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VW Golf vs Honda Civic



  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Some people are superficial and some are not. Some only care what's on the outside and some care about the inside. To me the "ugly" weld is a small cancellation to the well engineered product that has proven to be such.

    In Kanos techings in quality there is a paragraph about expectations and delight. Customer expects a car to start every morning, having all the bells and whistles is just a delight factor. Those bells and whistles are useless if the car does not perform its primary function, e.g. starting and driving.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
  • serniterserniter Posts: 12
    I agree with the teachings on expectations and delight. VWs, apart from just starting and driving, do a lot to delight their customers. Starting with a solid rust-proof body to advanced engines to beautifully crafted interiors. Advanced safety features on even their base models... a comprehensive package. The downside is having to change a window regulator or ignition coil over a period of several years. Plus, you need to look around to find a good VW service center.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Never heard of it. They've been building the narrow angle V6 for eons now. And the W-engines sound like a lot more hassle than they are worth.

    But Honda isn't known for any engine technology at all. Nooooo. Not recnetly. Hybrids, specific output in NA engines etc. in cars you can actually afford. Not $40k Passats.

    Civic is also a best pic in the safety area with airbags all around standard. Wait what was the point. And the best part is a reputation for not needing the service center in the first place.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The Golf has had 6 airbags standard since 2002. Honda just offered them recently. And the Golf/Jetta have been best picks in safety also. So in that area - stalemate.

    The 1.8T engine's peak torque starts at 1950 rpm and stays there until 5000 rpm. To get low end torque out of a turbocharged engine is what I would definitely call advanced.
    And the upcoming 2.0T engine with its direct injection and 10.3:1 compression ratio has basically eliminated the dreaded turbo lag. And also, VW has been making the TDI engine (Turborcharged Direct Injection) for several years. So in a way, they are advanced.

    Hondas engines are advanced as well (especially with its VVT technology), you just have to wind the engine up to the 3000 - 4000 rpm range to reach its peak torque (a byproduct of its racing technology). And their hybrid technology is advanced as well - although the jury is still out on how they hold up during a long term of ownership - 150,000+ miles. The gas engine of the hybrid equation will make and exceed that mileage interval very easily. The question mark will be how long the electric motor/battery portion will last.

    To sum it up:

    Golf - More durable, but not as reliable as the Honda
    Honda - More reliable, but not as durable as the Golf.

    Different strokes for different folks...
  • badodysseybadodyssey Posts: 4
    I've owned Honda's for 14 years..why? I don't dare try anything else! they've been flawless for me...i've traded in and out and purchased about 8 in that time. upgraded for expanding family, purchased cheap then sold for major bucks a few 'winter beaters', etc. not once have I had a 'lemon'.

    aside from minor repairs: tune ups, oil change, torn CV boots, etc. they have been wonderful and CHEAP to maintain!

    The issue with VW is the cost of maintenence is higher, sometimes alot! axles for my 92 civic? 46.00 each, complete! oil change? 9.95! etc...

    The VW has 'imagined' reliability. not sure why everyone loves them so...and everyone just keeps saying how much they fix them! :)

    I sell cars, Honda's last 2 years, now I manage our Nissan store...and the trade value is horrendous in a VW! you generally pay more, and get much less in the long run.

    It's amazing how much more they do cost new to purchase than a Honda. And they really arent' that good (as far as reliablity goes)

    my 2 cents....
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    You just made my point (Hondas are more reliable, but VWs are more durable)- You've owned eight Hondas in 14 years. I owned a 1987 Golf GT for 16 years and 624,000 miles, a 1975 Scirocco for 6 years and 200,000 miles, and I now have two Jettas: a 2003 Wolfsburg and a 1997 Jetta Trek. So that's four VW in 23+ years. I tend to keep my cars a lot longer than the average person, and the VW's have worked well for me (especially in the rustproofing/body integrity department). At the time I had my 87 Golf, I've seen quite a few Hondas (newer than my Golf) with rust problems and paint flaking problems. So for the long term ownership I will take a VW over Honda...
  • billmchalebillmchale Posts: 107
    Well I like the 98 Jetta I have been driving; though the car is certainly starting to show its wear. But at 140 K miles it certainly has not done all that poorly. One starter motor and a Battery in almost 7 years is not bad in terms of reliability. I am starting to think about trading it in mostly because I find I need something with more cargo hauling capability than a sedan provides. I have not ruled out the Golf, but my Cousin runs a VW repair shop and says that the current (outgoing generation) VWs have had alot of electrical issues.

  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    I don't think there's a problem w/ regards to durability of a civic or any honda in general. As evidence I would point to the enormous number of 15 or even 20 year old civics I see on my way to work being used as commuter cars (not just a college/ high school kid that may drive 100 miles per week). They run and a lot of them still look pretty good surprisingly (especially that hatchback whose picture is in the dictionary under the term bulletproof).

    Sure some may have rust on the rear wheel wells, most cars being used as a primary vehicle throughout it's entire life tends to. But, the interior remains durable. Plastic doesn't peel, seats don't wear out, door handles don't break off, etc etc. While YMMV, I don't think durability is a civic issue just like it's reliability rating.
  • wetwilliewetwillie Posts: 129

    "As evidence I would point to the enormous number of 15 or even 20 year old civics I see on my way to work being used as commuter cars (not just a college/ high school kid that may drive 100 miles per week). "

    You're kidding, right? If you're not, I'll throw in my anecdotal observations as well. I live in a large metropolitan area and I rarely see older civics on the roads - and the ones that are...are rusted out - and not in harmless areas, ie, the lower part of hatch on a hatchback that allows toxic gasses into the cabin. No thanks.
  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    You're more than welcome to put whatever inflection on your post that makes you sleep better at night. I too live in a metropolitan area and would certainly stand by my observations, regardless of your tone and inference.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I know around here, we rarely see old Jetta or Golfs. And the first gen Passat is also absent. By old I mean over 10 years. I mean there are the occasional sightings, but I just got rid of my 1993 Civic EX with 120K a couple years ago and nothing was wrong with it. No rust or anything. I just wanted another car. Heck though in the last few years we've owned 3 Si's and 3 03+ Accords. How often you trade cas has nothing to do with the reliability.

    But VW placing in the bottom of nearly any longevity study speaks more volumes than any anecdotal story anyone can conjure. And the fact that the VW loses value like a sieve would also spell doom for longevity since any major repair to a aged VW could easily end up costing more than the car is worth. The only place that situation leads is to the auto crusher.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    >I know around here, we rarely see old Jetta or Golfs. And the first gen Passat is also absent.

    I don't know what area you live in, but on both coasts (East Coast and West Coast), there is an abundance of old VWs, Hondas, etc... So I guess the car crusher is pretty hungry at the moment...
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    And there are very few older VW's here. Whereas there are 87-91 Civics not only on the road but they still are pretty expensive when they are in good shape.

    When you consider VW had 8 model lines in 1990 and Honda only had 4, the difference is even more obvious. The Fox, Corrado, and even the popular Cabriolet are noexistent on the roads these days. Whereas Civics, Accord, and even Preludes from that era are pretty commonplace. At least around here.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The Fox and Corrado went out of production after 1993. And even during production, not very many were made (as compared to Golfs and Jettas). So naturally you won't see many of these cars on the road (I've only seen 3 or 4 Corrados and a handful of Foxes in my area)...
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I am not going to get into the "which is better" debate. But, please show me evidence that VW's "loses value like a sieve ". VW's have always been known for holding their value in resale. The following links show the retained Value of various car makes. I compared the Passat and Accord. Yes, the Accord retained it's value better, but the Passat was not far behind. According to JD Power: The Accord got "5 stars" = Among the best and the Passat got 4 stars = Better than Most. So, you saying that VW's lose value like a sieve is a little exaggerated. en&model=Passat del=Accord+Sedan
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    My post was referrring to why there are few older VW's on the road. Between the frequency of repairs and the costs involved, Honda reliability will keep them on the road longer.

    They sold a lot of Foxes though. And they were cheap. And they are now nearly extinct. The 87 bodystyle Civic went out of production in 1991 and they are still everywhere. I know they sold a lot of them but they also sold a lot of Ford Tauruses back then and they are nearly gone too. Reliable cheap to run cars stay on the road longer. A durable body does you no good if you can't keep the engine running.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Conversely, driving a car with a severely rusted body presents a serious safety issue - especially if one were to have a collision. Proper maintenance keeps the engine running on any car - but a rusted body renders the car useless (unless you can find a car with a good body to transfer the powertrain to).

    Civics are numerous in your area because they don't salt the roads (during the winter) as heavily as the Northeast/Mid Atlantic (where I live) or Midwest. Plus, the frequency of certain automobiles are lower in your area because of population - The Northeast/MidAtlantic region (extending from Boston to Richmond, VA) has a higher population density than the Southeast - therefore, the more people there are, the more drivers there are, and a higher frequency of a given automobile model is seen on the roads.

    No matter what side of the issue you're on - it's been a good discussion all the way around :shades:
  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    As someone who lives in northern new jersey, I can assure you there's plenty of salt on the roads. It doesn't seem to effect the sheer number of older civics (or accords, camrys, corollas, etc) that are still being used as daily commuting cars. It's really quite astounding when you think about it because it's not just the weather, it's a hard stop and go commute to go just about anywhere around me.
    I'm actually kind of curious to see cars of my vintage ('98) will hold up body-wise over time as I'm sure they've improved rust tolerance over time.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Won't do anything to keep the car running when the electronics go bad. A hole in a fender is nothing. I drove such a car when I was stationed in Okinawa. Rear view mirror fell all the way off of my 1976 Toyota Corona. But the car still got me from a-b. Just get some bondo. You can drive a car with rust. You can't drive a car that doesn't run because the fuel injection computer fried itself or some of the other off the wall stuff that happens to VW's.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Fuel injection computers frying - I haven't heard of many overwhelming cases.

    Now as far as the other off the wall stuff (coil cracking issues, window regulator issues, and mass airflow sensor) - those I'm familiar with - That's why they're handled via Technical Service Bulletins. My 1987 Golf GT only stranded me once due to an electrically-related issue - the fuel pump that went out at the 375,000 mile mark... Preventative maintenance took care of the rest - over the years I've developed a knack for troubleshooting the wearable components in my car (starter, altenator, voltage regulator, etc.) to make sure they're not at the end of their service life. Those components that are nearing their end, I replace. That instinct has kept me out of trouble during my 20+ years of car ownership.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Here's an interesting opinion: (when you click on the link, read Items #7 and #10)

    Things may not be as happy in Honda-land as they may seem.

    VW isn't the only manufacturer having problems...
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    In the U.S. At least things "seem" happy in Honda land. VW land is in the dark ages.

    as opposed to

    Which company would you rather buy a car from?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Which is why the brought on board one of the best Car executives in the business - Wolfgang Bernhard - the man responsible for Daimler-Chrysler's resurgence.

    Click on this link and read Item #10. So in the long run VW is in good hands. As much as you seem to want them to go away, any news of their demise is greatly exaggerated... :shades:
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    But with the dealers complaining about the lack of lower range Jettas cars and the lack of inventory in general, I guess it will be a while before we know the results.

    I couldn't care less if they stayed or left by the way. They are a non-issue to me.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    It sounds like you have a personal hatred for VW's. If one prefers a a Honda...if someone prefers a VW...Buy a VW!!! Diversity is what make the world go around!! :shades:
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Just because you debate "your side" of an issue doesn't mean you have a hatred for anything. I couldn't care less about VW's future. I do know the Jetta isn't gonna turn it around if early press is any indication. The GTI looks promising to me, but the U.S. isn't big on three door hatches.

    VW was nice enough to send me a $50 voucher for a test drive of the new Jetta though. Hope they stay in business long enough to pay up. :blush:
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    It does sound like with all the cost cutting going on within VW, they did turn a profit for the first Qtr. I think their US operations are still reeling....but all of this was caused by VW themselves. They turned the ship around once....lets hope they can do it again.

    On the reverse side you have the EXTREMELY successful Honda and Toyota. even have Toyota considering increasing their prices on US cars just to help out the floundering US makes (read GM). Why are Honda and Toyota successful......QUALITY Product!!!!

    I have my fingers crossed for VW!!! :confuse:
  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    I personally don’t have anything against Volkswagon either. I think the styles of their cars are nice. But each person checks different prerogatives with different vehicles attributes, reputations, and driving characteristics. To me, turning the key and getting to work w/out drama or surprises day in and day out is a top priority. It makes choosing a civic over a golf very easy. Someone in my condo complex has a golf. It certainly has a lot of character and it has a lot of utility for a smaller vehicle (they have a 3 door). They seem to really enjoy their car as well though I know it’s not a high mileage vehicle. Different needs, different cars, same results, a happy customer.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I used to drive cars cross country for a living and some of the most satisfying ones were in VW products. I understand why VW owners love thier cars. They DRIVE. If they can keep that VW "feeling" while increasing reliability, I'd happily buy one. And like I said, the new GTI looks like it may be an awesome little runner.
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