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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • ymosymos Posts: 1
    My fiance and I just decided to buy her a '99 Golf GL over a Honda DX hatchback. Test drives showed more power and comfort features in the VW vs. the Honda. I'm looking forward to it!
  • bbosleybbosley Posts: 2
  • sweennyjsweennyj Posts: 2
    I'm thinking about buying a 99 VW Golf GLS..Anyone out there own one..Need some feed back
  • weatherdanweatherdan Posts: 28
    I bought a 99 GLS in April. Great car. Had a few initial probelms (airbag light on dashboard would not go out; VW had to replace the whole drivers-side system) but overall it has been fine.
    Also had a vibration/squeak near the sunroof that was driving me nuts until yesterday when, in frustation, I rammed my hand against the sunroof controls. Viola! No more vibration! My only gripes: Engine revs very high at highway speeds and gas mileage is not that good (have an automatic). Perhaps it will get better as the engine breaks in. I like the cargo space a lot. Handles great. Excellent brakes.
  • sweennyjsweennyj Posts: 2
    Anyone else out there purchase a new 99 golf recently? Still looking for info.
  • vr6fan2vr6fan2 Posts: 2
    more vw's sold in germany than japaness cars so more will break down
  • vr6fan2vr6fan2 Posts: 2
    have you ever heard of a vw diessel with less then 380+k miles before it dies
  • bluedog63bluedog63 Posts: 3
    Hi all,

    Just discovered this site, and I feel like it was meant for me! Currently drive a (don't cringe, folks!) 1993 Ford Festiva GL (auto/air), she's a real creampuff. I really think she's done a great job, despite being a Toy Car. I've seen smaller cars in England, so I don't feel too bad. A couple of problems, mostly due to short city hops, rather than highway mileage: replaced muffler twice, entire exhaust system once, emergency brake "froze up"--once no biggie, second time major bucks because I drove it and wrecked the right rear tire (don't ask--lots of ice, thought I was dragging a chunk--d-uh!), and the odometer went on me at around 37k, had to have it replaced, $$$. However, for a $7000 car, I guess I can't complain, except for my own DUMB mistakes!

    Sorry this is so long, but I am looking for a new car and I LOVE hatchbacks! Agree the demise of the Mazda 323 HB is lamentable--we went with a 1993 Escort Wagon (my husband's car, and he loves it), because the 323 was no longer available, although the two were on the same platform at the time (Mazda (323) Protege coupe was more $ than the Escort wagon!).


    1) What is the new Ford Focus supposed to be?
    I test-drove a 1999 Escort sedan, and no legroom, cheap interior, loud engine, but decent handling (automatic--I am NOT A REAL DRIVER!) :)
    So, is the Ford Focus supposed to be a new hatchback, and when is it due out?

    2) Bottom-line time: Price, reliability, safety, and comfort (never mind the joy-ride), I need a safe, reasonably-priced commuter car that is either a hatch or a wagon--I drive a round-trip 110 miles a day to work on a two-lane road behind tractors and tractor-trailers. I have 3 dogs I like to cart around with me, and can't take the slobber on the upholstery in a sedan! Hatch's are great for dogcrates or just keeping the happy pooches out of my hair!

    I am debating the NEW Golf GLS (automatic, air, cruise, 4-door) or one of the Honda Civics (haven't really researched them yet), with the same options. By the time I add on air, auto, and cruise (if available) on the Honda Civic, isn't it going to cost me what the new Golf GLS costs now with those options, close to $18,000?

    Any guidance/advice/suggestions/opinions very welcomed! Thanks for your patience on reading this overlong missive!

  • wicketeerwicketeer Posts: 1
    I am looking at the Golf TDI as a most reliable, great mileage vehicle to replace my Toyota standard pick-up for 40,000 miles a year duty. The Toyota, with 135,000 miles on it, is great, the last small pick-up to come out of Tora Tora Tora land. I have used Mobil One since the beginning and the current compression is better than when I purchased the truck new in 1994. The Golf diesel intrigues me for it is manufactured in Wolfsburg. What is the feel for this vehicle? Deutschland Uber Alles!
  • sftroublsftroubl Posts: 9
    There will be a hatchback Focus; also a sedan and wagon. The hatch has very distinctive, love-it-or-hate-it styling. You might get a Civic for slightly less than the Golf, but it's an older design and a much less refined car.
  • jenevievejenevieve Posts: 11
    yes, but the civic does not have any options! which makes me very sad. :(
  • bbosleybbosley Posts: 2
    i just bought a 95 STD golf for 9400. It has 47000 miles and it still looks brand new. I personally thought this was a good deal but i would like to see what you guys think.
  • Are you suggesting that the civic is a "much less" refined car than the golf? I have to vigorously disagree. The Civic is as "refined" as any of its competitors (including the Golf).
  • odysseusodysseus Posts: 10
    To see just how much more refined the golf is, take one for a test drive, and then jump back into a civic. The difference is huge. Maybe the civic compares in refinement to the a3 golf, but it's not even close when comparing it to the new golf. Drum tight body, no squeaks or groans, and an interior that is of higher class than a caddalac, or chrysler 300m.
  • yoredyored Posts: 12
    Hello, I jumped over to this post from the Honda Civic Hatchback conference as the discussion here is on point to where I am now in my decision making process.

    I have been in the market for a small easily parked, reliable and low maintance vehicle for a few months, I live in Queens county and would travel periodically into Manhatten to work.

    The choices have been basically the Civic and possibly a "New Beetle" which is based on the golf chasis.

    The Beetle: Costs more, base aprox. $15,000 and change. A true head turner even in NYC. Great head room for size, less so in back seat but I am not a livery service, I don't care. Apparently can have rear seats dropped for increased storage. The Civic in this area always amazed me, it was kind of like a circus car that held 20 clowns. I read earlier in this discussion about the rig-a-miral one has to go through in I think the Passat, removing head rests and such to accomplish the extra cargo space.Same in the Beetle? Released in '98, has there been any known defects that were addressed in '99?Improvements? Hard to get the dirty details with all off the gushy hype.Also wondered if there is anyway you can put a bike rack on the Beetle. Looked one over the other day with my girlfriend and was at a loss as to where it would fit. VW's repair history and expensive charges are a little scary.Generally recieved as a good fit and finish car. The standard engine is a 2.0 liter and the turbo, oddly, is 1.8, ABS and AC seem to be standard...pricey extras on the Civic which features a 1.6 liter engine.

    Honda Civic 3Dr/Hatch: Stripped bare,$10,000, 5 sp man, no power steering, AC is around $1,000 extra and dealer installed only...a kick back to the dealers for selling a low margin car I think. Broke with tradition and extended the body style an extra year with a revamped civic in 2001. The research I have studied says that buying the last year of a body style hurts resale as the car will look dated sooner...that is a strike against it. Engine reliability is legendary, and that is the leverage that Honda seems to be using on the public.
    The "tinniness" of the Civic is also a concern. I was wondering if "Isellhondas" had a comment on the cost of a comparably equipped Honda vs a base Beetle?
  • odysseusodysseus Posts: 10
    Yored, it's true that the beetle chassis is based on the golf, but why don't you just buy a golf instead? The golf has way more usefull cargo space in the back, more than the civic even, it's lighter, looks cooler, (In my opinion) and it's not an overpriced fad like the beetle. I bet you could get a new golf gl for $1000 less than the equivalant beetle. You get a better interior in the golf too, a tachometer thats full sized, unlike the beetles dinky wristwatch sized tach.
  • yoredyored Posts: 12
    Truthfully, never even considered the Golf. Don't know why, I haven't test driven any of them, older Civics. Not the same I know. The Civic impressed me with the seat full back,my 6'2" frame didn't scream. Have not been in a Golf,a GTI....quick, nimble, tight fit. I don't know, will look it over...keep hearing tales of maintenance trouble and draconian rates charged by VW mechanical work.
    Am I valid to have these concerns?
  • AaronAaron Posts: 11
    Your concerns about part and repair costs are valid. In my 10 years of driving I have owned the following cars: 83 Toyota Celica, 85 Toyota Supra, 87 VW Jetta, 90 Audi 90 Quattro, and I now own a 99 BMW 323i. I am also interested in the Golf as a utility car to replace my wife's aging Nissan Sentra. I like that the Golf can be had in a hatchback with 4 doors. Honda seems to take a more stripper approach to the hatchback model. I know what people say about the tinniness of Japanese cars, but look at the Insurance Institute tests a year or so ago that were on TV, where they had a Golf III and a Honda Civic among other cars on test. The Civic scored the best, and the "solid" Golf scored 6th or 7th out of 9, I think. I will qualify that by saying that VW has probably improved the crashability of the Golf IV quite a bit. I would like to see a rematch.

    Now, back to the joys of VW ownership. Parts and service are a ripoff. I wanted to buy a section of exhaust pipe for my Jetta, and the dealer wanted $375 for it. Luckily, I found a knockoff for $40. I dont think Honda parts are particularly reasonable either, but not as bad as VW.

    Another problem with VW is the "Varies Widely" approach to the US market. I dont believe anything I hear in the press about VW cars until I see something at the dealers lot. Ask the people who have been waiting 2 years for the Passat to get the syncro 4wd system while VW waffled on whether they were going to offer it. Or the people who waited for the TDI engine on the Passat because VW announced that they were going to offer it on the new Passat. At least VW only made them wait 1 year before saying they were not going to offer that after all.

    I cant comment on the quality of VW or Honda dealers. VW dealers have had to suffer a lot to survive over the past 10 years, so many may not be used to providing the best service. On the other hand, Honda dealers overall score very low customer satisfaction according to JD Powers. Toyota is down there as well. Both Honda and Toyota especially took totally different approaches to cust service Lexus and Acura. An interesting perspective is provided by the book "Arrogance and Accords" The gist of this book, written by a former sales employee of American Honda, describes how a lot of Honda dealers were bribing Honda executives in the '80s to get good allocations of hot selling Honda cars.

    If that wasnt long winded enough... Basically the Honda is more available and has predictable reliability, but the VW Golf IV has a much improved sturdiness to it, and lots of useable hatchback space.
  • odysseusodysseus Posts: 10
    The insurance of highway safety recently tested the new golf and jetta, and gave them high marks in the crash test arena. Overall I think they got a rating of acceptable. Survivability was very high in the new models, and the bumpers were rated as good, requiring much less $$$ to repair than the non vw's tested. This years honda civic is a carryover from previous model years as I understand it, hasen't been redesigned in a number of years, while the new vw's, including the golf, jetta and new beetle, are completely new from the ground up. So the chassis is way stiffer than before
  • AaronAaron Posts: 11

    This has the crash test results for small cars from the insurance institute. The Golf is now 2nd from the top. The top spot is the Beetle (?) The Civic is still no slouch in the number 3 spot.
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