Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently tried to lease a vehicle again after your last lease ended, and found that average monthly payments have gone so far up that you decided to get a cheaper vehicle with a lower monthly payment or purchase a used car?
If so, a reporter would like to talk to you about it. Please reach out to [email protected] by Thursday, October 18, 2018 telling us a little about your experience, and the Edmunds PR team may connect you with the journalist.
If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    This discussion has just be moved back from our archived folder and re-opened. Hope this is helpful. Thanks for your participation.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    If you want reliability, the Honda is probably the better bet. Resale is excellent for both. The Golf has much better seating in my opinion and a heck of a lot more content including the full range of safety items. The Honda might get as much as 10 more mpgs of the Golf's weaker points unless you get the diesel. I've agonized over these two as well. Frankly, I am unimpressed with the interior of the Civic.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    Just Awesome. Drove down from New Hampshire yesterday with the Golf 1.8 manual trans. And was a pleasure driving it for 5 hours to NJ. Nice in fast cruising and comfortable in traffic jams (Hartford and New Haven and Tappan Zee Bridge). Lots of low end torque helped this. Nothing like my Honda 5 speed. Now you may ask why I picked up a used VW 5 hours away? I have been hunting this car for a long time. Wanted 1.8, 5 spd, 4 doors, silver/black, monsoon, and from a certified dealership. Except for some paint chips and a slight crack/chip in front windshield, I am very very happy with the car so far. From Nashua NH to George Washington Bridge, the turbo used only less than half a tank of gas. Any comments from anyone? I also noticed some rear seat noise; I'll check it out this morning. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

    :) one happy VW owner,
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Was it Trend Motors in Rockaway, NJ?

    I recalled seeing a a similar one over there. Did it have the fake HID (blue) bulbs & debadged rear?
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    Bought the car in Tulley VW in New Hampshire.

    After driving the car in the rain tonight, I feel the wheels are slipping too much when I drive it off the line, even with ASR working. I am looking to replace with 17" BBS by summer with all-weather tires. Any suggestions anybody? Also any such thing as short throw gear box for VW Golf/GTI ??

    By the way, that was a great WRC segment tonight on SpeedChannel. Any one else catch it? Subaru is getting their butts kicked by the Peugeot team. I love those Peugeot 206s; wish they bring them here. I would love to see them compete with VW.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Places like makes them.

    So when are you going to chip it?

    another 7,000 miles on my TDI...then it's getting chipped.

    I usually watch the WRC coverage on Speed Channel. Those french hatchbacks are pretty nice looking.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    1. This is new to me. Where do I get these awesome chips that people are mentioning to me? And does it matter when I make the switch? Also, I'm thinking of changing to synthetic oil. I don't know if the previous owner used it. So I heard that the engine will have a tough time adjusting to synth oil if it is already used to regular oil.

    2. I'm getting noises in the back seat. I'm not sure if it's the rear hatch cover or the seats itself that's making the noise.

    3. I think the tire well is just enough for the 15" wheels with 205/65. To increase to 17" with really low profile tires will be very hazzardous in the City's many potholes. Perhaps I'll just stay with the 15" with Bridgestone Potenzas. I'll get 17" only for auto-crosses when I'm good and ready this summer.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I believe the engine should be already be using Castrol Syntec 5w40.

    The chips, I'm planning Upsolute ( Check out for local places (get an account and post around). Sometimes there may be a group event for chipping going on and there may be a group discount.

    The stock 15" tire is 195/65 r15. If the previous owner put 205/65, he/she put the wrong size on. The gas cap should tell you the tire sizes and pressures.

    Right now I'm going throught the same situation: 15's for snow tires, but which one 16's or 17's for summer. I'm also concerned about potholes as well.

    Noises -- don't know. I got a dash rattle in mine.

    I would definitely look into suspension changes. I'm going most likely neuspeed. I'm starting with a front strut tower brace, then anti-roll bars, then finally (a few years later, springs & struts/shocks). I first want to reduce the roll in the car.
  • chem123chem123 Posts: 272
    I think you will find this out eventually, but do not run 17" wheels in autox for the following reasons:

    1) will slow you down (heavier)
    2) more expensive
    3) more expensive tires

    Go to a local autox and talk to the owners of cars similar to yours and you will learn a large amount of information. Good luck.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    Would you know if spoon 16" wheels will fit VWs? I like black alloy/steel (perhaps anodized) wheels on hatchbacks. check out this guy's Golf I found from VWVortex.


  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    sorry, i meant to type 195/65 wheels, but my mind was set on 16" wheels and up. Thanks for the tip on VW Vortex website. Upsolute is in UK. I'm not sure but what i read in their pages say I would have to bring my car in to have the current data uploaded (flashed) to their machine while the new modified goes in. I will probably keep my engine factory since, currently I feel the power suit my purpose. I'll find out this coming weeks commuting back and forth to work.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    With upsolute, there are United States representatives across the country.

    Chem123: Yes I already know that. What I would really plan on doing would be to have a dedicated set of 16" tires and rims, wearing BFGoodrich G-Force T/A, exclusively for racing.

    17 inchers, I like how they look on the GTI. Again, a dedicated set of summer tires. Finally the OEM 15" wheels for winter mounted on Blizzaks or Artic Alpines.

    Though with 17" rims, generally, yes it will increase off-sprung weight, but if you carefully choose (and spend the money for it) a set of lightweight rims but suffer a little on tire weight.

    For autocrossing people will recommend to you to inflate the your tires to max pressure, to increase the sidewall stiffness. Smaller sidewalls will naturally have less elongation than a taller sidewall.

    I've already been in racing, for me, switching to a diesel is a new experience...heck I've seen people race with a 84 Town Car.
  • chem123chem123 Posts: 272
    I'm very unfamiliar with VW wheels offsets and lug patterns but I'm pretty sure the Spoons would not fit. Check out the SSR Competitions, you might like those. Also, if you find a wheel that you like, just have them powdercoated or paint them yourself with some flat black BBQ grill paint. Makes it tough to tell when they get dirty :)
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    5x100 bolt pattern
    I believe a +35mm Offset.

    If you have the OE 15" alloy wheels, it is printed on the wheel itself.
  • chem123chem123 Posts: 272
    then the Spoons would definitely NOT fit (different 5 lug pattern and way off the Golf offset)
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I have a 2002 GTI 1.8t with about 6k miles on it now. Here is what I've done and plan to do to my car, this is my autoX vehicle
    Neuspeed: ( -
    Downpipe - 7HP gain

    Turbo air inlet pipe - increases air into the turbo by 70% - 7HP gain

    Turbo XS diverter valve - no increase in HP, sounds cool and nicely made, increased durability.

    APR Chip upgrade ( Upsolute, Neuspeed, Garrett chip upgrades are nice, but the nicest and one of the most expensive is the APR - check out their website. Over 230 HP and 235 pounds of torque all with stock drivability just a lot more :-)

    K&N air filter - a Must - these are fantastic, I put them in all my cars. You can get them from APR -

    Neuspeed Racing springs - I live in Florida with glass smooth roads - not recommended up north - I love these springs.

    Neuspeed upper strut stess bar.

    Near Future:

    Exhaust - A must - not sure which one I'll get - doing my research.

    Neuspeed 28mm rear sway bar - a must for autoX

    Bilstien or Koni shocks -

    I want to install a short shifter kit of some sort - doing my research here as well - lots of them on the market - the cheapest is an Audi TT linkage that bolts right up - $30 from the Audi dealer and reduces throw 20%.

    There are a variety of parts from the TT that you can use to upgrade your GTI - the TT is based on the Golf platform most everything is the same.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    there was no mention of turbo timers. any concerns? also if i drove the car under normal cruising speeds (city/hwy), should i be waiting a while before shutting the engine?

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    since it tends to get little traffic.

    I heard the TT shift linkage isn't that great of an improvement. That's a personal issue (from

    You can use the TT front rotors, but it totally eliminates the usage of 15" rims. Since it doesn't snow in Florida, it's not a concern.

    Turbo timers, in the A4, there was a incompatibility issue with the factory alarm. It could be the same for the A4 platform 1.8T's as well. "Normal" driving, being light on the turbo, you don't really need to let it idle, but it doesn't hurt to idle for a 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    In the more "spirited" drives and/or lead foot drivers, best to let it idle for a few minutes.

    I typically let my car idle (TDI) for about 30 seconds in a normal drive.

    Use your best judgement. Wasting some gas is cheaper than a new turbo.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    any body double throttles when upshifting? i mean when you are in an in-between gear, during that neutral zone, is it suggested to throttle just before releasing it in the new up gear? sorry if i'm not making this clear.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    It's just going to kill your synchros.

    I think you mean powershifting. But it's going to kill your synchros & your clutch.
  • d7subd7sub Posts: 12
    is there a recommended way i should be downshifting as well?
  • chem123chem123 Posts: 272
    Just rev match and you should be fine.
  • sizzla123sizzla123 Posts: 18
    Hi all,

    I've been driving a Jetta 1.8T for the past year, I love the 1.8T engine. I cant afford the car anymore, so I'm looking at a 2.0 Golf. How much of a step down in performance will this be? I dont race or anything, but I like the way the 1.8T feels and kinda worried that the 2.0 will be HUGE step down.

  • curious38curious38 Posts: 18

    I'm a first time car buyer, trying to decide between going w/ slightly used Civic hatchback or Golf. Probably looking at around $10,000 to spend, but yet wanting to get the most for my $$$!

    I have found some of each car in my area, one Civic, a '99, 43000 miles @ $8500. Seems pretty reasonable. Most Golfs in my price range fall into the 97-99's or so, and I have heard these to be pretty poor years for VW.

    Any advice?
  • chem123chem123 Posts: 272
    Exactly one year ago I purchased a 98 Civic DX hatchback with 45K mi for $7900. It seems like you are in a similar situation as I was then. Back then and still now, I cannot trust VW. Everything I have gathered from owners and research tells me buying a VW is just not a good car-owning experience. I hate to brand one company like that, but VW is the only one that fits. Any current owner who disagrees is either lucky or oblivious.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    I'm in the same boat... Have a passat with 1.8T (chipped none the less) and I'm looking to save money by stepping down....way down I guess) and was thinking Golf GL or GLS. I, too, am worried about the power issue. I drove a 2.0 beetle a/t before I bought the Passat and found the power to be adequate. However, that was before driving the 1.8T. However, there's a lot to consider over just the Power... You get 4-wheel discs, Front/Side AND curtain airbags, high-quality feeling Dash and materials, better warranty than the imports (excluding the elantra I guess) amongst other things. You have to give up something moving down scale... Power is it I guess.
  • mogasmogas Posts: 8
    I have owned both. I bought a new 1992 VW Golf GLS back in '92. I will never own one again. I had more problems with that damn car by 1994 than I care to mention. I have owned four Honda products in my 33 years of life ('85 Prelude, '87 Integra, '92 Prelude and a '97 Civic) and all have run like champs with only minor problems. VW seems to use better quality interior materials though and the VW SEEMS very sturdy but I had lots of problems with mine. It's now 2002 so maybe VW fixed some of the issues I was having with mine but I'll never own another VW again unless its free. I'm not saying Honda is a MUCH better car than the VW, I just seem to have better luck with Honda. I won't own another Nissan as long as I live either, but that's a different story...
  • m9431m9431 Posts: 38
    I've owned 4 Hondas and 4 VWs and currently one one of each, (Accord and Golf) both 2002 models. VW has made much progress in improving quality (reliability). Honda still tends to be more reliable (although my 2001 Honda was a lemon). Yet if you enjoy driving, the VW is heads and tails above--I drive 700 miles a week. The latest Civic (except for the Si) is one of the WORST cars I've driven--period. The Golf is one of the best, short of a BMW. The VW is more substantial, while the Honda feels tinny by comparison.
  • srockrsrockr Posts: 79
    What problems plaqued your 01 Civic? I just bought an 03 Civic and really like it.

    just curious
  • Sizzla 123 -

    Do not bother buying a 2.0 Gas if you are coming off driving a 1.8T. You are giving up about 50 or 60 hp. If you want to save money, buy diesel. It gets way better mileage and will last forever.

    My parents have a 2.0 gas which is fine, but after being taken for a ride in a 1.8T GTI, there is no comparison. It is a rocket on wheels.
Sign In or Register to comment.