is insane. I hope car buyers here will become more educated about cars and be able to judge without having their vision blurred by the ridiculous ratings found in Consumer Reports. Hopefully nobody will have to hear things like: VW doesn't have the build quality of a cheap brand like Honda in the future.
  • "As for insurance, I KNOW the GTI is expensive to insure, because my auto insurer allows you to do online quotes... I basically input same driver, same policy, but switch around the insured car. GTI is $410 more a year than my current car... the jump might be even much higher than that for a teen."

    No you don't. The change from an Accord sedan to a 4 door GTI costs me 15 dollars more for 6 months same coverage, same insurance company. However a BMW 335 will cost about 120$ LESS. I know because I was in the market for one. Civic SI 170 more, Mazdaspeed 3 110 more. Safety features reduce the premium drastically. Honda and Mazda lack in that aspect. not the only aspect they lack though ;) .
  • guy1974guy1974 Posts: 87
    I wouldn`t agree that Honda is a cheap brand (that would be Kia, Chevy for example). But it is true that in Europe the Passat (and for that matter Ford Mondeo) competes against the Acura TSX.
    This is starting to get off the topic of this discussion. But I think it is fair to say that VW is at least equal to Honda as a quality brand. Some people will think higher but at the very least equal.
    If VW was serious they would build a factory in the US to build Jetta, Rabbit, GTi and Passat rather than import them or build in Mexico.
  • "VW was serious they would build a factory in the US to build Jetta, Rabbit, GTi and Passat rather than import them or build in Mexico"

    VW builds only Jettas, GLI's and Beetle's in Mexico.
    GTI, Rabbit and Passat are built in Germany.
    Why would US be a better place to build cars? None of the japanese makers wants to build any of the sport versions or luxury versions of their cars here. Mazdaspeed 6 and 3 are built only in Japan, Honda S2000 is built only in Japan.
    All Lexus and Infiniti cars are built only in Japan. Never wondered why?
  • But I think it is fair to say that VW is at least equal to Honda as a quality brand.

    I agree that European Honda(Acura here) is on the same position with the VW. Hondas that are sold here are cars that are not sold anywhere else in the world because they are substandard. They are badly engineered and sold for the price Acura(real Honda) should sell. The exception is Honda S2000 which is the only real Honda sold in US.
  • But I think it is fair to say that VW is at least equal to Honda as a quality brand.

    Wow...just wow.
  • guy1974guy1974 Posts: 87
    Suprised by your dismissive comment. It is acknowledged that the Passat competes with the Acura TSX in Europe on an equal footing. Just look at magazine reviews (whatcar.co.uk is very good) but also sales success. You could say that Honda is more of a niche player in Europe so it is not surprising that the Passat outsells it. But there are other mid sized cars that compete at a slightly lower price point like the Opel Vectra and Ford Mondeo which give a lot of competition to VW.

    I said that it might be an idea for VW to build a factory in the US for several reasons ;
    1) shows they are serious about the US market rather than viewing it as a small, niche market
    2) reduce there exposure to exchange rate fluctuation (dollar-euro) which can really effect their profitability
    3) I am not convinced that Mexico can build cars as well as the US, why have Honda and Toyota only opened factories in the US and not Mexico (surely not just to be seen as serious or patriotic).

    Bottom line - any of the three cars listed in this discussion would be worth buying. It all depends on our own views of styling, how much we like to rev the engine, interior styling, ride etc.
  • "said that it might be an idea for VW to build a factory in the US for several reasons ;
    "1) shows they are serious about the US market rather than viewing it as a small, niche market"

    I think VW thinks is not profitable enough for them to build factories here. While Honda and Toyota succeeded in creating an entire line of cars especially for US they needed to do that...after the lack of success on the European market. Their only choice to achieve success on the international market was to sell first in US and I have to agree that they did quite well in here. VW does not have that problem. Their cars sell incredibly well in Europe (Golf and Passat are in top of their segments)and they probably feel that US is not going to be their best market. I think they understand that the regular car buyer here is not really looking for a special car, plus again unlike Europe where the word reliability comes rarely in a discussion about cars(that's because people know that the differences in reliability between cars from different manufacturers are really small)here is the most important aspect.
    Consumer Reports and JD power created a false image by making it look like the car with the best reliability rating and the one on the 10th place are worlds apart when in fact if you look at their estimation 1 place Lexus(has about 126 defects per 100 cars)and for example BMW(I think is 17th place has like 170 per 100 cars). If we assume that that's true is still an insignificant difference. But,
    if we ask people on the street almost all of them are going to say that BMW is a nice car but is not reliable while Lexus never brakes down. The seed was planted and was planted well. I am glad that the Germans make their cars so good that many people are saying something like: I prefer to repair a BMW than to have a problem free Lexus. And then they see that you can actually have it all . Their German car doesn't brake down and they have not only a reliable car but a great driver's car.
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