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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys, i know this can be taken as a sensitive subject for some. i'm basically on the fence about this. i've always been a fan of the gti, in any form mk1, ii, iii, iv, and v. i was just wondering who has won the battle over the years between the civic and gti. i've done a lot of searching, and i can only find comparison test between the current model, mkv, and the si. honda has gotten so much attention through the import tuner scene with the eg, and ek models, and now with the new k20. i'm basically just curious as to which car has put down more hp with vr6 swaps and things of that sort. i've viewed a couple of videos on youtube.com with civics going against vw's, and the census goes either way. either there are a bunch of praise for vw's, and hate for honda's, or vice versa. does anyone have any good reads over the course of the gti platform, either in road and track or any other import magazine, in comparison to the civic? which car is faster? and has the case always been that way? websites or online finds would be great too.
 

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Didn't Paul (Quality_Sound) just ditch his Passat for a Civic Si ...

Only to come flying back to VW a few weeks later? (Can't recall if he got a GTI or a Rabbit. Methinks GTI, but what do I know?)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i hope more responses come in about this. i was just thinking that road and track, or motortrend would had to have done a comparison test for these two cars. they basically stack up or have the same competitive spirit as the corvette, and porshe battle, only in 4 banger guise. hopefully quality_sound will chime in and we can get his perspective. really i guess i'm looking for overall dimensions of both cars. from my reading, there always seems to be a weight advantage, or disadvantage on the side of volkswagen. i think the stock quarter mile times and 0-60 times have been slightly edged by vw, but still barely noticeable. and then there is the aftermarket side, where honda seems to adapt better to goodies, and seem to be a lot quicker than the vw. what is the catch?? is the adaptability of honda motors the answer? being able to have k20, and b18, and h22 swaps the answer?
 

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Didn't Paul (Quality_Sound) just ditch his Passat for a Civic Si ...

Only to come flying back to VW a few weeks later? (Can't recall if he got a GTI or a Rabbit. Methinks GTI, but what do I know?)
Paul got a Rabbit a little while back.
 

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If you are going to modify the car, you can make either one fast enough. It comes down to what car you like.
 

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Didn't Paul (Quality_Sound) just ditch his Passat for a Civic Si ...

Only to come flying back to VW a few weeks later? (Can't recall if he got a GTI or a Rabbit. Methinks GTI, but what do I know?)
Yep...and I got a Bunny. Didn't feel like paying $10K more for the GTI even though it would probably get slightly better mileage. I have a feeling that will get better on my drive to Texas today.

The Si only had 3 shortcomings in my opinion:
1) It's loud. My Rabbit was $5K less and is MUCH quieter
2) The interior plastics scratch WAy too easily, like tapping your nail will scratch it easily.
3) The 6-speed on the Si is flawed, plain and simple and Honda either has no idea how to fix it or is keeping the fix to themselves.

I could have lived with the first two, but with as much as I drive now I'd have been out of the 3/36 powertrain in a little over a year and I'm not dealing with a crap-ass transmission. I can deal with almost anything else.

Rabbit shortcomings:
1) Making almost ANY lighting upgrades requires a new body control module unless you got lucky and yours came with the upgraded BCM, and that seems to be hit or miss.
2) The compund curve on the back window makes it a huge pain in the ass to get it tinted. My tinter did mine 6 times and it's still not as perfect as I'd like, and you guys probably know how much that bugs me.
3) VWs continued resistance to the standard MacPherson strut configuration. :banghead: I could have done an Si suspension 3 times in the 4 hours it took to do my Rabbit's coilovers...and I wouldn't have had to take the axles out to do it. :crazy:

Basically, you have to be a VERY anal person to find any real faults with the Rabbit and honestly, other than the tranny the Si is pretty hard to find fault with as well.

Comapring the engines is just plain silly. The K20 easily bests anything VW has put in ANY car...EVER. It gets better mileage than the 2.5 or 2.0t, redlines at 8200RPM and sounds sexier than any VW I've ever heard. With the gear ratios Honda uses it actually gets off the line pretty well so it doesn't feel as anemic down low as it really is. The Rabbit however FEELS faster off the line, benefit of the torque, but runs out of steam REAL fast. I'd have to look again to make sure, but I think redline on the Rabbit is around 5500RPM. :thumbdown If you plan on tracking the car, the Si is hands down a better choice, especially stock. The OEM Si suspension is about as good and the Eibach Pro-Street S coilovers I just put on the Rabbit, and then you can still upgrade from there.

Seats are a surprisingly good on the Rabbit, but the Si seats are very, VERY comfortable. We drove to San Diego twice in it and neither my wife or I had any back pain...ever...in the Si and it doesn't even have lumbar support. :thumbup::thumbup: I'll find out about the Rabbit seats on a long drive when I drive to Texas today.

It's a hell of a lot easier to find a lightweight wheel for the Si. God forbid VW stick with a normal offset. :thumbdown Finding a wheel that fits the Rabbit and doesn't weigh 30 god damned pounds is like finding a size 2 at a weight watchers meeting. There are a few that will fit the Rabbit and NONE of them are inexpensive, or all that attractive for that matter. As you know, EVERYONE makes good wheels for Honda. Oh, and Honda switched fo 5x114.3 as well so now there are even more options and M-B oners will see more wheel choices as a side effect.

Most people won't car, but the Honda interior is MUCH easier to disassemble . :lol:

And now the final question, which car do I like better? The Rabbit, hands down is more fun to drive. The only time the Si really came alive was after the VTEC engagment point. I guess that's the point of VTEC, but off the big cam that just felt like a car with a great suspension and no balls. Meh.

Hopefully my rambling will answer a least a few of your questions. If not, hit me back. I could use a few more posts. :lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
wonderful post. that basically is a better spread of information than any road and track, or motortrend article could provide. your account was with the rabbit, not even the gti, and you still best vw for being the more enjoyable car to drive. the articles i have read, or even the testimonies from civic owners, or individuals that have driven the si, have said that the 8200 rpm redline with v-tec, is as fulfilling as sleep to an insomniac. quality_sound, i'm assuming you had the ep? little hatchback? i may have test drove one, but i didn't push to the readline point. i did, however find that the acceleration was pretty linear, and steady. you did find fault with the transmission, and i always thought that honda transmissions, especially the gear ratio's were always one of their best attributes. surprising.

i have driven a stock eg, i believe a 93 hatch, the the suspension felt great, and the car responded pretty well to manuevering. i have never been in an mk3, or mk2, nor driven one, so i don't know how they feel. i know the k20 has said to be a great engine, and i was just wondering if even the vr6 would be comparable in any case, but one would say you're comparing apples to oranges in terms of cylinders. quality you helped to clear up that the torquier engine by vw feels better, but what is made in form of aftermarket that can compete with 8200 redline. and like i mentioned before, if the stock times are some close, i'm talking within 2/10th of a second quartermile and equal 0-60 times, the civics top end would kill the vw, no? i'm even thinking to how my b5 feels like there is nothing up top. the chip helps to counteract that, but we redline at what 5500 rpms?

i have done google searches, and most of the articles that come up have been about the 06' si and the new gti. basically the most recent models. i want something with cumulative data over which of the two cars have captured the crown for economic 4 banger. like i said, each year that the 911, and new corvette come out, there is a comparison test. i'd like to know some information about the mk3 and the eg civic. has anyone on here been around both cars, or know people that have built fast cars of either skin?

is this suffice to say that vw builts more enjoyable cars to drive, but honda has the more performance based engines?
 

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wonderful post. that basically is a better spread of information than any road and track, or motortrend article could provide. your account was with the rabbit, not even the gti, and you still best vw for being the more enjoyable car to drive. the articles i have read, or even the testimonies from civic owners, or individuals that have driven the si, have said that the 8200 rpm redline with v-tec, is as fulfilling as sleep to an insomniac. quality_sound, i'm assuming you had the ep? little hatchback? i may have test drove one, but i didn't push to the readline point. i did, however find that the acceleration was pretty linear, and steady. you did find fault with the transmission, and i always thought that honda transmissions, especially the gear ratio's were always one of their best attributes. surprising.
I has an 07 Si sedan. I didn't want a hatchback, and still really don't but I'm not forking out the extra money VW wants for a Jetta.

i have driven a stock eg, i believe a 93 hatch, the the suspension felt great, and the car responded pretty well to manuevering. i have never been in an mk3, or mk2, nor driven one, so i don't know how they feel. i know the k20 has said to be a great engine, and i was just wondering if even the vr6 would be comparable in any case, but one would say you're comparing apples to oranges in terms of cylinders. quality you helped to clear up that the torquier engine by vw feels better, but what is made in form of aftermarket that can compete with 8200 redline. and like i mentioned before, if the stock times are some close, i'm talking within 2/10th of a second quartermile and equal 0-60 times, the civics top end would kill the vw, no? i'm even thinking to how my b5 feels like there is nothing up top. the chip helps to counteract that, but we redline at what 5500 rpms?
The Rabbit redlines at under 6K. My 1.8T Passat was just under 7K IIRC. Of note, the K20 in the 06+ Civics is DRASTICALLY different than the first K20. Apparently the Honda owners that said they wanted more torque got what they wanted, and then didn't like it so Honda went back and made the current K20.

For me it was the fact that I almost never ran the car to redline, and only did when I wanted to hear the engine...man we need a drool smiley. :D Some people wind their engines out all the time so they need a longer powerband, I really don't.

i have done google searches, and most of the articles that come up have been about the 06' si and the new gti. basically the most recent models. i want something with cumulative data over which of the two cars have captured the crown for economic 4 banger. like i said, each year that the 911, and new corvette come out, there is a comparison test. i'd like to know some information about the mk3 and the eg civic. has anyone on here been around both cars, or know people that have built fast cars of either skin?
If all you look at is numbers, the Civic wins hands down, every year. But those numbers and tests don't account for stuff like how quiet the car is, how solid the door feels when yo close it, etc. I'll give up 3MPH in a slalom test or a half second on the track because I don't need all of that. If you're going to track your car, the Civic is a better starting platform. If you're going to drive your car, go for the VW. :thumbup:

is this suffice to say that vw builts more enjoyable cars to drive, but honda has the more performance based engines?
Yup, even the guys at Top Gear agreed.
 

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Great review, qs.

I was waiting on delivery of an 06 Si, when I came across my used 04 Passat. From reading your review, I gather I made the right choice for my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
yeah, i guess i didn't want to swallow my pride and bow down to the civic. me and an old buddy of mine would bump heads all the time when talking about vw's and civics. he would talk about how slow vw's are. he owned a 95' sedan, and did some modifications to the car, and swore up and down that car was the fastest thing on the street. the car to me made a lot of noise and went nowhere fast. there was never an real feel of acceleration in the car. i'm sure he had a d16, or b16 or something like that. non vtec. i would of course stand by vw's. he did, however love the mkIII, jetta and golf. i over time started to appreciate a nicely modified jdm eg, or ek. i would, for some reason, just never see myself in a honda. :( I'm sure maybe you felt the same until you bought the si.

i read through most of the articles, and the new mkv has taken the spot back for vw. i think 2 of the 3 articles in the major automotive magazines gave the notch to the vw. the vw had a faster 1/4 mile time, and 0-60 was dead even. although, the civic did have 2 second faster lap times. your accounts are dead on. the testers mentioned this was not enough to counter the overall comfort and satisfaction with all aspects of the vw.

i think i'm going to go down and test drive one of the new si's. get a feel for what this v-tec is all about. i'm sure she probably screams up there, but to know is better. i guess for daily driving you're not needed to go up there, but when the fun times come, that isn't a bad feature to have. most say that you can actually feel the car get faster. ??

i'm still sticking with vw, i would just like to see vw win on all accounts. that would be nice to see a vw be able to outperform a jap car on the track.

i did get some clerification on this, but this topic still tickles my fancy.

thanks for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i would love for corradog60stage4 to chime in and get a perspective as to why he went with honda for his daily build/driver. i just read through his post. looks like he has caught a little jdm flu himself.
 

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Great review, qs.

I was waiting on delivery of an 06 Si, when I came across my used 04 Passat. From reading your review, I gather I made the right choice for my needs.
I would agree, especially considering the amount of money I had to eat after getting rid of a 3 month old car. :puke: Yeah, it wasn't pretty and there are definitely things I miss about the Si but overall I prefer the Rabbit.
 

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i think i'm going to go down and test drive one of the new si's. get a feel for what this v-tec is all about. i'm sure she probably screams up there, but to know is better. i guess for daily driving you're not needed to go up there, but when the fun times come, that isn't a bad feature to have. most say that you can actually feel the car get faster. ??
You may not be able to find a dealer that has one for you to drive and if they even have one on the lot they may not let you drive it. :thumbdown

Yes, when you hit the VTEC engagement point you can feel it, and the best part, hear it. :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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So the 2.5 only revs to 5500, its an in line 5, wonder why the low redline. Atleast is not 3k like my truck, makes the first 4 gears really short.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
vw needs to make a really good performance engine. with the latest mkv, do you think the dimensions are compatible with doing a swap into any of the other golf platforms? what is in the r32? is that a vr6? is that compatible with any other golf platforms?
 

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vw needs to make a really good performance engine. with the latest mkv, do you think the dimensions are compatible with doing a swap into any of the other golf platforms? what is in the r32? is that a vr6? is that compatible with any other golf platforms?
Yeah, R32 has the same motor from the MkIV basically. If you're going to do a swap, just get a GTI to start with. The 2.0t is a GREAT motor.
 
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