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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    You're right. The whole market buying patterns can be argued based on your civic ex, the new Focus and some 10-year old VW. I should have known!
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    The Civic DX/LX and EX coupes and sedans are pretty quiet. The CX & DX hatchbacks (like I have) on the other hand have a little more road noise due to the open hatch area, where the coupes/sedans' interior is isolated from the trunk..
    I have heard from several people that the ZX3 is not that quiet inside at highway speeds, but I do know that an EX is relatively quite at 65-75mph because many friends & relatives have '93-99 EX coupes and I 've been in and also driven many of them. Don't know why Honda's don't sell too good. If I lived in Europe I 'd probably buy a VW too just because it's European and made by a neighboring European country. Before the Golfs and GTIs, all of Europe was full of Mercedes Benz. Europeans are used to seeing German cars and Mercedes has always been reliable and a symbol for german automotive excellence. Oh, BTW, I was born in Europe, Athens Greece and lived there for 14yrs before I came to the states. I 've also been to Germany 4 times, Austria twice, Switcherland twice, Italy twice, France once (Paris) and England once.
    So anyway, it's only natural for Europeans to relate to German cars because everyone was raised with Mercedes all over the place. I 'm 34 and lived in Greece until 1979. All you saw there were Mercedes Benz (most taxis too) and VW bugs. The only Japanese cars exported to Europe then, were Toyota and Datsun pickup trucks. Japanese hatchbacks and sedans didn't start hitting Europe till the late 70s and early 80's. We know the VW bug was the most popular car in the world for over 4 decades and we all grew up with them. So it's very natural and logical that the VW Golfs and GTIs sell well in Europe and better than Japanese. That 's my explanation and I don't really think the "high revving" theory would be my first choice.. It's an image thing and something Europeans grew up with: German cars
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    But Mercedes hardly dominates the market today. And the German cars, though very much respected (c'mon let's face it, some of the more exciting cars on the roads are still made in Stuttgart or Munich).
    But the European car market is also French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, English, ...even Polish nowadays.
    The Japanese have a lot more quality cars to fight against.
    The French have produced some exciting small cars over the past few years. The 205 GTI took over VW's 'gti lead' some years ago, and their 306 GTI with 2.0 / 176bhp car is still leading the pack in what would be the sub-20 grand class in the US.
    There are NO artificial barriers to Japanese cars in Europe, just a lot more competition.
    As far as Honda, yes, I do believe that they 'suffer' from the fact the Europeans (especially in Northern Europe) tend to prefer torquey engines. But I am also convinced that good marketing techniques could vastly improve their sales.
    The Japanese may be good at producing reliable cars, but that just doesn't cut it in Europe. The competition is fierce and offers a lot more exciting machinery.
    Someone will respond 'Peugeot' ha! or Italian cars" yeah, fix it again tony... But those people are really not up to date.
    Peugeot and Alfa (and Renault, and probably a few others) HAVE burned their fingers in the us in the past and personally, I doubt that they will return (actually, Renault controls Nissan, so that's not entirely true). But that was 10 years ago. It's an entirely different product those companies are selling today.

    Also, Harry, why doesn't Honda sell the GS-R in Europe??? If ONE of their coupes should be sold there, THAT would be the one! (instead, they chose the prelude with what is considered cheap styling back on the continent).
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    I realize that my posts are completely off topic in this forum, and I shall gladly take it where it belongs! (i.e. news)
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thank you alfaromeo, please continue the conversation in the topic I created especially for you. :-) That would be European vs. Japanese vs. US Hatchbacks.

  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    They sell the Integra Type-R in Europe but again in very limited #s. This is mainly because the Type-R's engine is hand built and they can't produce too many of them. What really slows them down is that they have to weigh the piston rods and many other engine parts to make sure the weight is identical with no weight variations like you find in mass produced cars where all the parts are mass produced by robots and go directly to the assembly factory where the cars are assembled by robots and only get checked out at the end by a human (quality assurance). The ITR assembly process is totally different and a lot more personalized/humanised.. Anyway the few Type-Rs they ship to Europe (and England) are quickly sold but like here, most people have never even seen one. The Type-R is also very popular in Australia where I read they had 20 times more orders than the # of ITRs that were actually shipped there. GSRs are also popular in Australia. I think the Prelude is considered a little big by Europeans. Europeans like light small pocket rockets. The Prelude is a compact to mid-size sports car and big by European standards. When I was in Greece though and my cousins asked me what I drive in the US I said a Honda. They both looked at me and asked if I had the Prelude and their faces lit up.. I told them no I only have a lowly Civic HB. They said well the Civic HB is great too with a lot of power. I said no it only has 106hp. They thought I had the 170hp Civic HB VTi that comes with the GSR engine because they only have the 160 & 170hp HBs over there.. Europeans seem to be a lot more performance oriented than Americans which is why Honda ships all their high end models over there.
    There is also a Euro-Accord there with 215hp and near Type-R suspension and brakes.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    These rankings were released recently by J.D. Power & Assoc. and rank the auto manufacturers by individual problems experienced per 100 vehicles.
    As you can see, Acura leads everyone.

    Results of J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study. Problems reported per 100 vehicles.
    Be sure to look for VW is on the list (way way down there next to Hyundai!). Honda came in 7th with mostly luxury manufacturers ahead of it.

    Acura 91
    Lexus 103
    Infiniti 107
    BMW 118
    Toyota 118
    Porsche 122
    Honda 126
    Buick 130
    Mercedes-Benz 134
    Jaguar 137
    Plymouth 137
    Saab 138
    Lincoln 139
    Audi 141
    Mercury 143
    Cadillac 146
    Volvo 150
    Chrysler 151
    Mazda 153
    Nissan 153
    Industry Average 154
    Oldsmobile 162
    Ford 162
    Saturn 164
    Mitsubishi 166
    Pontiac 167
    Chevrolet 168
    Dodge 174
    GNC 175
    Jeep 188
    Land Rover 192
    Isuzu 193
    Subaru 199
    VW 200
    Hyundai 203
    Daewoo 211
    Suzuki 224
    Kia 251
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    In order to stay friends w/ the moderator, let's take this sort of discussion to the [non-permissible content removed]/euro/us column if u don't mind!

    I am not surprised by the reliability of the Honda/Acura cars - albeit a bit by the bad score of VW. I must have been lucky w/ my cars!
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Honestly, I am a bit skeptical about surveys like the aforementioned. Ok, I own two VWs and have owned some before, and personally I haven't had pbms with 'em. But that's not the issue, since it's not ...relevant (a statistician would say 'not representative', right!?) So don't counter argue with me on those terms! :-)

    But when you think about it, HOW on earth do they make certain that the standard by which people answer is comparable?
    It may well be that the 'VW' buyer profile is that of a person who is more likely to report minor 'glitches' (small rattle, knocking wipers, and so on) than a person who goes and buys a less expensive car like a Hyunday.
    Also, it surprises me that two brands like Audi and VW, which share so many parts and platforms, are so far apart on the score. - Not to mention Saab (!) which is not known to be particularly reliable back in Europe...

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind regarding the merit of major Japanese brands (like Honda) and their scores are fully understandable.

    But I do believe that VW's bad score could be explained by the fact that their customers are on average more demanding with regard to quality than are buyers of cheaper cars.
    The only way to make a comparable survey would be to have a similar group of people judge the cars - which is why we have the car mags to help us out!

    Just my two cents, I know it's a very subjective comment, but hey... it's only a thought.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    please don't forget that europeans alos have smaller displacemtn honda's to choose from. i am not sure on the 1.3L these days, but 1.5L civic is still offered. basically they have a wider range of engines to choose from. they have 1.8L accords along with 2.4L (or 2.2L) i think we americans as a country don't give a rat's ..... behind about the perfomance and fuel economy as long as we have A/C, plush interior, and we don;t have to feel every bump on the road. there are few of us, that do enjoy tight suspention and the wining sound or high revving engines, but not enough of us to make the market. i am sure most people buy porches and ferrari's not because of their characterisitcs, but because these cars represent a status symbol
  • bgenebgene Posts: 3
    The Civic is a quality car, however, it is not the ultimate in reliability. My Civic (1988) has left me stranded beside the side of the road 3 times over the years. All 3 times was long before it was old and worn out. Overall I was still extremely happy with the car. The new ones flood the road and have no personality. In 1998 I replaced my Civic with a Cabrio. It has personality and will be two years old next month with no problems.
  • qwordqword Posts: 20
    J.D. Powers also says that the Golf, Jetta, and the Passat are the most appealing in their classes.
  • I have a '97 Civic CX hatchback that is a pretty good car except for its too-soft suspension. If anybody has ideas on how I can (inexpensively) make this car handle a little better, email me at I have already put wider, lower profile tires on, I'm wondering more about suspension upgrades. BTW, I would take a Golf over a Civic in a minute if they weren't so expensive...
  • You may want to call the folds at Rapid Parts and talk about suspension options: I've used them for years for VW parts, as I've owned VWs for 20 years. But they also carry Honda Parts. If you're in the northeast, they are located northwest of New York City, and they can install parts for you.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    you can put stiffer shocks in it. it should make the car handle better. try to find nitrogen charged shocks, in addition to above you can check out i have bought parts for VW from them before, but they also cater to civic's
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Stiffer springs will make the car handle a lot better than stiffer shocks. You might need stiffer shocks after putting performance springs on the car, but shocks never improve handling as much springs do.
    Get a set of Neuspeed Softsports or H&R OE Springs that drop the car .75" (1" after they settle) and are 30% stiffer than stock. Then the next best mod you 'll ever do is a Neuspeed 19mm rear sway bar. Cost of both springs and rear sway bar is about $340 + labor (about $200). This will transform your car and it's fairly inexpensive.
    If you go with the regular H&R Sports or Neuspeed Sports, you car will be dropped as much as 2" and you will need to purchase a camber kit ($150) so that your tires don't wear out quickly. Drops of 1" and 1.25" are ok. Anything more than that and your camber goes way off and rapid uneven tire wear begins to destroy your tires
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    saw a vr6 golf this morning. it looked really nice, and the acceleration was good. i say good and not excellent is because even though i have a 4 cyl civic ex, i was able to keep up with the guy once we got to the highway speeds. he may have had advantage from 0 - 30 mph but then we were even.
  • Was the guy in the GTI even paying attention to you trying to race or keep up with him? Because I seriously doubt that the EX could hang with the GTI on the highway. But, I could be wrong I guess.
  • traletrale Posts: 1
    Excuse me if this seems like a dumb question, but are there civic hatchbacks with automatic transmission? All the ones I've seen so far are manual
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Civic HBs came with auto trannies too. I waited 6 weeks until one of the dealers in my area got a 5-speed in. 4 dealerships and all they had, was autos. This was in Jan-Feb. '97.
    The automatic Civics are slower than 5-sp. and probably not too popular because it defeats the purpose of buying an economy or fairly inexpensive car. The automatic HBs that were in the lot were almost $14K with A/C. And this is in '97.. Their sticker was like $12.4-5K but after you added $1,000-1300 for A/C (dealer installed always- ripoff), you might as well buy an LX 4dr that comes with more options. Anyway, it might be tough finding a used auto HB (since they don't make them for '01). They didn't make that many HBs to begin with and most owners keep theirs for a long time. Mine has 116k mi. on it already but I 'm keeping it for another year or two or till 160-170k mi. or so, sorry :)
    I put mine up for sale about a year ago and listed it in the paper. I was thinking of buying the Si.. Anyway, I got so many calls I was amazed and I thought wow, my car is worth good money and people want it. I decided to keep it, well that plus the dealers weren't dealing that much in the Si's and I didn't feel like spending $17-18K on another Civic.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • It has been a long time. How are things going? We got FTD with the GSR at the last race of the season. If you are a subscriber to the SPORTS CAR you will see a picture of our car in the event of the month section. I decided to buy a '01 NB Turbo. I drove a '01 2.0 for a week and loved it. My Turbo Beetle rocks. 17 inch wheels and dealer installed VW sport springs. I guess they are really Eibach Sportslines rebadged as VW springs. Do you think I will be able to race in stock class with them? Later and have a good new year.
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Hey, what's up buddy? Congrats on your FTD!! I 've never even come close go FTD, how did you manage that? Actually it's not hard to imagine since my friends have gotten FTD 3 or 4 times with their stock Type-Rs on Kumhos. Your car's handling is probably just as good or better than a Type-R and you guys must be pretty good drivers, no doubt.
    I got 7 trophies this year, most in DSP and a couple in STS (I still race on street tires). Four 1st place, two 2nd and 1 3d place which was the regional championships. I decided to race STS at the regionals since there were too many R tires in DSP and what do you know? STS was the biggest class that day. 21 cars!!! I flipped.. Modded Preludes, VWs, Accords, you name it. It was at a new location and I didn't know most of these drivers so I thought I didn't stand a chance at a trophy since they said they would only give out 3. Well I lost 2nd place by a thousand of a second to a V6 Accord heavily sooped up with race springs, big brakes and an extra 27hp (the guy showed me his dyno runs) from headers (2), exhaust & intake. 1st place luckily was my friend with his '98 Prelude SH. It was a very slow course and tight and required good torque so I 'm surprised I even did that well. The whole course was in 1st gear and everyone hit the rev limiter a couple of times. If you put it in 2nd it really hurt you.. I always do much better in faster courses. The GSR just doesn't have the torque to do well in a slow course.
    Can I get the SPORTS CAR at the news stand, is it sold at stores? You 're not talking about Sports Compact Car, are you?
    BTW, I got the car so neutral now by playing around with the adjustments on the Koni Yellows that the car 3 wheels with no problem on street tires! just like the Type-Rs. Next year when I put the Kumhos on, I doubt there will be any competition for me in DSP, in the 4 clubs that we race at anyway..
    That was a good question about the 17" and the sports springs on the VW. There's been a lot of controversy about that. Nobody knows yet. I guess we 'll all know next year when the season starts if they allow that in the stock class. If I were you I wouldn't say anything and play dumb to see what happens.. In my opinion, the 17" wheels and sports packages on the GTIs and Beetles
    should be allowed in stock classes because it is just a dealer installed option or it comes that way from the factory.
    How much did you pay for the Turbo Beetle? A friend is looking at them now, and she was asking me how much she should pay for one.. She says if it's too much money she 'll get a Celica but I don't think they 're more than Celicas..
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • It all depends on what she wants. A loaded Turbo Beetle with every option will run about $22k MSRP. She should be able to knock off a grand off sticker. A stripped down GL will be about $16k. You have to remember stripped down means AC, alarm, keyless entry, and more. The 2.0 will be fine for a cruiser, but the 1.8T is a blast. I never have to worry about down shifting because it makes power at any RPM.

    I will fight to stay in stock class. If the car is all VW equipment it should be considered stock. Other cars were considered stock, why shouldn't my car. As for the SportsCar mag, you should be able to find it at any Barnes and Noble. It is the December 2000 issue.

    New question: Is Honda going to make a new HB in the US? I really like the new Civic EX Sedan. The exterior is very stylish, but I was hoping for a little nicer interior. I think the Beetle is really spoiling me. Let me know your thoughts on the new Civic. I would like to see Honda bring over a HB with power sunroof, AC, Keyless entry, PW, PL, and 1.7L DOHC VTEC with 16inch rims.
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Well I 'm not crazy about the new Civics, but I 've seen a bunch of coupes around in my town and I 'm beginning to get used to them.. As far as power, the EX is still stuck with 127hp which was very hard for me to believe since the displacement went up to 1.7L from 1.6L. But the DX & LX benefited with a 9hp and torque increases.

    You 'd like to see the next HB with a 1.7L DOHC VTEC? Wow! I 'd be ecstatic if they put the Civic Si 160hp engine in it, which they probably won't. Most likely they 'll offer it with the 127hp 1.7L, if that! As long as the new HB is light and has some decent power I might trade in my '97 HB next year because the mileage is piling up and I 'm almost up to 120k already (trouble free I might add). By next year or late this year it should have over 150k and that's usually where I draw the line and get a new car.
    The GSR is garaged for the winter and its tires (Z rated) have never seen or touched snow here in NY since I bought it in July '99. It's eagerly waiting to race soon and so am I!! Are you definitely going to auto-x with your Beetle? What if you "chip" it and don't tell anyone? :-)
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • I have placed an order for a new car so I have to unload my 2000 Focus in Silver. It has Auto, Power everything, Factory CD player, factory 16 in wheels, a/c, and cruise control. I will sell the car with the waterproof seat covers and roof rack. I may also include the bike for a few more $$$. The car was bought in June 2000 and has 9900 miles on it. It has been faithfully serviced by the Ford dealership that it was purchased at. I have all of the records. The sticker was ~$16,500 and I paid about ~$15,200. I am selling it for $13,500. It is in perfect shape with NO dents, dings or scratches. I am the fanatical guy that parks way far out at the end of a parking lot to avoid these things. . It has also been garaged for all of its short life. VIN and complete pictures of the car available by request at The car is in the Dallas metro area. Thank you for your time and have a great day!
  • Please....I don't see why or how this is a comparison. Honda is simply a classic car. They are known for durability beyond belief and if you are into imports, you can appreciate just how nice a Honda can be made too look. I have a 99 Civic HB EX. Stickshift, cold air intake, exhaust, rims, Pirelli racing tires. It has 21 K miles.Now I'm sorry, with all due respect to the VW fan out there, there is simply no comparison. And I really don't understand how anyone can say that VW are "funner" .Civics also score better in safety. I just recently read in the newspaper about 2 teens killed in a Jetta. And price, I truly think that while you pay more for the Civic, you get your money worths more. And when you think about it, just about all Hondas are reasonably priced. They just seem more expensive when compared to a little VW! For example, my mom drives a Honda Odyssey. She paid 26 K for it. I t was overall rated the best purchase in its category and the second cheapest next to the Voyager. Have a little can't get a better offer than Honda. But to be fair, I also believe that you should purchase a car based on your lifestyle. Ivé been in about 2 or 3 VW's before. Now, I can say that maybe you're a little more comfortable inside, and the seats also are raised higher than a Civic(better vision). So if you want to have fun,get good gas milaege and you want performance for your money...go with the Civic. But if you want a basic car with an engine, 4 working wheels, and a nice interior that will get you from point A to point B....go with the VW. Just have a little respect for the good old Japonese and don't act as if it's an actual close comparison.....because it's not!
  • sebzsebz Posts: 2
    I own a 97 acura integra GSR and a vw 01 gti turbo
    I raced against a lot of civic ex with my GSR o-60, 1/4 miles, highways... there is no way that a little civic would be in front of me , not even a civic SI ,(i raced a couple of SI and they where all far behind). But against a 00 gti vr6 the gti is stronger on the highway. My gti turbo as a chip (1.0 bar 203hp, 211 lb)and now I can kick the [non-permissible content removed] of a stock! VR6
    I have a lot of respect for Honda in fact my gsr is my third honda(hey I'm an honda fan!)but i have to say that the MK4 golf gti is not a match to a civic and not even to a integra (140hp), its something better at any point and one of the best point is the safety, civic are to soft, VW are strong cars (trust me I have a lot of exerience in crash test!! )so civic SI or golf Turbo = Golf for sure!!
    Now can someone tell me how this lunatic civic fan can keep up with a VR6 ???????????
  • I agree that there is no comparison between Honda hatchbacks and VW Golfs. The VW has so much more to offer. Better ride and feel compared to the Honda, looks better, more standard features, and IMO performs way better than the Honda. Yea Hondas are supposed to be very reliable but I know of serveral Honda owners that have had their share of problems also. Both are classic cars, but the older GTI is a legend while the older honda is just an older honda. No comparison......Maybe there needs to be a civic hatchback/ Ford Focus comparison instead. Also I would love to see a civic of any kind (EX/SI)keep up with a VR6 considering my friends stock EX can't outrun my TDI that only has an after market intake.
  • Some of the things youvé said I find hard to believe. For one, every source of car info including certain websites have stated that VW are not very safe. And what do you mean "strong cars"? I mean, I understand what you're trying to say by that but the safety of cars doesn't always depend on stiffness or strength of the frame. It also depnds on how it is built. Honda uses statistics and developes their car based on where the majority of impacts occur. VW are honestly not as safe. Now, in terms of performance, I guess I can accept certain VW running all over certain Civics(not Hondas overall). Like I said, Ivé been in 2 or 3, yet the people driving them were not exactly heavy-foot drivers, so maybe my perception was wrong. But I do find it hard to believe that this VW performed better than your 97 GSR. Now those are some strong cars! I drove my friends 96 GSR( stock) and we certainly took off! I also think that you compared a higher model VW to a stock Civic HB. I realize I'm not a bullet in my HB. It's certainly fast, but it's actually one of Hondas slower cars. It performs well in races due to it's ability to be upgraded so well and for it's weight. So maybe I should step back and realize that there are some extremely fast VW that perform well. But like I said, I still believe that overall, The Honda is far better than the VW. Far more practical. Better Milaege, safer, and very durable! I would definately drive a Civic over a VW .
  • What the heck is a EX hatchback? (Honda never made one in the US.) And the reason you won't be driving a VW is because you can't afford one.
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