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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    An earlier (long) post went on about how great the Civic EX and Si are. But, isn't the topic HATCHBACKS? Those are 2 door coupes/sedans.

    My best bud was the most loyal Honda owner, had an '86 and '92 Civic Si HB. However, when it was time to get a new one, there was no replacement available (1998). So, he looked at a 1996 GTI and bought it and is happy. He dislikes the newer Civic HB ('96 up).
  • I'm a first time buyer, and I've decided on a civic dx hatchbacth b/c that's all that I can afford. My question is, if i'm looking to buy a new 1999, and this is the end of august, how much should I pay for keeping in mind that the new 2000 are due any day? Thanks. Abby
  • chellischellis Posts: 3
    ...but I'm looking to buy a '99 Golf GLS. Does anyone know when the 2000 comes out? The 2000 Beetle is out, but I haven't seen any Golfs and I'm wondering if VW cuts prices on last year's models when the new ones come in.

    I've had an 1989 Civic DX HB for 10 years and have loved it! But, I'm ready for a change and am excited about entering the VW world for awhile.
  • The 2000 model Golf has been on dealer lots for at least a month. You probably won't find any special discounts on the '99.5, but you can always try. :-) It's really the same car with the same price, except that they are charging a little more for the luxury package on the 2000 model year. Also, the GLS *supposedly* has a cold weather package and monsoon sound as an option for 2000, but I haven't heard of anyone actually finding one yet with these options.
  • yeliyeli Posts: 1
    I am also in the midst of deciding btw the Civic and the Golf. MY HONDA HISTORY FIRST for the record: I had an '81 Civic Hatch, loved it, & replaced it with an '89. It's now up to 225M km/120M miles. Within first two years, it had a chronic electrical problem {car stalled when shifting down into 2nd gear} and the entire transmission had to be replaced {difficulty getting into reverse}. Occasional nuisances since have included broken seat mechanisms and frequent headlight replacements on one side. And, it's been broken into 4 times. The police say Civics are notoriously easy for petty thieves to get into for radios, tapes, change in the coin slots, etc. There's been accompanying damage to windows and door panels that have cost me in repairs and/or insurance premiums. Otherwise, very reliable 'til now when a cracked distributor cap, suspension, and the like need attention. And, it LOOKS its age with rust and torn fabric. Like to think I got my money's worth but others might say it's had a less than stellar record. NOW ABOUT THE NEW CAR CHOICE BTW CIVIC AND GOLF ... I want a hatchback. But, I also feel that the new Civic Hatch is just too bare-to-the-bones ... even the Sedans look boring! SO, I WANDERED OVER TO A VW DEALER and have pretty well decided to go GOLF. Just looks and feels better ... has a std A/C and security system that wld add a combined $2M to the Civic price ... and 'cause I want to feel excited about a purchase I make once every 10 years. Think, VW didn't win me over so much as Honda gave me nothing to come back home to. VW wants "Drivers" and this driver it's got!
  • Folks-

    I have spent the last few days lurking around and reading ALL of the postings about Civics and Golfs here and elsewhere in an attempt to add to my next-to-nil knowledge about cars in general. I had (past tense) a 91 Nissan Sentra which has slowly been deteriorating in terms of the interior (windows stick and need Herculean force to open and close, the side mirror on the right fell off a while back never to be seen again, the sun visor thing is in tattered pieces, the upholstery soaks up stains) but in spite of all that the engine has held up well over the last 9 yrs and 130,000+ miles. That was until I was plowed into by a bigger car that left my car in a crumpled heap.

    Okay, so now, I'm looking at hatchbacks, and am
    *still* undecided after having read hundreds of postings on both VWs and Hondas. I am leaning toward the Golf for aesthetic, performance and safety purposes, but the Honda is appealing for gas mileage and for reliability. The Golf seems to yield good gas mileage for sticks, but I'm in the SF bay area and have never driven a stick, and I'm very very scared of tackling the SF hills as an inexperienced stick driver. I am also looking for A/C and other (what I consider basic) perks.

    I am waiting for info from you knowledgeable and kind folks on this.

    Much obliged-

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I think you're right, sunnyy. Civic hatchbacks and VW Golfs appeal to different people. I've never heard anyone say a Civic is "fun to drive," yet that's the phrase I see associated often with the Golf, and to think of it, VW in general.

    So, get out a piece of paper and list what you want in a car. Then compare your list to what each car does for you. If you are like most consumers who really get into the pros and cons of the cars they're considering, you'll draw up your list, see which car comes out ahead and then they say, "Darn, I really wanted the Golf!" Others will say, "Darn, I really wanted the Civic." And bingo, there's your answer!

  • I know,I know different vehicles, one sedan, one hatchback. but this is my problem. I've negotiated for a (1999 Mazda Protege LX for $13000) or (ES for $13705 fully loaded except for alarm system). And the 2000 Golf GLS fully loaded for $17459. Should I even be thinking about this?
    Which is a better vehicle? More safety features in the VW but economically the Mazda is the better deal.Maybe with the money i save I can buy the 2000 Golf GLS. You negotiate a great price on a car you would like second. Isn't it about getting what you want as much as what you can afford.
  • You've probably heard this before (but maybe not), check out the Golf TDI. The incredible torque at low RPMs are ideal for SF and the fuel mileage surpasses almost all others cars in the country. The only problem is availability... they can be quite hard to find. (If you are still afraid of a stick, an automatic mated to the TDI is actually quite good due to the low-end torque, but good luck finding one).

    Check out Fred's TDI forum for info:
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Repeat the carlady's mantra: the best car for you is the best car for YOU. Make the best decision you can and you will drive off into the sunset without any of the "what if I had?" anxiety. Actually, I think the new car smell takes care of that!

  • I don't know where you guys come up with these VW horror stories. My 1988 Fox 170k miles has never given me any problems. Maybe I'm one of those who actually do maintenance on their cars.
  • i am thinking of getting a honda civic coupe ex or a gti gls. which one is honestly better, more reliable, and fun to drive. i need it to last a long time.
  • grc5grc5 Posts: 4
    Just test drove 1999 Golf GL (Demo) 5 spd. Great road car for the money, great dash lights, good pull off the line. To me, feels much more solid than Civic and seems to have more room for stuff. 60mph, the engine revs over 3200rpm. Can 5th gear ratios be changed as an option from the factory? aftermarket? Any suggestions?
  • kclckclc Posts: 1
    Through a series of links I have, much to my amusement, ended up here. I too have this dilemma! I have already compared the numbers on The Auto Channel's tach compare-a-graph,(which I recommend for people like myself who are limited in car knowledge)as well as comparisons on other sites. So I believe I must be down to the test drive. What I really need to know is if anyone has driven the Honda on in snow? I have heard that the VW does very well so if the Honda is comparable does the 3,500 extra buy more than ABS and comfort features? It seems that Honda has a little better trade in value in the long run. Any info is more than I have, thanks!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    No, you won't be able to change gearing. And you probably wouldn't want to. The 2.0 liter engine is underpowered for the car. You'd be making a bad situation worse. You might try the diesel version if you think the 2.0 is too busy. Or you could wait until Q1 2000, when the 1.8 Turbo may be available.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The GTI GLS is way underpowered. 0-60 in over 10 seconds. You could get the GTI GLX, 0-60 in 7 seconds. The GLX is great fun to drive (I bought one). Or you could wait until Q1 2000 when the GTI GLS should be available with the 1.8 Turbo engine.

    The VWs have a different feel than Hondas, with some pluses and some minuses. I suggest that you test drive both to decide which YOU think is more fun to drive. What I like may not be what you like.
  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34
    If you want low revs on the highway, get the TDI. At 60mph it's spinning at 2200rpm. It's at about 2800rpm at 80mph. Nice and quiet.

  • dhkdhk Posts: 49
    After looking at lots of cars, Im kind of interested in the Golf or Beetle TDI. You mention the tall gearing, but does the car have enough power to pull hills at 75-80mph in 5th?

    Also, would be interested to know what fuel economy you're getting. I've heard 50 mpg highway.
  • I'm going to a VW dealer next week to negotiate for a 2000 VW Golf GLS automatic with no additional options. If I did my homework right, the dealer invoice price is $16,557. I would like to negotiate a purchase price of $17,000. Is this a realistic figure? Has anyone gotten a better price then this? I'm in the Washington DC area.
  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34
    It would depend on the hills, of course, but from what I've read from TDI owners, TDI's have no problems with hills that require most other cars to down-shift. You can look at the numbers and see why: 155ft-lbs of torque at 1900rpm. That's a lot of torque for a 2800lb car!
  • Jason,
    I don't recall the site where I saw this, but there are a few out there that help consumers determine a "fair price" for various makes of vehicles. Every manufacturer gives its dealers different amounts of holdbacks (if you're not familiar with dealer holdbacks, there is an explanation here on the Edmunds site) and for VW, it is 2% of total MSRP. The site I saw called an additional 3% a "fair price" for a VW -- but you add 3% to the dealer's invoice price, not MSRP. Your $17,000 is then about right. Good Fahrvergnugen!
  • lckclckc Posts: 2
    I have never driven a diesel before...but when I saw the m.p.g. I had to give it a try. I was also hesitant about the price jump from the Honda, I mean how much difference could there really be? Ok, besides A LOT, it truly is smooooth! I'll be the first to admit I had to do my homework to prepare for my first new car since collage. (Not only because I know absolutely 0 about cars but also for some confidence at the dealerships.) Knowing what I now know about the two (thanks to everyone here, Edmund's and others) I am 90% sure I'm going with the Golf after the test drive. I recommend that you get out and do the same if you are hesitating between the two, I'm not going to have a problem eagerly waiting and saving up the extra cash!
  • First off, thanks Dean for your reply.

    Second, I just want to share with everyone what price I got on my 2000 Golf GLS w/Auto. I figured out the invoice price is $16,557 minus the 2-3% holdback for the dealers. I went into my local VW dealer and gave them my buying price of $16,800 and stood my ground. I figured they have at least a $500 margin if they sold this car to me at this price. Not counting the $199 "processing fee". Anyways, it took about 1/2 hour to get within $150 of my price but the dealer would not come any lower. I walked out.

    Next day, they called me and agreed to $16,800. The car is a Golf GLS w/Auto.

    With tax,tags,and title, my out the door price will be around $17,500. I haven't signed so I don't have the final numbers.

    I think I got a decent deal on it. Hope this info helps others who are thinking of buying this car. I can't wait to get mine.

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Good work, Jason! It feels good to wrap up the sale, doesn't it?

  • A new 2000 Civic DX hatchback, with $1095 dealer installed A/C, $250 dealer installed cassette deck, factory AM-FM radio, power steering (now standard on stick shift DX's!), and stick shift, is $13,960. Three Honda Dealers have offered me this car with this equipment for $12,700 plus tax and title, basically giving me the AC and tape player for free. However, for my $12,700, I would rather buy three 1997 Geo Metros. Just my opinion, but the dealer price for the AC and tape player seem high. Sure it includes labor, but it makes a $12,500 car a $14,000 car.

    Each dealer is offering the extended 7 year 100K warranty for free, but that makes me think it is free to anyone anyway.

    I would be happier with my Metros, though. I can live with manual steering and 13" tires. I also don't mind the stigma of being a Geo Metro owner because the darned cars keep going. I have 101K on my 1995 LSi and it is fine. It has been through half a dozen alternators and thanks to a truck running me off the road, I have a bent right lower control arm that eats up my right front tire every 6 weeks. The replacement part is $159.xx and the labor is prohibitive, so I would rather buy a $15 used tire every 6 weeks or so than do the work.

    Also for $13,960, you could buy a nice used 1997 Toyota Camry CE/LE or Honda Accord DX/LX and have the most bland car ever, but it will last forever.

    Your $13,960 will also purchase a three-to-five year old Volvo 850 or Audi A4, if safety is your concern.

    And one more idea, if performance and looks are your MO, you could buy a late eighties Corvette convertible.

    So a new car isn't always the best choice when a two or ten year old version of your dream car is within your reach.

    But if you WANT a Civic, buy a new one. A $14K new 2000 Civic is a much better value than a $10K used 1997 Civic.
  • Can I find a Honda Civic DX Hatchback with power steering, ac, am/fm and an automatic for under $15,000 or am I just dreaming?
  • After much test driving, everything from Acura Integras to Honda Civics and even BMW 318Tis, the only car theat really set itself apart was the Golf with a TDI (turbo diesel) motor. What an amazing little unit. Seems like the car was designed for this engine. The base 2.0 gas engine is uninspired and the V-6, only available in GTI trim ($20+ grand), is really too much engine for that car, at least with front wheel drive. The awd V-6 Golf, if they ever offer it here in the states, would be worth looking into, but then again, we're talking well over $20 grand.
    Anyway, if you havent driven the TDI, you are missing out on one of the best kept secrets around. They are available, but hard to find, at about $16,250.
  • Pricilla1:

    A friend of mine bought a Civic HX, which is a higher model than a DX for 15,500 out-the-door. This price included everything, tax, tags, and title. His car was automatic, a/c, am/fm/casette, power everything. Your 15,000 sounds more than reasonable.
  • Anyone care to comment on how reliable the TDI engine is in cold weather? Does it have trouble starting? Do you need a warmer? Apprciate any comments on this engine.
  • rgoetzrgoetz Posts: 13
    For TDI info (cold weather & much more), check out Fred's TDI Page,

    Based on what I read in Fred's forums, I've ordered a 2000 Golf GL TDI.
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