Which is the beter car to buy?


Which would be the better car to buy, a new VW GTI or a new Honda Civic SI? No special criteria, just overall. Thanks!


The Honda will be a lot more reliable.


Honda. Of course, don’t blame me if you get the Civic and wish you’d gotten the VDub!

Try the Consumer Reports New Car Preview issue at teh local bookstore. Then decide for yourself. You’ll be happier that way.


In the first 5 years, edmunds.com estimates that you will pay $715 in repairs with the Civic. They estimate $1047 for the GTI. Note that the Civic has a shorter warranty (24-mo.) compared to the GTI (36-mo.). That indicates that the difference may grow larger as time goes on. The warranty is assumed, based on no cost for 2-years in the Honda dn 3-years for the VW. Drive them both and see if you like the GTI enough to justify higher repair costs. The cost is over twice as much for the GTI, but it is not incredibly high.


Resale is about equal.

The GTI has a superior engine(full torque avail at low RPM) for everyday driving and much nicer interior.

Reliability by history falls to Honda. However reliability should not be a primary factor when buying a fun to drive vehicle.

Pick the one you like best.


First, check out the customer waiting area at your VW dealer. If you really want the VW due to its superior performance, you have to be prepared to spend A LOT of time in the customer waiting area at the dealership, as a result of the reliability and/or durability issues of VWs. If you are comfortable spending many hours in that waiting area, then I say that you should go with the the VW.

Although they are better than they were a few years ago, VWs still lag significantly behind both Japanese and American cars in terms of reliability.


The most important question is: how long do you expect to keep a car. I tend to ‘drive them out’ so long term reliability is very important to me. I knew a chap who traded every year; reliability was not an issue. (Bankruptcy was.)

If you reasonably expect to drive a new car no more than 50,000 miles, even a VW might suit you.

If like me, you consider a car with 130,000 miles on it to be a new car, buy the Honda.


I would just buy whichever you like better. Personally, I would buy the VW based on just those two choices, but you may like the honda better. Why are these the only two cars you are considering?


CR has found on average, vw products (including audi) get 100 problems per 100 cars at 5.2 years. honda/acura don’t reach that problem rate until about 10.3 years.

high performance models are likely to develop problems at a quicker rate than the ordinary models.


I think people on this board see Civic and assume the economy car version.

The Civic SI is a very high revving car if you want any enjoyment out of the power it offers in limited amounts:

197 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 139 lb.-ft. of torque at 6100 rpm.

IMHO unless your running around a track that Civic power is absolutely useless in the real world. The torque is really anemic especially considering the RPM.

Drive a GTI and the motor will lead a much easier life:

200HP @ 5,100 RPM
207 ft-lb of torque @ 1,800-5,000

I have driven the GTI and you do not have rev the motor very much to get nice strong performance and it offers about 29MPG on regular in mixed driving. I drove the 2000 Honda Civic SI and found it to be absolutely uselss in the real world despite go-kart handling.


Take them both for a test drive, check out the space and features and consider that, in general, VWs have had slightly more reliability issues during the first few years compared to Honda.

I would pick the VW because of the drive. I have had several VWs long term and have have had very few mechanical problems.

The difference in reported problems from one car maker to another is really not that much. There is far more difference from one specific car to another, even of the dame make and model. I suspect that different drivers will make a bigger difference than the make. Note: I have almost no facts and figures to support any of that.