Honda Civic Si vs. VW GTI

sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
edited March 2014 in Honda
Any thoughts on this line-up? Granted, it's a little early too tell for the Si, but there are preliminary reports flowing in now (,, etc.).

GTI = 1.8T, 2 doors, 180hp/174 lb-ft, nice interior, 18 cu. ft of storage, 24/31 mpg, 17" wheels available, leather available (for those that care about that sort of thing), lots of standard equip.

Si = 2.0L, 2 doors, 160hp/130 lb-ft, ~2700lbs, [not sure on storage], ~ 24/31mpg, 15" wheels

The Si will probably have the edge in terms of out-of-the-box handling, shifting, and [possibly] reliability [but the 4yr/50K warranty by VW seems to offset any main concerns I might have], the VW has a proven engine that is used in a plethora of vehicles, nicer interior (based on Si pics I have seen), an armrest, and is probably less susceptible to theft (the last two are my own personal biases).


  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    The GTI 1.8t is the better car by far. That 1.8t engine is a gem and develops most of it's hp/ torque at only 1950 rpm, it'll blow the doors off the Civic. The only weak area of th GTI is the soft suspension which VW has the cure for - Eibach sport springs. I made them part of the lease on my 2002 Reflex Silver GTI with 17's and luxury package. Don't have the springs on the car yet - on order for delivery in a week.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    First Drive: 2002 VW GTI 1.8T, by John DiPietro

    First Drive: 2002 Honda Civic Si, by Brent Romans.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    It's simply more powerful...
  • himilerhimiler Member Posts: 1,209
    and the Honda emerges victorious.
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    And the VW wins, hand down. Looks are subjective, but I'm willing to bet more people will find the VW better looking than the Honda (exterior and interior).
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Member Posts: 121
    The other day I drove both a 2001 1.8T and VR6 GTI. Always wanted a another GTI since my first 16V. I wish that they would bring back that old 16V because the new ones are horrible. I first drove the 1.8T and the steering was so vague and the suspension was so soft, it was really dissappointing. The VR6 was even worse, most likely because of the heavier front end. The VR6 is a fantastic engine-it deserves a better chassis. I think that the "Drivers Wanted" should go somewhere else
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
  • ggoldman9ggoldman9 Member Posts: 1
    I think the Si will be very competive in this category and that has more to do with the disadvantges of the other cars more than any particular outstanding feature of the Si itself.
    I see the downsides of the VW as:

    poor reliability(actually it seems like the other two Mexican-made cars - the Focus and the new Sentra SE-R have also had their share of problems)

    reputation for bad dealer service - what is the point of a 10/100k warranty if you can't the the necessary work done?

    Softer suspension which will require upgrades, but not much can be done about the hefty(almost 3000lb.) curb weight

    I also don't think there will be any meaningful difference in acceleration times one production Sis are being made.

    Finally I think VW overemphasizes amentities. The edmund's reviews kept mentioning things like one touch powerdown windows. As a roll-up person I find this hardly worth mentioning even once.

    Still I going to test ride both before making a decision. I'll probably also test the SVT focus and the Spec V, but have pretty much already made up my mind that I won't be buying one of these.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    qote ggoldman9-poor reliability(actually it seems like the other two Mexican-made cars - the Focus and the new Sentra SE-R have also had their share of problems)

    reputation for bad dealer service - what is the point of a 10/100k warranty if you can't the the necessary work done? -end quote

    The Golf is not made in Mexico so why do you mention the "other two Mexican made cars? The Si is manufactured in UK and British cars have a terrible quality reputation, does this mean that the Si will have poor quality?, I would say no.

    The GTI has a 4yr/50K b-to-b warranty and 5yr/60K powertrain warranty, not a 10/100 as that was ended last year. VW has better warranty.

    diploid- The GTI comes in two models which are the 180HP GTI 1.8T and 201HP 4V VR6 for 2002. The 150HP 1.8T is no longer sold and will not be competing with buyers of the Honda Si. Let's compare apples to apples please.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Member Posts: 534
    The Civic offers more cool ad-ons and looks great with all those stickers all over it! Seriously, I believe the VW will outperform the Civic, but the Honda will be running after the VW is retired.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    quote claywaterfill-I believe the VW will outperform the Civic, but the Honda will be running after the VW is retired.-end

    Let me share with you the fact that early 80's VW's are still running strong and even the Beetles from the 60's and 70's are still prevalent and it is the Hondas that are already in the car crusher. VW has more minor issues than Honda but has a more robust engine and drivetrain design.

    It is a fact and not a theory that there are more older VW's on the road than older Hondas.
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    I've read more than one review so far (C&D, that has called the new Si "soul-less" due to linear nature of the engine (as opposed to the prev. generation VTEC kick) and the electrically-assisted steering. It's an interesting criticism of the engine, and it'll take a test-drive to refute it.

    The suspension on the Si will definitely be it's strong-point as compared to the GTI. But this could be rectified with aftermarket parts on the GTI.

    Outside of the reliability issue, the GTI seems to be a lot classier.

    Automobile mag just compared the SVT Focus, MP3, SE-R V Spec, GTI, and Si.... they picked the GTI over the Si, but the SVT as their top pick.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    "it'll blow the doors off the Civic"

    I wouldn't count on it. The Civic giving up 20 HP but I would guess it's going to be significantly lighter than the portly 3000 lb GTI.

    And before some starts ragging about the torque difference, HP is a much more accurate indicator of acceleration potential, if you've only got peak numbers to look at.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Member Posts: 534
    I know Volkswagen has been around a long time and early Beetles are still on the road. VW is by far the best thing Hitler gave to the world and Ferdinand Porsche did a masterful job creating the Beetle. I like VWs very much and would love to buy a Jetta, but they are too small for my needs at their price level. That being said, the Civic's reliability numbers through sources like Consumer Reports (which reports the results of real owners, not subjective reviews) are better than the Golf's. The Civic was named Top Pick by people like Auto Week and Consumer Reports for a reason. I was not bad mouthing the GTI--I even admitted that it may be the better performer--I just think the Civic will run longer with fewer problems. That is why I would by the Civic.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Take a look at the 970+ messages in the Honda Civic Problems topic in the Edmunds Maintenance section and then look at the less than 100 total for Golf/GTI problems posted by real owners with real problems. Consumer Reports is subjective when it involves reliability as the ratings are not based on actual repair records but owner opinions from surveys. And the Golf was recommended by Consumer Reports.

    The Civic Si is an unknown for reliability. It is built in UK and you would have to look at track record for the UK build Hondas in order to make a prediction.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    "Take a look at the 970+ messages in the Honda Civic Problems topic in the Edmunds Maintenance section and then look at the less than 100 total for Golf/GTI"

    What does that have to do with anything?
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Member Posts: 534
    But that doesn't mean anything. You know full well that there are not 970 problems. There are problems then probaby 10 responses to the problem--along with another string of posts on a tangent. If that was the indicator, Kia is the brand we all should buy, because the last time I checked there were NO active problem threads. Do you believe NOBODY has had any problems out of their Kias? I think the Santa Fe is the only Hyundai product with a somewhat active problem thread--does that mean there are no Sonatas with problems? I know it's fun to point to "problems" threads because I point out the huge Sienna and Odyssey problem threads to their owners all the time. But that doesn't mean they are not good vans. Also, congrats to VW and their "Recommended" label with CR. Civic got top pick. It also got "Best pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. One last time, I like the VW. I would just buy the Civic instead.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    GTI has standard 16" tires and Si has standard 15". Advantage GTI.

    GTI has 4yr/50k warranty and Si has 3yr/36k warranty. Advantage GTI.

    GTI has 180HP and Si has 160HP. Advantage GTI.

    GTI has choices of sunroof or not, leather or not, upgraded stereo, 5 speed automatic or 5 speed manual, heated seats, climatronic and rain sensing wipers, standard heated mirrors, and standard full size spare. Si has choices of color. Advantage GTI.

    GTI has the highest crash test ratings in it's class from NHTSA.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    except for it's suspension, to soft and the rear setup is pretty crude. Although I believe the next Golf platform should have independent rear suspension correct? I'd be willing to guess that the Si, even on those smallish 15inch tires, will probably handle better than the GTi.
  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    To me no car is just the way I want it so I always tweak them here and there to make them better. With all the aftermarket stuff available for both of these cars you can easily modify them to your personal needs.

    I got a killer deal on my GTI and decided not to get the leather and invest the approx $1k in upgrades instead. I really worked the dealer and got a little over $1k off and made them throw in the VW Eibach sport springs (without installation). My silver black cloth 2002 1.8t GTI has the luxury package (sunroof, monsoon) and 17" wheel package that have excellent Michelin Pilots on them for $400 (a deal and a half). It came through with the the new head unit so it has the indash CD.

    The suspension is soft from the factory, but easily fixed with aftermarket springs. The Eibach springs from VW are perfect, they lower the GTI about an inch and tighten up the suspension perfectly. All the floatiness is gone, nice controlled ride that's not rough at all - no need for aftermarket shocks - perfect. I also added a polished Neuspeed front upper stress bar ($106) hard to say what difference it made since the springs and stress bar went in on the same day.

    Now for the engine - the 1.8t is an absolute gem of an engine cheap and easy to upgrade. I had a modified 2000 Passat 1.8t that never gave me one problem outside of a broken floor mat clip. I easily modified that Passat to about 230 HP and did a bunch of other stuff to it. A friend kept bugging me to sell it to him and I finally did. I'm going a slightly different route with the GTI than the Passat.

    The GTI has a Neuspeed turbo air intake ( does not replace factory airbox, 7 hp gain) and downpipe (welds to the catalytic converter, another 7hp) and Neuspeed chip upgrade which gives it 210 hp and 235 lbs feet of torque. Also installed a K&N low restriction air filter in the factory air box. I'd guess my GTI has about 225 HP now - easily keeps up with a friends BMW 330i and handles really well. I'm keeping the factory exhaust - I did the Neuspeed exhaust on my Passat and got really tired of the added noise. A good aftermarket exhaust like the Neuspeed would add a few more HP to the GTI.

    Total cost of all the upgrades including installation is about $1200 not including the cost of the Eibach springs which were thrown in with the car purchase. My GTI with the upgrades has all the drivability of the standard 180 hp GTI - minimal turbo lag, very smooth, lots of low end grunt, just a lot more go - a lot more. I plan to use it in weekend autocross so I may add swaybars to it, I'll have to wait and see. I plan to take it to the track to see what it does in the quarter mile, just out of total curiosity - this thing flat out hauls a##.

    How much would it cost to do the same to the Civic? I'd bet a lot more. You'd spend more than $1,200 on aftermarket 17" wheels with the Pilots on them alone. I wouldn't want to think what you'd have to do to get 220+ HP out of it - and how would the drivability be???
  • msealsmseals Member Posts: 257
    I don't have a 2002 Civic Si, obviously since they haven't come out yet. I am particularly not a fan of the hatchback so I probably won't get one either. But I can tell you, that for the price you paid for your GTI + the $1200 in mods, I could get that same performance in my 2000 Si. You have to remember first, that the price out the door is significantly more. I paid $16500 for my Si new and I bought it in Jan of 2000. It has been two years not and the only mod I made so far was changing out those crappy Michelin XGT V4 tires with some Yokahama S306's. The difference is like night and day. I thought about adding a supercharger, I believe with a Vortech unit I could get close to the HP numbers you are but definitely not the torque (a big Honda downfall in my opinion). But as for driveability, it would still be there. I have driven several supercharged Si's and they all seemed to drive the same as mine, just more kick off the light and definitely more accelleration up to speed. To be honest, I have wanted a Jetta GE 1.8t for sometime and when VW stated that they were going to bump up the HP to 180 I was salavating. The truth right now is that VW reliablity is shodding at best. I am not getting that from message boards, or CR reports. I am getting if from the 6 people that I know who own Jettas that are 2000 or newer. Each one of them has had major problems, the largest being a guy who needed a new tranny and it took them two and a half months to do it. Actually they put two in, the second one went bad too, so I guess the third one is a charm. Another girl told me that she loved her Jetta, and would get another one, but it had been in the shop 5 times in the past 11 months. She was glad that she leased it though! I can't settle for that. The two VW dealers around here are crappy, they act like they don't need you and they leave you out on the curb once they get you in the car. Another lady I work with has had nothing but trouble from day one. Stating problems of electrical problems, door problems, engine problems and radio problems. And to boot, her head light went out and it cost her $60 bucks for the bulb! and I put it in for her so the dealer wouldn't charge her $30 for labor. That is ridiculous! To be fair here, I have had a horrible time at one of the Honda dealers here. The first time, I went, my wheel beering went bad (I believe my nephew used my car while I was out of town and hit a huge pothole). The dealer fixed it for free the same day and I had the car when I got out of work. The bad experience was at the other dealer that I went to where they were going to fix a paint chip that I got, but they were suppose to call me for an appointment. They never called. To me that is inexcuseable, they are into customer service, they should do anything in their power to make your experience enjoyable if not tolerable. I haven't heard anyone who can say that about VW in recent years. If VW can get reliability issues under control, they will have an incredible car that would be a bargain at their prices.

  • tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    I realize that $400 is a good price for a 17" set-up, but I'd also assume that they aren't the lightest rims out there. If you're going aftermarket for the Si, at least you can get lightweight rims (like TE-37s). Personally, I'd rather save the $400 and get rims that I really want. Besides, every rim option that I've seen for VWs isn't going to win any beauty prizes (or really any OEM rim from most makes).

    Jetta has gotten some very bad reliability ratings recently, though I really don't understand why it would be given worse grades than the GTI. I'm glad that VW has stepped up on increasing the warranty, but if they really wanted to impress me, they'd extend the warranty on the window regulators. It's the little things that fall apart on the GTIs, not the drivetrain. I think that the Si is going to hold up better in the longterm.

    And, I actually think that not having an auto option is an advantage for the Si. Leave slushboxes to the minivans.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    I agree with what you say about rims. But most people like the looks of 17 inchers even if it might affect performance.

    But then, there may be lighter 17" wheels too (new ITR/CTR?), but they would cost a lot more.
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    I don't know about this (I should know by Saturday, after the Philly auto show); are the Si's rims a 4 or 5 bolt pattern? I'd guess 4, and would hope that the new ITR and/or CTR rims would be 5. This would probably make it hard to swap, though I'm sure that you could swap over the hubs. Which would make it interesting for other swaps as well, such as the brakes, which should be bigger on the Type R's.

    The Frankenstein possibilities are pretty cool, which is something that the GTI doesn't have going for it, obviously.
  • pimpkwenepimpkwene Member Posts: 5
    as far as moparbad comment goes about "The Si is manufactured in UK". this is not true. hondas are made in one of three places depending on what the vin starts with....and your choices are....usa...japan and canada. however, because canadian si specs are completely different from the us and japan. sis are only coming out of one of the two. as far as what is going to be faster. same as last year....facts are facts...rolling off the lot the si will get to 60 before the gti. check the stats. the 2000 si was gettin there before this years gti. 7.1 in 2000. this year is not sure on exact since they seem to vary so far but it is guarenteed 6s. and well leave it at that and wont even touch on how the handling is worlds apart...
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    this isn't a serious issue, but all of the civic hatches (in this case, Si's) will be built in Swindon [England] and shipped to the US. The hatch shares no body panels with the over civics made at the NA plants, so it wouldn't make sense to put them on the same assembly line. Well that, and every article out there mentions that the Si is being produced in England.
  • pimpkwenepimpkwene Member Posts: 5
    the si wheels will still have the same 4 lug design.
  • pimpkwenepimpkwene Member Posts: 5
    who designs and assembles the engine is completely and in no way the same as who puts together the body..
  • pimpkwenepimpkwene Member Posts: 5
    there is no point in arguing honda reliability which is one of (if not the) most reliable line of cars on the road to vw how is one of the least reliable and carrying one of the worst reputations of anything on the road. sure read a problem board. every car in the world will have their share and their complaints and their boards. but compare country wide overall stats and now hes sitting on here and facts and facts.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    You owe me an apology pimpkwene, the Civic Si is manufactured in "Unlike the Civic coupe and sedan, which are manufactured in North America, the Civic Si comes exclusively from Honda's Swindon plant in England. The Civic Type-R, an even sportier version sold only in Japan and Europe, is also from this plant" yeah, thats right, England. I've been to the UK twice in past three years and I am familar with the cars there. Honda Civic reliability is recognized to be better than Golf/GTI but as much as I dislike Consumer Reports I think you should take a look at the rating given to Golf/GTI and you will find it recommended. Your statement about the problems listed on boards is ridiculous, there are ten times as many posts for Honda as there are for GTI and Golf, and that still does not prove anything as the Golf/GTI is recognized to have more problems than Honda. Worst reputation of anything on the road, LOL! As far as the reputation of the GTI you should read some of the early reviews on GTI vs. Si. The professionals who review vehicles as their occupation have been picking the GTI over the Si.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    "My car's more reliable than your car" become the hot topic of debate amoungst sports (or sporty) car fans? Jeez!

    Next it will be, "my key fob is cooler than your key fob!"
  • steeler0023steeler0023 Member Posts: 10
    I have read all your posts and I know more about the GTI and the SI than I did an hour ago. Thanks guys for th ewealth of information. I really love the Golf GTI and it has been my dream car since I was a kid in Algeria; however, the SI seems to be getting a lot of pros. Is Honda better than VW when it comes to hatchbacks or is it a matter of taste ? Although, I worked at a VW dealership as I was going to college and people had a lot of problems with them ( way back in 1996). I shoulodnt be talking really because I am leasing a 99 Alero, I hate that car.Thank god the lease is over soon. Should I get a GTI VR6, Honda SI, a VR6 GTI, a civic EX ? Do you guys agree with me that american made cars are terrible ?

    Go Steelers!!!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    I think that small domestic cars have typically been after thoughts of the manufacturers and therefore crappy. But I think that's starting to change. Despite what some here think, the Focus is making inroads in the small market and Chevy should soon (finally!) be killing the Cavalier and bringing over a new Opel/Vauxhall design. Neon I understand is going to be replaced by a joint Mitsubishi/DC design. So at least changes are a foot. But I can understand people being hesitant to buy a small domestic.
  • steeler0023steeler0023 Member Posts: 10
    I would appreciate it if anyone can give me some input on my above post , and can somebody tell me what is soft suspension and what is best for a car to have, hard or soft sus ?
    thanks again!
  • pimpkwenepimpkwene Member Posts: 5
    i dont owe you can apology because they are not all coming out of england. i work at a dealership. i get letters directly from honda...can you say the same? and to do you one better a have a friend whos a writer at a vw dealership. and you know what? he complains to me about the cars and the problems he encounters everyday. im not trying to have a battle here. you made a statement...i was pointing out that it is not entirely true. and your right...magazines have their own opinions we dont always agree with. but statistics and one persons opinion are completely different things. statisticly....hondas have been and up until this very day. have always been considered more reliable. but like seminole_kev said...reliable sisnt everything. depends on what you want a car for. now the real question is...what do youlook for when you get a car? and is reading really believing?
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Exactly where other than Swindon, England will the US version of Civic Si be manufactured? Please tell me how many different assembly locations there will be for the 12,000 units that are expected to be produced in 2002.
    What I stated is true, you do owe me (and Honda) an apology, and I have a question for you, are you old enough to legally drink?
    About your VW service writer friend...I hope your friend is not the one I got in trouble with VWoA last fall because they did not know the warranty program and they lied to me, and I called VWoA on the spot, it was entertaining as the writer got chewed out by VWoA as I watched and listened.
    VW is improving it's quality and it's dealer network, new dealership facilities, and improved results or else. Honda is actually diverting Civic production from Ohio in order to manufacture their new truck/suv, so tell me where the Civic Si is going to be manufactured other than Swindon.
    And feel free to scan your honda letters and post the links here, I'll be waiting for your proof.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Have been designed exclusively for European market at Honda's R&D center in Germany, and will be manufactured only in England. That means, that Japan and America will get their supply of Type-R/Si/SiR etc. from Europe.

    Said that, if anybody really thinks about quality slack due to country of origin, think again.

    And moparbad, don't make age an issue when discussing things.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Age is not an issue? Posting in an immature manner such as one of the previous contributors (I work at Honda LOL) is usually a signal that the person posting is young. Honda is targeting the youth market age 16-25 with the Si, VW targets the young buyer with it's GTI and Jetta, and both VW and Jetta have younger buyers overall than many of their competitors. Age is an issue when discussing vehicles, age is an issue in driving style, age is an issue in insurance premiums, age is an issue as to when you are allowed to drive, age affects income, etc..
    Saying that age is not an issue when discussing automobiles is ridiculous.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    It's okay to take issue with another participant's statement, however our Town Hall Agreement requires that this is is to be done with civil and friendly debate.

    In other words, it's okay to attack an idea, but it's not okay to make personal jabs (or heated remarks) towards other members for their opinions. Feel free to email me if you have any question/comments about this.

    And now back to the subject of the Honda Civic vs the VW GTI. Thanks for your participation. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Yes, every car is launched for a targeted audience, hence demographics. Age, sex, income whatever. Good point but only as long as we're discussing cars.
  • eludwigeludwig Member Posts: 82
    They're here (port of entry in Baltimore, actually). Check out the pics:

    I missed the age dispute, but I'm a 30-year-old professional and I'd love a Civic Si.

  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    eludwig- very cool, thanks for posting the link. The Si sure does look different, will take some getting used to. And the black looks good but whatever that pea soup color is named I have I new name for it, how about mucus?
    All you missed regarding the "age dispute" is than another member disagrees with my statement that the Si will be made in England and I questioned the age of that member, the assertion was that the member works at Honda and the Si will be made in US, Japan, and England.
    Be nice to be able to drive the Si soon and see how it is in person.
  • eludwigeludwig Member Posts: 82
    Moparbad, I'm not a fan of the gold color either. I like silver, especially with the black interior. My black Accord is just too hard to keep clean to go that route again.

    Regarding the GTI vs. Civic Si, I'm guessing that the deep sloping hood and rally shifter of the Si will inspire a more go-cart-like feeling than the GTI. And I like that : )
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    I'm guessing that the deep sloping hood.
    That is something I love about NSX, the immediacy to the asphalt gives a different feel.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    ...apparently has a test in their newest issue (March) comparing the Si, the GTI, and the SVT. I hear that the SVT won, and the Si was the slowest of the bunch. Someone posted on this board that they expected the Si to be "in the sixes" in the 0-60 dash... I think they will be gravely disappointed in what it REALLY does (over 8 seconds). The article is certainly worth a read, and should be on newsstands now (although not MINE unfortunately).

    On a related note, the January issue of Automobile has a similar test, but they throw in the Mazda MP3 and the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V (say THAT one five times fast). Automobile came up with much better handling numbers for the Si (theirs had the 17" wheels) than C&D, but the acceleration numbers were pretty much on par. To sum up Automobile's recommendations, they placed the SVT first, and what was a tossup for second between the GTI and the Si was decided in favor of the GTI on the basis of its' nicer appointments. The MP3 and the Nissan brought up the rear.

    My key fob isn't as nice as YOUR key fob :)
  • riopelleriopelle Member Posts: 132
    The Si was the slowest 0-60 because it tops out at 56 in 2nd gear, requiring another shift to get to 60, unlike the other two. It beat the ZX3 to 30 and matched it in the 5-60 street start. It's a matter of gearing. But it couldn't touch the GTI in straight performance, that turbo is a gem. Also noteworthy - the GTI had optional 17" wheels, the Si had 15"s. If the comparsion was apples to apples (ie the GTI had it's standard 15"s, or the Si had optional 17"s) the difference between the two would have been more "true". The Si could use more torque, but it's a much better handler than the GTI.
  • 759397759397 Member Posts: 79
    The Honda has a proven track record in that dept. However, I have a 1997 Jetta GLX that has had only minor issues in the 65k miels I have had it. No squeaks, no rattles, no major failures, no minor failures, no problems with the service dept. etc.

    It is a little more quirky than my old Integra but the unreliable issue is a little blow out of proportion. It still has nicer appointments than the new Si's and provides more than enough performnce.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    FYI, the GTI doesn't have "standard 15's". The GTI has 16" wheels as standard equipment. Even the standard 16" wheel/tire kit puts more rubber on the road than the optional Si tires (and it needs it with all that extra weight).

  • mbeards3mbeards3 Member Posts: 7
    I just bought the GTI last week after considering the under $20k group: Si,SVT,SE-R spec V. The 0-60mph of 6.5 seconds(car and driver) and 6.8sec(motor trend) makes the GTI the fastest. It is also the most luxurious(6 airbags, traction control, abs -ALL STANDARD EQUIP!). If you get quotes for each, the VW dealer actually will drop a grand or more off MSRP. The others will be hard to haggle price on and the standard equipment is not as good. The GTI got my money for the following reasons:
    fastest (it does 15.3sec at 94mph in the 1/4)
    best engine (on wards 10 best engines)
    best equipped,comfort
    decent handling (still mid pack out of this racy group)
    best interior
    24/31 mileage (one of the highest)
    safest (5 star rating with 6 airbags)
    better warranty (4/50k and 5/60k powertrain)
    resale value is almost as good as Hondas
    actual selling price comparable to others(plus VW 4.9% 5yr finan)
    After driving my indigo blue GTI for a week now...
    engine is smooooth, torque is incredible and makes down shifting optional, build quality is very tight. Very comfortable car but still handles good when pushed. Price paid= $19,750 (MSRP=20,950)
    options: luxury package (sunroof,monsoon radio)
    cold weather package (heated seats, wiper nozzles)
    In my opinion the Si needs the 200hp vtec, bigger tires to get my money(but that would make the RSX-S less desireable).
    The Spec V needs a better interior, get smoother and more HP from 2.5 liters.
    The SVT needs more motor. The brakes/handling is awesome, but in a limited production vehicle in this class, it should get to 60mph in under 7 seconds.
    The GTI needs slight tweaking to the handling, but overall is the best in my view.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    is a limited production model, it's still cheaper fully loaded than the GTi. So it's not like it's a $35K special edition with *only* 170hp.

    I don't really like the SE-R, but it does have lots of torque across the band, which is nice.

    Really to me it boils down to a choice between the SVT and the GTi which both have their strong points. Now that the pricing is released on the Si, It sits at a distance 3rd (at least for me).
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