VW Jetta GLI vs Honda Civic Si

subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17
edited May 2014 in Honda
I drove a 2007 VW Jetta GLI over the weekend and really like the car. My biggest concern is the reliability/depedability of the vehicle. My research as led me to sites such as myvwlemon.com. Everyone I talk to tells me to stay as far away from VW as possible. There were about 60+ TSB listing for the 06 Jetta, thus I am really concern. However, I really like the car. I need some input from past VW owners or someone who owns the 2006 Jetta 2.0T version. Do VW still have quality issues?

I'm also looking at the 07 Civic SI as an option. Have you heard anything bad about this car?


  • vwguild1vwguild1 Member Posts: 98
    My wife has a 2006 GLI, 2.0T/DSG, all options, 10K on the clock...Bullit proof! Zero problems...
  • subaru_mansubaru_man Member Posts: 17
    Have you seen the Technical Service Bulletin on the 2006 Jetta?

    http://www.infotraxx.com/searchPublic.php?Year=2006&Make=VOLKSWAGEN&Model=JETTA&- Submit=View+TSBs

    It lists like 60+ service bulletin for the 2006 Jetta. Compare with 3 for the 2006 Civic.
  • tseoshtseosh Member Posts: 26
    I don't own a Jetta, but if you want to know what a significant number of owners have to say, I'd refer you to the 2007 Consumer Reports auto issue that just came out.

    I have a 2007 Si and two things I consider (sort of) bad about the Si are: the rev hang issue (the engine rpm "hangs" for a second or two before dropping when changing gears- very annoying) and interior seat fabric that doen't look like it'll hold up.
  • vwguild1vwguild1 Member Posts: 98
    I can only speak to our experience...
  • mhattrupmhattrup Member Posts: 77
    I purchased a 2006 Civic Si to get out of a 99 Passat. VWs are great cars.... when they run. I won't go down that path again until I see some improvement in reliability numbers in Consumer Reports. I replaced brakes and rotors at just over 6OK, I had the main engine computer go TU at about 50K, I had the engine rebuilt at about 65K (backing out of my garage and the timing belt died). The manual says replace it at 105K so I asked the dealership at the 60K service what they thought and they said we've seen some early breakage we recommend changing at 80K.

    The Si has been an absolute blast - I thought the Passat was fun but the Si reminds me of my 86 Prelude Si except for the fact it has virtually twice the horsepower and it makes the most wonderful sounds!
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    congrats on your car! sorry about the vw trouble though! The gli is great too.
  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
    Hey I just bought a 2007 VW gli just a couple days ago! And I love it! It is such a nice ride and the 2.0T engine is great. The turbo has very little lag. It is a very peppy car that also looks great. And how could you not like the hufisen wheels. My car has Pkg 2 and every options but Navi. The inside is really sharp but also has a really sporty look on the outside. If your willing to pay 28K for a car that should be your choice.
  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
    I am happy to say that I now am the proud owner of a 2007 VW GLI! I just bought it yesterday. And it is black with pkg 2 every option but navi. When I test drove it I fell in love! But I do have a question...I would like to make some upgrades to the car. Like maybe a chip, turbo timer, intake, and new exhaust. Where do you think the best place or site to go on to check this out? Is all this really worth it? And does anyone else have the same love for this car as i do out there?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Whoa! $28 grand for a 4-cylinder compact seems kind of steep. That would buy a LOT of V6 competitors with less questionable quality issues.

    Call me prudent if you want, I'm pretty sure I am, but I think I'd take an Accord V6 6-speed with NAVI for around $26k (check the Accord Prices-Paid forum to see the discounts on Accords these days) and pocket $2 grand.
  • sweendogysweendogy Member Posts: 1,310
    I just traded in my 2003 vw gli-- this was a different car from past VW's as it was the most powerful VW at the time-- the VR6 was fantastic (sorry all you 1.8t and 2.0t owners) it was a car that on the streets would run hard and still get decent mpgs (mid 20's).. biggest worry I had with the VW was also the concerns with reliability. well I was a lucky one --my car had a few issues but nothing major (ie COIL issues in the turbos). The new ones look real nice but with all thats going on at VW these days will they be around in 3 years?? (see oldsmobile)-- I also think for 28k you could do better getting a HONDA accord v6 or even stepping up to a acura TSX..After my VW warrantee was up I drove to the nearest Infiniti dealer and got the g35x and said goodbye to VW forever.
  • a10thundera10thunder Member Posts: 19
    I compared a 4-dr GTI with a Civic Si sedan when I was shopping for a car. In the end, I bought an Si sedan. VW's reliability history was a really big concern for me. Also, I felt more comfortable in the Si. Overall, both are great cars as far as driving goes.

    As far as reliability goes, a co-worker of mine bought a new GTI and his MFD (Multi-Function Display) failed the first week, so his dealer replaced the whole dash. Being a Honda owner, I should've been able to laugh at him. But unfortunately, I found out the same week that I had a defective rear shock on my Si sedan and had to have it replaced.

    Buy the Si sedan if you want the best transmission south of $30k and plan to exercise the 2.0L VTEC frequently.

    Buy the GLI if you think the interior is worth the extra money.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Member Posts: 1,926
    Whoa! $28 grand for a 4-cylinder compact seems kind of steep. That would buy a LOT of V6 competitors with less questionable quality issues. ...

    That would also get you some V8 equipped cars that are on the market, too.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    yeah but they are probably not sporty, american trucks don't count!

    I agree that the gli can get pricey; plus unlike the gti its made in mexcio, i'd rather have a wolfsburgian parked in my driveway if i'm gonna pay that much...

    but then again grad...the tsx is a compact 4 cyl and its anything but cheap! ;)

    I like the gli a lot, but i would def keep the options down on both it and a gti if i was considering one. To ME thats what makes them more bang for your buck.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    but then again grad...the tsx is a compact 4 cyl and its anything but cheap!

    Ain't that the truth! I really wonder why people buy that car with an Automatic. It is a GREAT handler, probably best handling for under $35,000 (a friend's mom has one that I drove briefly a year or so ago). But it is a chassis wanting more power, and probably the worst deal in Honda/Acura's lineup, unless you compare it to a bottom-end Saab, Merc C-Class, or IS250.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i know it man! granted i think the k24 is a great engine, but it needs to be tuned a litte more like the k20 in the si's; itd be putting out enough hp to make up for its torque defiecit.

    with regards to handling; i really think its the tires that bring the tsx down; if i recall correctly, when the gli won the shootout between itself and the tsx, it was commented that while the shifter was better on the tsx, the gli's much more aggressive tires brought it home; it would have still lacked a bit in acceleration, but with better tires, the tsx would have done better than the gli, and without the body roll that the gli has.
  • jcjettajcjetta Member Posts: 1
  • chris_txchris_tx Member Posts: 15
    Just hit 12k miles on my 1-year old GLI (6-spd, pkg2, 18" Hufs), and it has been pretty much flawless. The only issue I can complain about is that the radio sometimes refuses to engage XM, which is a known problem on vwvortex. Other than that, this has been a terrific car. I traded an 04 Accord V6 for it. While I liked the Accord, it didn't have an ounce of soul and (contrary to popular belief), it wasn't completely reliable. Dealer checkups were considerably cheaper for the Accord than the VW, though, and the dealer service shop was friendlier (VW dealers have a ways to go).

    A friend just bought a Civic Si sedan. While I love the engine and tranny, it just doesn't get me excited. And the seat fabric is just awful. In this price range, trade-offs have to be made. I chose a nicer interior, German pedigree, and gadgets over a probably-more-reliable Si.
  • tslbmwtslbmw Member Posts: 172
    Good post. I actually just sold my 06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG b/c it just didn't "excite me." After two test drives in the Si Sedan, I was blown away. I loved the rev happy engine and find the transmission to be as perfect as a manual can be. I also thought the price was just unbelievable. I do agree that my trade off was a nicer interior (but I do dig the two tier design in the Si...although I realize that it is a love it or hate it design). And as for the "German pedigree," 5 of my last six cars (98 Passat 1.8T, 01 Jetta GLX VR6, 01 BMW 330i, 03 Benz C230 6 spd manual, & the Audi) were all European and ALL gave me problems; with that said, I didn't mind it, b/c I knew what I was buying into. However, my wife has owned three Hondas with nary a problem. So, I do look forward to not taking my new Si to the shop for nagging issues that plagued my European rides.

    But, I find it very interesting the difference between my new Si and my past European stablemates. It seems Honda goes to great links to keep things simple (ergonomics; non turbo, high revving engines; short/quick clutch pedals with short throw shifters, etc) while my German rides were more plush, more complicated, "felt" heavier and just overall more refined. And although refinement is important, there is such a thing as over doing it and disconnecting the driver from the car. The Si really feels like something you "put on" whereas my 330i (the "benchmark") felt heavy and was always a bit of a struggle with the clutch/shifter interface (not to mention it was expensive to maintain had a lot of QC issues).

    Anyway, I'm rambling on....your post was good, I just wanted to share a complete opposite view. In fact, I find it very interesting that you came from a V6 Accord b/c it tells me that the change from Japanese to European or vice versa might be something we all need to do occasionally just to appreciate the differences....I'm glad you're enjoying your GLI.
  • chris_txchris_tx Member Posts: 15
    I forgot to mention that my g/f has an Acura TL, so I still *do* get to enjoy the Honda feel now and then.

    Your point is right on that Honda (Japanese automakers in general) try very hard to keep things as simple as possible. One thing I like about Honda is that I can get in any of them, from my 97 Prelude to my 00 S2000, to the 04 Accord and know almost instantly how everything works. Total plug-n-play, if you will. with my VW, I read the manual cover-to-cover, hung out on vwvortex, etc., to figure out everything it could do. A lot of people aren't into that type of thing, but I definitely am. I guess I like my cars a bit more complex. And oftentimes that means less reliable!
  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
    Honestly, I feel that they are both very nice cars, being the Civic Si and the VW GLI. It all matters on if you want the nice interior. IMO the GLI has a much nicer interior than the Si. The only thing is that you are going to spend more for the GLI. About $28,500. Here are a couple pics of the new car I bought. Hope you guys enjoy!

  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    totally agree; hondas are very plug and play. I remember when i bought my rabbit and i had a long session with the manual. But like you chris, i like that kind of thing.

    I would love an si sedan, but a gti 5 door is probably in the works for me.

    Thats cool that you still get to mess around with the tl, its like having the best of both worlds.

    Does your girlfriend ever size you up with her ride? ;)
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Instead of typing the img tags, click once on the Img button under the post box, paste your URL and then click the Img button again. That will create the right syntax for displaying your picture. :)
  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks hopefully this works.....



  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Sure did work - great pics! :)
  • erok22erok22 Member Posts: 9
    Thank you very much! ;)
  • sweendogysweendogy Member Posts: 1,310
    tslbmw had a good point by saying you should change your stance (japanese vs Euro) every once in a while to see what the other one gives. I also have been from Acura integra (gsr) to vw jetta gli (2003 vr6) to now 2007 g35x and i have to say The VW/audi thing just does not work-- sure they have some cool interiors --the turbo's have been tuned and raced --the Quatro has been winning races for year on mountains far away for 25 years but when it comes down to it what do 90% of drivers want out of there cars? well...i would say they want them to start each morning -they don't want electronic problems or coil issues.. if you considering a VW or AUDI buy new and do not keep the car past the 4 years they give you.. :D
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    the mkV jettas and rabbits/gti's have been doing very well reliabilty wise. But as your post has proven, reputations don't change over night, even if they are deserving. :(
  • jcoryjcory Member Posts: 17
    I realize that I'm a sucker for black cars... but I'm not going to lie... that is one beautiful car.
  • 06civicsi106civicsi1 Member Posts: 2
    I know 3 different people who own VW's they all love and hate them. They are great, although you do pay for it both up front and continuously for repairs. The Si will cost you at least $5000 less and won't break... ever- VW usually has the worst reliability but people still like them so that says something...
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    yeah it does. as great as honda's are though, you'd be hard pressed to find bad information (well outside of a few people complaining on websites like these) about ANY mkV vw's. They have wholeheartedly improved.
  • themistoclesthemistocles Member Posts: 95
    GET A CIVIC Si coupe! or sedan i suppose. Ive had a Si coupe for 8 months, absolutely perfect car. You can drive it around like a everyday car, gets 29-32 mpg on the freeway, then if you want to have some fun, its all there for ya. The handling is absolutely perfect, and doesnt suffer under-steer like other front wheel drive cars. seats are very comfortable and are wider than most seats do to the widened body of the car, great lower back and neck support. Shifting is a breeze and quite fun to roll through the gears. The car comes with features you find on high end luxury cars, and they all come standard. Digital display dash, Front AND rear side impact airbags, one touch sun roof and windows, and if you get the touch screen/ voice activated navigation system, youll never get lost. all around best car with great reliability and will last you much longer than say a vw or mazda or really any american built car lol. :D good luck to ya, get a Si
  • themistoclesthemistocles Member Posts: 95
    i like vws too, i used to have a jetta, excellent car, never broke down or anything, and thats a nice looking Gli. not quite as nice as my Blue pearl Si tho :D
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    will last you much longer than say a vw or mazda or really any american built car lol

    Must be a newbie.

    As someone who currently owns 3 VWs (5 total over 25 years) and as a former mechanic/current engineer, the reliability of cars has improved across the board over the years. The reliability of automobile owners however, has steadily gotten worse.

    Every VW I’ve owned has gone at least 200,000 miles (my 1987 Golf has gone 624,000 miles). The secret - they are properly MAINTAINED. I also bought these cars because I knew what I was buying instead of listening to advertising jargon from a bunch of marketing-droids peddling the latest bells and whistles. I also avoided buying cars early in their production years.

    With the exception of my first VW, a 1975 Scirocco, every VW that I’ve owned were purchased near the end of the production cycle (after all the bugs are worked out). I prefer letting others volunteer as guinea pigs by being the first on the block to own a brand-new fresh-out-of-the -factory 1st-year production model.

    30 plus years ago, the knowledge of properly maintaining the family car was a rite of passage passed from father to son (and in many cases, father to daughter). Back then, the average autombile owner knew how to change the oil, replace headlights, replace the air filter (I’ll give a mulligan on replacing the spark plugs, since the mid-1970s emission controls took up more room in the engine bay and made that task damn near impossible), etc.

    Nowadays in this age of convienience, entitlement, and electronic leashes (including mind-control devices like iPods, Blackberries, Bluetooth devices, text-messaging, etc.), if a light bulb goes out, today’s driver will go to the dealership, throw a fit, and constantly complain until the issue has been resolved. It seems that people today will gripe at the slightest inconvienience. No wonder society has gone soft these days…
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I also avoided buying cars early in their production years.

    Something that is a VERY smart thing to do! :)

    if a light bulb goes out, today’s driver will go to the dealership, throw a fit, and constantly complain until the issue has been resolved. It seems that people today will gripe at the slightest inconvienience.

    If "today's driver" has shelled out $30,000 on a car, it would seem that he or she had a right to do so, especially if the car is within, say, 5 years or 75,000 miles of purchase. When I had a brake-light go out in my '96 Accord, the dealer simply changed it while it was in for the oil change. Charged me $2 for the bulb, $22 for the oil change, and I was on my way in 30-40 minutes. No fit necessary :).

    Sure, people will gripe at inconvenience, especially when their neighbor bought brand X and didn't have the same problems with their car. It makes them feel cheated.
  • themistoclesthemistocles Member Posts: 95
    lol dont have to take it personal, notice how i chuckled after i said it.. Ive had plenty of vws, still have a 02 turbo v6 passat. has almost 90k miles and has never had a single problem except cracked windshields and people stealing those damn VW caps on the wheel. VW's are excellent cars, im just saying id take the honda over the VW.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    while i do hope that my vw lasts as long as 600k's, i don't think that its out of hand for someone to go to a dealer to fix a light when the car is under warranty, regardless of how much it cost.

    Back then, i don't think warranties and convenience was pushed AS MUCH as it is now with regards to new vehicles, hence why the whole 'fix it yourself' approach was used often like 600k said. Granted i also dont agree with throwing fits, especially over something so trivial.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    lol dont have to take it personal

    None taken. The point I made can be applied to any vehicle, not just VWs or Hondas.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
  • k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    Isn't that a Mexican pedigree? I'd say the Si wins in that category, as well as my Marysville, OH. LX for that matter.
  • k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    Just took a quick look at MSRP of an Si with nav and a GLI with nav and sunroof option and got $23,635 for the Si and $28,745 for the GLI. There could be other options the GLI requires to match the Si equipment but those are the biggies I saw immediately. I realize the final negotiated pricing will be different but that's the only meaningful starting point for comparison.

    I think the GLI is a great looking car and I'm sure it's a lot of fun with the current engine. I just don't know that it's 20% more fun than the Si and doubt it's 20% more reliable. I looked at VW's and also considered the Si before being sensible (for me in my specific requirements) and choosing my LX.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    what is this suppossed to mean?

    aside from american built hondas, our country is not exaclty known for turning out the most reliable OR well built automobiles.

    mexican made vw's are exactly the poster child for reliabiltiy either, but at least the interior is nice.

    the jetta is the only vw made in mexico. the rabbit and gti are both built in woflsburg, with the rabbits engine being sourced from mexico.
  • k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    It means the particular car in question doesn't have a Wolfsburg heritage it has a Mexican heritage. Nothing more, nothing less. I suspect it could be argued that my car would have a better heritage if it were from Japan than from Marysville.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    it has some wolfsburgian components...but i do agree about the japanese heritage thing.

    at any rate, i think it has more to do with the company in question than the actual place of build. a honda will be great no matter where its built, wheras with vw, it actually does resonate a bit more to have a german built one.(i've had no problems with mine, and i had no real problems with my ohio made civic either.)
  • k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    I do believe a Marysville Civic is probably just about equal to a Japanese Honda but there's probably a little difference. I believe there is a measurably greater difference between a Wolfsburg VW and a Mexican VW. No offense to anyone, just my perception.
  • vwguild1vwguild1 Member Posts: 98
    Categorically untrue...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    No offense to anyone, just my perception.

    So just what is this "perception" of yours based on...since it supposedly not based on anything offensive?
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    yeah, just like honda has done a good job with injecting their american built civics and accords with a japanese fit and finish, vw has done a great job with the hecho en mexico jettas, and the interiors are just as nice.

    i just like the bragging rights! ;)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I think some like to imagine that Hans, the German craftsman, personally hand built their assembled in Germany VW. Reality may be that it is an assembly line, manned by guest workers from Turkey, putting together the parts :surprise: .

    It doesn't matter to me at all what nationality the workers are or where the parts are slapped together.
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