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VW Jetta GLI vs Honda Civic Si

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

    It lists like 60+ service bulletin for the 2006 Jetta. Compare with 3 for the 2006 Civic.
  • tseoshtseosh 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 Posts: 98
    I can only speak to our experience...
  • mhattrupmhattrup 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 Posts: 1,618
    congrats on your car! sorry about the vw trouble though! The gli is great too.
  • erok22erok22 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 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 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 Left lanePosts: 1,299
    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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 1
  • chris_txchris_tx 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 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 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 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!

  • eldainoeldaino 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 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 Posts: 9
    Thanks hopefully this works.....



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sure did work - great pics! :)
  • erok22erok22 Posts: 9
    Thank you very much! ;)
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,299
    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 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 Posts: 17
    I realize that I'm a sucker for black cars... but I'm not going to lie... that is one beautiful car.
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