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Honda Civic vs Volkswagen Jetta

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
Honda raised prices of the Civic while Volkswagen reduced them on certain Jettas, to where the prices of these premium compacts overlap. Meanwhile, the exterior and most interior dimensions of both have increased. The Civic excels in fuel economy and reliability whereas the Jetta generally scores at or near the top in driving dynamics and interior design.

Which of these two do you prefer?


  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Hondas also excel in reliability. Volkswagens have been abysmal in comparison for the past decade.
  • I watched for the introduction of the new Jetta and Civic. I finally drove both this weekend. I have driven various Jettas since 85 and finishing a 96 up at 182,000. Both are great vehicles. I like the mileage of the Civic and I think it is more quiet than the Jetta. The trunk on the Jetta has always been a big factor since it is bigger than the civic and the Accord. My 11 year old son loves the trunk opener on the new Passat. They need to put that on the Jetta. The Jetta is a couple thousand over priced. I hear that VW has pulled several items off of the trim level 1 and moved it to higher trim models on the 06. Big mistake. The Jetta 5 cylinder is noisy. Seating position in the Jetta is better. Good luck!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Did you test automatics or manuals? Which one was more fun to drive?

    Also, how has the reliability and repair expenses been on your Jettas?
  • I drove the automatics. I gave up standards long ago. I know they are more fun though. My Rabbit was a stick and it was as fun as my old bug. The Jetta and Civic both have 5 speed automatics. I haven't had too many problems with my Jetta's but agree that they are more problematic than Honda's. VW just can't keep up with Honda engine technology. VW couldn't squeeze any more hp out their 4 cylinder so they added one. My wife likes leather and that is the only downfall of the Civic. I have stayed with VW partly because of a great service manager at my dealership. I am looking for mileage so I will most likely be parting ways with VW.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    " I am looking for mileage so I will most likely be parting ways with VW."

    The Civic's (30/40 mpg) fuel economy is truly impressive, whereas the VW 2.5's is somewhat disappointing. But, then, the TDI engine trumps the Civic, although there are tradeoffs with the diesel. Also, the Civic costs considerably less than the TDI Jetta.
  • lorelore Posts: 17
    I test drove both. My family has had civics and accords mostly and I feel they are great cars. But the problem is that they are just plain cars, no snazz to them. The jetta outta the lot was just a thrill ride from the start. I tried both out in manual and the jetta wins hands down. More power, smoother ride, better handling. I even like the interior better and the jettas have a higher safety rating, 6 airbags and standard ABS.

    To get the civic with all the options of the standard jetta would actually put the civic higher in price. I picked up the VE 2.5 which is practically a steal. Huge trunk, options galor, fun to drive, roomy, comforatble, and got power. I hope it's pretty reliable, havent had it too long.

    If you want a car you can drive forever thats cheap to maintain and cheap on gas, go with the civic. If you want a fun car that's got pep, power, and comfort than try out the jettas. Both are good cars, its just your preference on what you want.
  • HpmTorque said:
    > The Civic excels in fuel economy and reliability whereas the Jetta generally scores at or near the top in driving dynamics and interior design.

    You said:
    > Hondas also excel in reliability. Volkswagens have been abysmal in comparison for the past decade.

    I'm sorry - did I miss the word reliability in the first statement? Time for me to get my eyes checked.... :sick:
  • With the pricing of the New Jetta, I really don't think these two cars are in the same ballpark; the Jetta is more expensive. Also, there are a few things that can't be had on a Civic, which are present on a Jetta.

    The Civic price increase has been minimal, while as VW went for the Accord/Camry 4 price range for the Jetta.

    As for crash tests, the 06 Civic hasn't been tested yet (IMO), so we would have to wait for those.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Given VW's sharp loss of market share in the past few years, I'm thinking that VW dealers may be more willing to deal than Honda dealers would be on the new Civic, thereby narrowing the gap between the MSRPs of these two cars. Jettas would still tend to be more expensive, but maybe not by much.
  • lorelore Posts: 17
    If you get the Jetta 2.5 VE, the price is a steal. Its pretty comparable, if you add the features that come standard on a Jetta on the Civic. That and also civics are in pretty high demand atm.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    The three most popular vehicles MSN Autos, based on visits to the site's vehicle research pages during the second three months of 2005 are Jetta (first), Accord (second), and Civic (third).
  • I highly recommend the Civic over the Jetta. My wife and I currently have a 2000 Jetta and the reliability has been awful. Issues with the sensor, thermosat, door locks, windows, trunk lock. Now, it's losing oil at the rate of a quart every 1,000 miles. We can't wait to dump this vehicle.

    Before I married (and inherited the Jetta) I contemplated getting a GTI. With our current experience, I would never ever get another Vdub again. In contrast to this, an exgirlfriend and my parents have owned Hondas. They seem to crank these things out with "just enough" power. No headsnapping starts, but at the same time, enough to get the job done.

    Finally, I'd say handling is subjective. Even though reviews rave about it, I hate the handling on our Jetta. It feels numb and I don't feel any connection to the road. I much much prefer the handling of my WRX. I personally even prefer the handling on my parent's late 90's Accord to the Jetta. Part of this is due to weight. To me, the Jetta is bloated. Hondas tend to be lighter on their feet...

    Just my personal experience and opinion...
  • VW just can't keep up with Honda engine technology. VW couldn't squeeze any more hp out their 4 cylinder so they added one.

    I think that's a bit of a generalization based on that particular engine, which has been designed with the American market in mind. The idea is to skimp a bit on fuel economy but gain low-end torque. The presumption was that would fit the American taste... Honda engines typically achieve high hp through high revving. Their low-end torque is usually smallish, which gives you good mileage. That is a good marketing strategy (high hp + good mileage), but if you actually drive making use of the hp, you end up with a buzzy engine and not so good mileage, after all.

    As to engine technology, VW/Audis new Diesel and FSI engines are very much high-tech. I'd rather get the 2.0TFSI in the Jetta than the base engine: much more power for about the same mileage. Then there are the new dual-charged engines that get even better mileage, hp, and low-end torque - which hopefully will became available in the US, soon. Take the 170hp 1.4l engine, for example. Or the 170hp 2.0 Diesel. Both provide good power with great mileage. Higher displacement versions of the dual-charged engine have also been announced.

    So, there are 1.8-2.0 4 cyl. VW/Audi engines that make ~200-225hp now, and the dual-charged one will make about 250. VW just prefers charging the engines over high revving.
  • Good luck with your Honda. Keep in mind though, due to the popularity of sport import cars (drifting), your Honda has a much higher risk of being targeted by thieves than VWs.
  • yesrohyesroh Posts: 290
    The Civic because of what you listed, and I've driven a Jetta and a Polo (in Germany) and was not impressed by a car which cost thousands more than my Civic (the Jetta). It was more expensive than my V-6 Accord and less refined than my old Civic. I think they are overpriced too, but if the prices drop then maybe that's not the case anymore.
    By the way, I loved my VW Passat Turbo Diesel which I drove on the Autobahn in Germany. But it was drab and unattractive., very efficient (36 mpg at 100-130 miles an hour) and rode smooth.
  • yesrohyesroh Posts: 290
    Of course the argument could be made that they are at higher risk because they are more desirable. It's always something! I don't see the Yugo GV high on anyone's theft list.
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    So you prefer Civic & Passat TDI to Jetta. How do you come up that a new accord is cheaper than a new Jetta? Is the price in Germany you talk about. I don't think you can drive at 130 mph and still have a smooth ride in any vehicle.
  • Desirability - the high probability of calling the insurance company while walking home.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, VWoA and AoA should call their engines:

    torque on demand

    Oops, that's been used, already...

    So, how about: so much more oomph, here and now. ;)
  • with "torque on demand" anyway, they would shorten it to TOD - which in German means "dead" - kinda like the nova in mexico or spain
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