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Honda Civic Si vs. VW GTI



  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    what part of "my warranty is still fully intact" don't you understand? Here is a quote from the link you posted:

    Will my warranty be voided if I add a performance chip?

    most dealers now realize the potential of these aftermarket chips and are willing to "overlook" the chipping procedure. It is virtually impossible to detect a chipped vehicle without a) Driving the car, b) Reading boost from a Vag-Machine or c) Opening the ECU itself.

    My APR chip has a stock mode that I can switch to whenever I want using the cruise control button. The APR chip has many modes 93 octane chipped, stock, race gas and valet - all switchable by the cruise button. Not that I have ever switched to stock mode when I take my GTI into the dealer - they don't care if it's chipped or not. Many of the techs and service writers at this dealer have highly modified VW's - My warranty is fully intact.

    I happen to think my GTI is a screaming bargain. where else can I get this kind of performance in a new car for $21k? I've never had a problem selling one of my modified cars at a good price.. I take exceptional care of my cars, they may be modified but the interiors and exteriors are better than new - perfect condition. I use nothing but Zymol products, PS21, Hide Food, etc., I maintain the mechanicals to a much higher standard than factory recomendations - my GTI has all Redline fluids in it and Mobile 1 oil. I keep all my maintenace records. I've never had a problem getting top dollar when I sell my modified cars. I have all my original parts which I sell with the car so the buyer can easily switch back to a stock car if they want. I always get top dollar when I sell them.

    Depreciation isn't an issue with me - Belonging to local VW tuner club, SCCA and tracking my GTI is a hobby I really enjoy - worth every penny I stick into it - I spend a whole lot less than a lot of people I know through SCCA.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Your last few sentences made my post. The Honda reputation for reliability is more valuable than any advantage the VW has. Who needs roadside in a Honda? Even Car and Driver's VW broke down and needed assistance more than once. One magazine had an Audi that needed a new transmission to the tune of $10,000. You pay extra for this? The "advantages" of the VW aren't worth it to me....And you. 20HP are no good when your car is on the lift at the dealer.

    VW the manufacturer can void the warranty. If your dealership chooses to give warranty service anyway it's their prerogative but if the manufacturer finds out your car is modded your VIN will be denied. Blow the turbo or any other major component in the engine and get back to me.

    I mean if I were going to buy a car to modify and spend $21,000 I'd start with a very fast car in the first place. And you'd bet it would be at least RWD. Heck first run 4wd 1.8T Audi's are even cheap now. 1998 Loaded for $15,000. Chip it and your done right?

    With all the 02 Si's around it'll be a while before we have worry about the 03's.

    Don't get me wrong I've driven several VW's. They DRIVE awesome. but the price you pay for upkeep just isn't worth it in the long run.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    for more than 3 years. Heck, the longest car I drove was 3.5 years from the day I bought it new. Not everyone is a fan of keeping the same car for long period of time coz' the manuf. keep coming up with newer and seemingly better cars.

    However, my reason for changing this time is purely because of my long commute to work. I need a beater to drive to work that will be reliable for as long as I wish to keep the car. The SI now w/ the massive discounting is very attactive to me. At $19k it is not. At $17k it is not. But at $16k + dest + taxes, it is very attractive to me.

    If I plan to change cars every 3 years, I would buy a German car. During the period of 3 years (or 4 in my case but with my mileage, I'm getting 3 years only) of B2B warranty, I don't have to worry about it. Sure it is in the shop sometimes, but for the inconvenience of a few days out of 365 days, I am willing to put up with it.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Gimme a Lexus or a Honda. Chances of me getting a "problem child" are much less.

    I'm not even getting a Gee35 Coupe til the second model year to give em time to work out the bugs.
  • For what it's worth, when Consumer Reports road-tested the '02 Si, their reliability prediction based on recent model-year Civics was "Average" (blank circle). This is the same reliability rating they mention for the GTI in the space where they talk about alternative used cars. The very next issue, they raised GM's full-size SUVs to the "Recommended" list since the reliability had improved to that very same "Average."

    In the consumer's mind, percieved mythical "Honda reliability" is definitely important. But that doesn't mean in reality cars from other companies without that reliability reputation are necessarily any less reliable.

    Food for thought.

  • inigocoinigoco Posts: 51
    Any mods you make to a vehicle will only void the warranty of the vehicle if it can be proven that the modified part actually caused failure. This is why the 1.8T makes a great engine to do mods with. All of the modifications are easily reversible and the engine internals are never even touched. If all you decide to do is add a chip, exhaust, cold-air intake, turbo inlet and downpipe. You'd spend about $1700 and get a gain of nearly 80 HP over stock to put you at around 250-260. These mods can all be undone and replaced with the stock parts if necessary quite easily. It makes it even easier if you buy a spare ECU and have the chip put into that so that all you need to do is plug and play rather than have the ECU sent in to replace the original chip.

    Now as for the impression of what extra mods would need to be done in order to make a 1.8T with the APR Stage III mods steetable. Most of the cars I know of with that setup have minor mods in addition to the main upgrade from APR. Most just have a beefier clutch, plus they usually add a Limited-slip diff. These add up to about $1500. These are affordable mods when you consider the price of the kit in the first place. In addition to those, most of the cars already have suspension mods which are also very affordable. Anew set of stiffer springs with some new braces and roll bars would run about $1000. But the point id moot since an Si with a system putting out similar would have to have these same mods so I'm not sure what is being compared here.
  • and I'll say it again. If all we cared about was HP we would be driving Mustang GT's and Z28's. Obviously to everyone in here there is more to a car than that. To me here are the most important things I look for in a car and how I narrow them down.

    1. Fun-to-drive (GTI & SI)
    2. Smooth, quick engine (GTI & SI)
    3. Smooth transmission (advantage SI IMO)
    4. Reliability (SI)
    5. Safety (GTI & SI)

    So as you can see I do see why someone would want a GTI. Heck, I used to want one but I've heard and seen so many horror stories about VW's that I just couldn't take the plunge when the SI offers most of the same features at a lower price.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I like a lot of people that are into performance cars wouldn't even remotely consider a Vette, Camaro, Firebird, Mustang or 300ZX new or used - it makes my skin crawl just typing the names of those things. I like a tight, fast little hatchback to blast around in. My only minor issue with my GTI is the front wheel drive limits the amount of power I'll modify the engine to. The Golf R32 will change all that - the all wheel drive R32 is exactly what I consider the perfect sports car.

    I've had extremely good experiences with the 4 VW's I've owned. I replaced a modified 2000 1.8t Passat with the 02 GTI - that Passat never had a problem and neither has the GTI. I'm expecting my window regulators to fail someday - I'll have them replaced with the new design ones at the next service if they don't fail sooner. The 1.8t engine is about as bullet proof as they come, way over-engineered all the people I know that have them - some with significant modifications - never have anything go wrong with them. It's goofy things like window regulators that cause GTI's to be rated average in reliability - not engine failures.

    Like a lot of car makers VW's used to have spotty reliability, but towards the mid to late 90's all that changed - they are increadably reliable cars now. Even the older supposedly less reliable VW's always run - they may have glitches in the secondary components but that engine always starts and runs for at least a couple hundred thousand miles. I know a lot of people that own VW's some with lots of miles on them and they couldn't be happier with them.

    VW is building a fanatical following in the U.S., their market demographic is the envy of just about every other car manufacturer outside of BMW. VW isn't the largest European brand in the U.S. for nothing. It will be facinating to see how their march up market plays out - the $60k+ W12 VW Phaeton outsold the Mercedes S class in it's first month on the market in Europe. Will it sell in the U.S.??? who knows. VW has a lot if interesting stuff coming over here in the next few years.
  • seguyseguy Posts: 133
    on comments regarding VW.
    It's definitely on the upside when it comes to reliability and design.

    Honda, on the other hand, I'm afraid is sliding. But in Hondas' defense, that's the only place they could go after some great years of build and reliability. I think the build quality is still there. But it's makes me leary when I here of lots of transmission failures in there 1999-2001 model oddy, accord V6, and a few others. At least they're a good enough company to extend the warranty on the tranny to 7yr/100K miles.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I think they are just selling more and more cars. I mean they sell 800,000 of them combined a year for at least the past 5 years.....Even the fanatics on Edmunds have very few complaints when you look at the real numbers. And these are nearly all to real people and not fleets of rental cars like the Ford and Toyota.
    Lots of tranny failures? Not on Edmunds since the first run of them back in 2001. Honda fixed it then and they're fixin' em now. With all the fanatics and stories on Edmunds there are less than 200 posts when you enter the keywords Honda and transmission on Edmunds. There were I'm sure over 3/4 million V6 Accords and Ody's in the 3 year run. "Lots" is a strong word.
  • seguyseguy Posts: 133
    with respect to Honda's track record, not 'lots' as in Chrysler early 90's. I read on some consumer report mag that 1.6% in 99-2000 oddys had tranny problems. I don't know out of that number how many needed rebuilding or replacing though.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Reliability of Civic is rated at average and reliability of GTI is rated at average. When did the average rating of the Civic become so much better than the average of the GTI? Does 2 + 2 = 6 for a Honda owner? Do they have poor math skills? No matter what the ratings are I would expect the Honda to have fewer problems than the VW. But the Si is built in England so who know what the reliability will be? There is no track record in the US for this model. The GTI on the other hand has had improved reliability since being built in Brazil.
  • How can you put the Corvette into _that_ group? In Z06 form, it's one of the finest sports cars in the world. The idea of preferring a front drive hatch with SEVERE window regulator problems to a Corvette is a little disturbing.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    how far people will go to try to prove a point don't it? A 1.6% failure rate is dream material for most makes. That's less than 2 out of a hundred. I'll take those odds.
    I'm inclined to agree with Mopar on the England built Hondas. But then again the U.S. has been building Accords since 1982 and Civics not long thereafter. In fact the Accord coupe is built only in the U.S. and I've never heard of them having any problems more than the sedans.
    The Swindon plant has been building cars since 1992. If they didn't meet standards I don't think they would be sending the cars to their most important market. At least we aren't getting Accords built in Taiwan yet.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I happen to think a Vette is a huge oversized pile of fiberglass garbage. It may perform well - but so what? My perception of the typical Vette owner is some old fart going through a mid life crisis - automotive Viagra. The interior layout for the most part continues it's plastic garbage theme, cheap switchgear and material content. If I won one in a contest it would be in the classifieds the next day. I rarely see Vette's at any type of track event - their owners don't seem to buy them for their performance - Chevy should slap a little V6 under the hood of most of them- most owners would never notice.

    I like fast little hatchbacks - My modified GTI isn't as straight line fast as a Z06 Vette by any stretch - but I'd much rather take it to the track or AutoX than a Vette - most any GTI, Miata or Civic with some minor suspension mods will toast a Z06 Vette on an AutoX course - what a joke. Now that I've typed "Vette" so many times I have to go wash my hands.

    I'm back - all better now.

    As for the GTI's "severe window regulator problem" -
    NEWS FLASH: VW redesigned the window regulators months ago - the problem with the old ones were the nylon clips would break - the new ones have metal clips. VW is replacing window regulators on cars out of warranty for no charge. My dealer replaced my window regulators with the new style ones at my 10k service even though I never had a problem with the old ones. I've never had a problem with my GTI at all.

    All late 02 and 03 Golfs, GTI's and Jettas have the new regulators.

    Now that the window regulator problem has been fixed I'd expect the reliability on these cars to move into better than average territory like the Passat.
  • My comparison was supposed to be very tongue in cheek. The "severe window regulator problems" was a reference to the overly big deal that everybody makes about the VW's "reliability problems", not my own personal perception.

    Auto-X is basically made for short wheelbase cars with low power. Don't get me wrong, it looks like a lot of fun, and definitely takes a lot of skill, but even a Ferrari isn't going to be a natural at it, because they are too big. Go ahead and modify a GTI (or any of its competitors) until the sky caves in, and they'll be hard pressed to touch a Vette in its natural environment (track).

    You can insult the Vette all day, but that doesn't mean that it isn't the finest performing car under $100,000. And to me, performance comes before cheap interior plastics. I mean, hey, why do you think people buy WRX's? The interior of those suck, and the seats are mush, but they sure can move.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Good points - something about a Vette I've never liked - it's so huge and reeks of cheapness plus the typical Vette driver doesn't seem to have any fun with it - you are right about the performance though nothing can beat it for the $$. Plus they are a great bargain as a used car. I still wouldn't consider one.

    The WRX is a great car - I considered one when I got the GTI. They had just come out and the hype and price premiums were at their height and the WRX wagon is essentially a hatchback.

    I'm thinking the Golf R32 will be the best fit for me - European fit and finish, six speed 240 HP and all wheel drive for $25k - right in there with the WRX. All I have to do is tweak it to 300 HP. A fast, excellent handling, performance oriented all wheel drive hatchback is my definition of the perfect sports car -
  • The Vette is bound to have cheap touches because it has 405HP for less than $45,000. A used one is an even better deal. It's not on par with a BMW, Porsche, or MB but neither is the price.
  • rickrover - If it's all it's cracked up to be, the R32 is going to be a truly awesome car.

    anonymousposts - Are you talking about interior, or performance? I don't think that many people have gone comparing the Vette to any Benz. And no car built by any of those makers (excluding $100k+ cars) matches the Vette's performance.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Now that you mention it - the Vette is kind of in a class by itself, the new Viper is a lot more like a Vette now but it's $80k. Not much out there to compare a Vette to.

    For the $50k range I'd go for a BMW M3 coupe maybe with SMG and not much else option wise.
  • I want to test drive the M3 SMG, but I think I would probably get a stick. Not sure though. Wow, were those two really hypothetical sentences.

    I don't know which car I would get, but they are definitely both fast enough to get me in trouble. You know, I was wondering, how does a person with a car like that not feel frusterated all the time? You can't even run through the first 3 gears without being way over the speed limit.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    A blanket statement like that is not winning you any points.

    Who would take a 3 series (325i, 330i not M3) over a Vette?? Not even the Z06, but a regular vette? It is better if you mention which Bummer you are referring to.

    If you frequest Porsche boards, you'll know hardcore, diehard Porsche fans do not consider the Boxster a true Porsche. The Boxster is like an illegitimate child or blacksheep of the family. You have to take care of it, but you don't like to acknowledge it if you don't have to.

    Any Mercedes. The C230 is a joke! The interior is about on par w/ the prev. gen Neon! The C240 and C320 is a little better, but the interior is about on par w/ a Vette and performance comparison, need I say anymore?

    People who sees a Bummer (no matter what model, trim, year etc) and says "Wow! You drive a Bummer". Same goes for Lexus or MB. Don't they realize some minivans (Honda), SUVs (Toyota, Ford) cost about what the prices are for 3 series, C class and at times more! But when you see someone pulls up in a brand spanking new Odyssey, it doesn't seem to impress them as much as someone who pulls up w/ an ES300/IS300, C230/C240/C320, 325i/330i. I guess these are the same people who are worried about their own cars and not buying the higher trim level ;)
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    That's exactly why I like my little GTI so much. I get to explore it's limits without the fear of getting thrown in jail - which could easily happen exploring the limits of an M3. Plus I'm not all paranoid of the GTI like I would be an M3. A door ding or rock chip isn't the end of the world in the GTI.
  • Let's have a lesson in reading comprehension ... I said "A used one is an even better deal. It's not on par with a BMW, Porsche, or MB but neither is the price."

    The Vette's overall quality may be lacking when compared to MB, Porsche, and BMW's that have equal performance BUT the Vette's price reflects this. People who are going to buy BMW, Porsche, or MB are going to buy BMW, Porsche, or MB. People who want Vettes are going to buy Vettes. Just as people who want a Honda/VW want a Honda/VW and often don't cross-shop.
  • I'm just as paranoid over my $16,000 SI as I would be over a $50,000 Mercedes. But the SI doesn't get parked in the garage, the Mercedes would.
  • rickrover-
    Nothing is quite as depressing as waxing your car, because that is when you find out exactly how many stupid chips you have.

    badge snobs rule the world
  • Not everyone that owns a BWM, MB or Porsche is a badge snob - I'll grant you that the vast majority probably are. The ones that aren't are a hoot to hang with at the track and other car based sporting events. I actually belong to the Porsche and BMW clubs to take advantage of their track and other club events - club members are really nice, down to earth people that aren't snobby at all.

    My last SCCA AutoX event had a bunch of MB C230k's at it - they did very well.
  • I'm not referring to just those brands, actually, most of the most obnoxious brand snobs I've run into lately have owned Acuras.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Folks - Let's please get back to the subject of this discussion. Thanks! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I have been internally debating the GTI vs the Si for months. Having driven both several times and I am still torn! It may come down to who gives me the best deal with my Del Sol trade in.

    I have an 02 GTI in my garage tonight, for an extended test drive. It has so many nice little touches and features that the Si seems like a stripped model in comparison. Why can Honda give us arm rests, AM/FM/cassette/CD player, fully adjustable seats and and articulatin headrests, all lighted switches, one touch up and down windows. Honda does not even have a tether on the gas cap for crying out loud. Yet the Si is tighter, handles much nicer & just feels better, even with its significant power deficit.

    I like to do my own general maintenance. The Si has unusually long extended maintenance intervals. When I look under the hood of the GTI, it looks much more complex. It appears that a plastic rock shield has to be removed to get off the oil filter. Are any of you GTI owners doing your oil changes etc? How difficult is it on the VW?

    Thanks, Dan
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