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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si

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Comments

  • They are all "souped up" economy cars. GTI/SI virtually dead even in 0-60 and 1/4 mile time. So it's just a matter of preference. I prefer not to get on a first named basis with my local VW Service Department! :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I've lived with reliable cars and unreliable. If the unreliable is more fitting of my lifestyle, then I'll take it in a heartbeat.

    The civic si would be great for me if I were 20 and broke. At this point in my life, I want a little fun and a little luxury. No luxury can be found in the civic si; just the opposite really.

    We're not talking 0-60, btw. Stab the gas at 75 in a SI and it will slowly build - in any gear. Stab the gas in a GTI at 75 and the car will rocket away. This is where I live on the freeway. 75 is cruising; 85-90 is passing. You can do this in a GTI without loudness, without drama. The car simply goes. Likewise, I can let 3 people into the car and not be embarrassed by chincy fabrics, flimsy doors and the constant drone of a fast-and-the-furious muffler.

    Get onto a curvy road and the car is fun. Is it as much fun as a 3 series or Miata? No. But it's a compromise and I'm compromising already by getting a 4 door sedan/hatch.

    We have different goals/desires. I want a balanced car. My fiancee's A3 pretty much achieves that. Sure I'd like to change the suspension, add a chip and a sway but it's hers and for now it serves out utilitarian needs while providing some semblance of an adult car, without sacrificing fun or getting us into some land-yacht like a 335i or G35.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    40 spoilers available doesn't equal tuning to me. Parts that will make an immediate change in the car's performance. Sorry but the SI's parts are all cosmetic and/or pretty worthless tiny HP bumps suspension mods that will make the car more unlivable on a daily basis - which it is already in stock form.

    come on now blue guy! There are plenty of horsepower upgrades for the si, they just aren't in your price range, but dont omit the facts just because they fall short of what YOUR needs are, which happen to be the most bang for the buck, and i understand that. But still to say there are only cosmetic upgrades and tiny horsepower upgrades is far fetched. There is A LOT more, you just aren't willing to make the trade off. And thats fine.

    I still think your opinion on the si's interior is a little harsh, again not gti territory, but then again its not trying to be a luxury car either, and yes i think that the gti EXCELS in this area! You gotta remember man i drive a vw everday and i'm huge gti fan! And much to your dismay, they are all souped up versions of cheaper cars, the gti just does an excellent job disguising it. ;)

    I think the gti is great compromise; i'd rather have the dsg than a manual, and torque over horsepower. I just don't think the si deserves the harshness, its a really cool car and is good at what it does, just like the gti.

    As far as price goes you could look at from the viewpoint of someone who can't pay 25k for a new car. I know that the gti can be had for less, but before you jump on me about it, hear me out. Its very easy (at least where i live) to walk onto a dealer and find and si sedan for under 22k. VERY easy. I'd be hard pressed to find a gti, much less a 4 door for any less than 24500. It can become very pricey very fast. With that extra 3-5 grand, i could put a ballin' turbo on the si and make 300 TO THE WHEELS!

    Balances out a bit more huh?

    Granted, in all honesty if i was going to spend over 20k on a car, i'd more than likey get the gti because its a hatch and we need it for our puppy and for stuff in general, my wife likes the si but likes the gti's looks and the fact that it comes with a type of auto tranny. But i wouldn't think i have the all-out superior car. I just have one that suits my needs a little better.

    I could still roll out for a night on the town in an si though! ;)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    We're not talking 0-60, btw. Stab the gas at 75 in a SI and it will slowly build - in any gear. Stab the gas in a GTI at 75 and the car will rocket away. This is where I live on the freeway. 75 is cruising; 85-90 is passing. You can do this in a GTI without loudness, without drama. The car simply goes. Likewise, I can let 3 people into the car and not be embarrassed by chincy fabrics, flimsy doors and the constant drone of a fast-and-the-furious muffler.

    agree with ya on the 75+ passing, i live on the freeway too! But the exhaust on the si sounds great! As does the gti's. I dunno about the whole 'without loudness' stuff though, isn't the gti engineered to have the sound filter through the gagues to add some sporting character? I think they talked about it on the dvd.

    The doors are NOT flimsy on the civic. Actually i think they have a better thunk than the ones on my rabbit now, honda engineered it that way on purpose. My rabbits doors feel heavier though, if thats what you mean. :confuse:
    chintsy? Oh blue guy... :blush:
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I agree with so much of your post. I'm a harsh critic and when I find something I like it far more than other things.

    You can definitely outfit an SI with serious engine mods for 4k. I just think the car would be all go and missing the everyday casual, take your mother-in-law to the store balance of a GTI.

    As you also pointed out, the 4 door hatch offers a tad more utility and that's more of the balance.

    I totally agree about suits needs/desires. I think the GTI is the perfect compromise for me among these cars. And for a little bit of money it can be more sporting without changing the character to maniac-on-wheels.

    There was something frantic about the SI. My mother-in-law to be's 06 Civic Hybrid is a composed, simple car that gets solid mileage. Heck, i drove it from LA the other day and got 44 mpg. Fine little car. The weekend before we drove the Si sedan and my fiancee was shocked at how much the character of the car had changed - it went from docile, quiet commuter car to edgy, loud, tight snarling Pomeranian. She would kill me before we'd live with a car like that.

    Sorry for harshing the Si. I'm not a big Honda fan - beyond their transmissions - and I have really negative associations of Hondas with the fast and the furious crowds of southern california. I see a Civic, Accord, TL, Integra and I expect it to be driven by a 16 year old with his hat on backwards. It'll probably have cut springs, 18s and a loud muffler too. There's an unkind term people in socal use for Hondas and kids who drive them; shockingly some of my friends have used that term when I expressed passing interest in Honda products.

    Not sure if Honda realizes the damage those kids are doing to the brand.

    As we have an A3, we're already experiencing the 2.0T/DSG combo. It's sensational. Just don't let an idiot drive the car; a friend drove it last night and he triple downshifted at 55! My fiancee asked him what he was doing and he said, "I couldn't tell if it was shifting, so I kept pulling the lever." Ayecarumba.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    LOL. Why don't people just drive intuitive cars that don't require visual double checking?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You don't need to check visually. He drives a 325i manual normally, so its pretty scary to think he's that out of tune with a car that he didn't notice the tach bounce up or feel the change in torque/hear the engine's tone shift.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Sorry for harshing the Si. I'm not a big Honda fan - beyond their transmissions - and I have really negative associations of Hondas with the fast and the furious crowds of southern california. I see a Civic, Accord, TL, Integra and I expect it to be driven by a 16 year old with his hat on backwards. It'll probably have cut springs, 18s and a loud muffler too. There's an unkind term people in socal use for Hondas and kids who drive them; shockingly some of my friends have used that term when I expressed passing interest in Honda products.

    Not sure if Honda realizes the damage those kids are doing to the brand.


    Not to mention that the Honda's "Fast and Furious" type popularity makes it an attractive target for thieves, thugs, and gangs. I'm pretty sure the insurance companies realize this as well - and charge ($$$$) accordingly...
  • washtimwashtim Posts: 16
    not sure what it adds to this discussion, but ... in less than 7,000 miles, the car left me or my wife stranded three times (different electronic issue each time). The radio/stereo has never worked right, even after the dealer replaced the head unit. The interior is beautifully done, but the cloth fabric on the driver's bolster and armrest is worn and pilled.

    I love to autocross, but the car has a pretty rubbery feel at the limits; combined with turbo lag and non-defeatable ESC, it would pretty much lunge numbly from cone to cone.

    I wanted to love this car so much. Think i got pulled in by the feel of substance (and the turbo). Even though it's not a good autox car, we'd have kept it for years were it not for the reliability issues. (God help the kid who bought it). In the end, neither of us had any affection left for it.

    Looking now at Mazda3 (not a speed) or an Si.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    As far as price goes you could look at from the viewpoint of someone who can't pay 25k for a new car. I know that the gti can be had for less, but before you jump on me about it, hear me out. Its very easy (at least where i live) to walk onto a dealer and find and si sedan for under 22k. VERY easy. I'd be hard pressed to find a gti, much less a 4 door for any less than 24500. It can become very pricey very fast. With that extra 3-5 grand, i could put a ballin' turbo on the si and make 300 TO THE WHEELS!

    I was waiting for someone to say that. There is a problem with that statement. Most people finance vehicle, therefor $3,000-$5,000 is rolled into a payment, you are looking at a $60-$80/month. It's tough to finance just a turbo kit. Most people do not have $3,000-$5,000 laying around to drop in a turbo. You can place it on a credit card, but, who wants to pay the 20% interest most youth have on their credit cards.

    My conclusion, the vehicle already equipped with the performance in easier to afford then dropping an expensive turbo kit in a vehicle you are already making payments on. It's tougher to afford.

    Ther Civic may have great tuning potential, no disputing that, it just gets very expensive to do so.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Insanely good deals on the Mazda3 right now. Your VW experience sounds just like experience in 01.
  • nschulman3nschulman3 Posts: 125
    The primary reason I stick with Subarus is because of their tuning potential. I have a WRX TR. Granted, it isn't luxurious, but everything is easy to find and works. The transmission on the new WRX is miles better than my 02 WRX and the ride pretty much absorbs anything. There is no worry about torque steer and the car is tremendously fun to drive. I understand the desire for some luxury and upscale materials, but I also have a G35. The GTI would have been my choice were it my only car, although I was also worried about reliability. A good set of tires to replace the horrible R-92s, a Cobb accessport and decent cat-back exhaust greatly improves performance with no negatives. The only problem can b e warranty issues, but the car is bulletproof. The Civic SI is a great car, too, but I can't get past the lack of torque. The MS3 , where I live in NOrthern Jersey was selling at above sticker and had high finance rates. Plus, I refuse to buy a car without driving it first, no matter how glowing the reviews.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    I guess VW's smooth DSG is too high tech for a BMW driver :), who might have only experienced the primitive clunky SMG.

    Still, if DSG's gear selector has a shift pattern of a manual, then drivers will know which gear he has selected & therefore no visual confirmation will be necessary!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "...the car has pretty rubbery feel at the limits"

    Yep, VW/Audi's have this problem since the introduction of the MkIV Golf/Jetta around '99. That's why I ended up getting a noisy '84 Jetta w/ manual steering instead. ;)
  • This post actually bums me out. Even though I own a Honda now, I have owned more VW's then Hondas, a 1987 VW GTI, a 1998 VW GTI VR6 and a 2001 VW GTI 1.8T. (The worst of the bunch). I actually loved VW's until the reliability issue roared its ugly head. That is why I will probably never own another VW. :sick:
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Sorry for harshing the Si. I'm not a big Honda fan - beyond their transmissions - and I have really negative associations of Hondas with the fast and the furious crowds of southern california. I see a Civic, Accord, TL, Integra and I expect it to be driven by a 16 year old with his hat on backwards. It'll probably have cut springs, 18s and a loud muffler too. There's an unkind term people in socal use for Hondas and kids who drive them; shockingly some of my friends have used that term when I expressed passing interest in Honda products

    Hey blue guy i gotcha!! :) I totally feel the same. The term you are reffering to; ricer is it? I acutally looked it up, apparently it refers to any kind of commuter car that has the cut springs, huge rims-ugly muffler-horrible primered body kit type of car that has no real performance mods on it. (granted having a combo of the two still does not justify the visual horrendousnes of it!) I'm a native so-cal. too so i know what you mean.

    Its a shame that a honda has gotten this bad rap; i hate kids like that. Its one of the reasons i'm happy to drive a vw now, and the reson why i liked the new civic so much, it seemed to be less 'fast and furious' and more upscale. But low and behold, even it has been hit with it. (unless its the hybird, but even then, there are some people...) Its actually kind of funny that we mention the fast and the furious; theres an r32 in the newest one, and one of the most prominently displayed cars in the orginal was a jetta. :blush: I know i know, its still not to the extent of honda or nissan though.

    I hate the image personally, i think honda kinda hates it too; hence why serious tuners have been shying away from honda, given their increases in weight and suct, etc, which is to be expected, they are a car company that is ever improving their products. At the same time its also funny to know that the few si sedans i've seen, its been a mid 30's guy driving one and the other was a man well into his 50's! Honda may have this 'ricer' thing as baggage, but there are still a few loyals who know better. ;) Even vw gets the occasional huge spoiler guys.

    Having said that, if you look at a lot of honda tuning magazines, you'll see very little huge spoilers and such. Most honda guys shun that kind of crap and a front lip is all you'll usually see. My buddies civic is like, the prime platform for 'ricing' and yet it looks as stock as can be. (minus his rims and huge intercooler. :P )

    Still, i don't blame you for your decison. I love the dsg and in all honesty, i don't think i would ever go back to a civic or such if i was to buy another honda. Right now, despite high service costs and just ok mileage, i see no reason to abandon my bunny and hope to run her to the ground. Unless i have some sort of horror story (knock on wood) i'll be with her for a while. The only other thing would be having kids and getting something bigger like an element or crv. (but then i'll have the tiguan to look into!)

    I understand your view blue, and i don't blame you. The gti to me is the best daily driver here, and the fact that the wifey wants and auto makes it even better.

    Its ok about the harshness, i get mad at stuff too!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'd suggest you quickly edit your post and remove the term. It's viewed in many forums as racist. Just an FYI.

    After spending the weekend looking for a replacement car, the GTI still remains at the top. The Miata seemed like a shoo-in until my fiancee informed me that she likes the car but never wants to drive with the top down. Uh, defeats the purpose as we're in san diego and having lived here with verts, you keep the top down at least 50% of the year.

    Really seems to just be the mini and GTI now. Mini has the edge because of the resale value - I plan to dump the car in 2 years.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Not to mention that the Honda's "Fast and Furious" type popularity makes it an attractive target for thieves, thugs, and gangs. I'm pretty sure the insurance companies realize this as well - and charge ($$$$) accordingly...

    your serious huh? This is great! Maybe this is true for a 1996 model, but i don't many 'thugs and gangsters' are eying grandma's civic hybrid, or mr. college students fit to steal it.

    Man. Just what i needed on a monday morning. :)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I know some people look at it that way, but if there was ever a honda fan, i'm certainly one. If the moderators want me to take it off thats fine, i'll do it. I'm sure they don't want a bunch of email from people who are ignorant asking why they have not asked me to edit yet.

    Since the term applies to ANY tricked out car done poorly, including american cars (look it up on wikipedia the first car shown is a dodge neon.), so for those who take offense, sorry but do your research.

    My wife wants a mini too.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    agreed avi. But we were just talking about possiblites. And not all who do this are that young anyway.

    And its not just limited to the new civics, the older ones are even better as far as tuning potential goes, but then again, its an older car and some things (very important ones.) get comprimised.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I hate the image personally, i think honda kinda hates it too

    If you have seen the latest Honda Civic ad, I think you might have to change that statement.

    The Ad shows 2 kids, once next to an Si, and the other next to a coupe, talking about their style, performance and resale. They are definalty targeting the young kid crowd. Honda makes a ton of money there, and they know it..
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    gosh really? Are you sure it isn't a local ad?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    It's a Honda corporate commercial, not any local Honda dealer.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Maybe this is true for a 1996 model, but i don't many 'thugs and gangsters' are eying grandma's civic hybrid, or mr. college students fit to steal it.

    Don't take my word for it - ask the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

    This may not be true for the latest Hondas, but it still has that Fast and Furious Japanese car stigma (especially the Civic Si) that will probably stay with the brand for quite some time... Unfortunately the car will get lumped with the Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions of the world.

    Having "Street Cred" is a double-edged sword, as it may also mean being a car that attracts unwanted attention from the "wrong element"...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Avi is right, it is a national commercial - I've seen it here in B'ham, and it doesn't advertise a particular dealer.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    "Don't take my word for it - ask the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)"

    One has to be careful not to paint the insurance picture with too broad a brush. My own, I repeat my own, insurance agent has given me 6 month figures for the GTI, MS3 and Civic SI sedan and the the GTI is the most expensive to insure followed by the MS3 and Civic SI. Now, for someone like me (M,age 50, excellent driving record, small midwest city the difference between the the GTI and Civic amounts to about $100/year.

    I actually like all three cars. Unfortunately, the closest Mazda dealership is 45 miles away and the closest VW dealer is 70 miles. I test drove the Civic SI sedan today and will test a MS3 tomorrow. The VW is just a bit above my price threshold and the dealership is too far to drive for scheduled service. There is a Honda dealer in my town willing to deal on the SI and they are offering 2.9% financing. I have to admit that a hatchback would be more useful though. I'm currently driving a 94 civic, but have owned a Golf as well. It's hard to see how one could go wrong with any of the three choices--until a better picture emerges of how each ages/depreciates. I do wish the Civic SI was available as a hatchback for a better head-to-head comparison with the MS3 and GTI.

    Gogiboy
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Remember a Honda TV commercial just a few years ago? It seems that a decent young couple in a Civic at night was suddenly surrounded/followed at by a huge bunch of young (& even gang like) kids all in their sooped up Civics. Then there's the "Civic Nation" written on the screen, while rap music was playing in the back ground. So, kids, drive a Civic, & you might even win gangs' support!

    How did you think Honda became a best seller & a very profitable company? They cover up warning lights & lie about odometer reading, respectably. While BMW happens to turn on too many warning lights. :P

    No, serious, Honda engines & transmissions are great. They just got a little cheap by removing Civic/Integra's front Double Wishbone suspension. That's why I chose to collect a 2000 Civic hatch & left it overseas in a crowded city so I don't have to find a rental car on my annual summer vacation there. & I've been bragging about how small the exterior is for a car w/ front-&-rear Double Wishbones, which give me amazing road holding & balanced drifts even w/ soft suspension & non-high-performance tires! But the car is still no fun 'cause the steering feel sucks.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I can't recall the last commercial i saw, let alone a single honda commercial. I remember an acura integra commercial from 1994 - had a cartoon dog and dennis miller did the voice over.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Advertising brilliance on Honda's part.....
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    nice post.
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