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Well, VW is now 2 for 2 in Car and Driver. Last time it was the GLI coming in first in a comparison test (beating an Accord). This time it's the GTI beating the Civic Si. C&D hated the new Civic interior, thought the back seat was too small, said the engine lacks torque and the brakes are touchy.

Meanwhile, seems that in the change from Euro to US spec (ride height increase) the chassis on the GTI seems a little more "floaty" to them in handling. They really liked the DSG, thought the interior was far superior and bigger, and they thought the engine was well suited to the DSG slushbox. All in all a positive review, though they think the price is pretty high. When it comes on line, I'll put in the link to their web page.

Mike
 

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I just finished reading as well. Ther price was high because it had a navi, DSG and probably a few other options.

The DSG is by no means a shush-box. Have you driven one yet? If you have not, I think you will change your mind when you finally do.
 

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Drop the Navi and that roughly $5000 differential is probably reduced to $3000 which isn't a ton. Love the cloth interior pattern.

Also, the interior of the new Civic is just a bit too weird. The expanse of space between left panel vent and the steering wheel is HUGE. Very weird looking. And digital speedos suck balls.
 

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Just read my latest C&D issue from cover to cover. I seriously could not skip ahead to read that comparo first, but the suspense was killing me until I got to it.

Anywho, I'm glad to see that C&D is giving VW more praise now. I can't help but wonder if they did their homework and found that a lot of people were getting disgusted with Honda/Acura always coming in first. I truly believe this comparo was honest and fair though. The interior on the new Civic is horrid, let alone freakish and doesn't excite in the least. My opinion of that steering wheel in the new Civic is that it is too small. Like an arcade game steering wheel. Have you seen the steering wheel for the Civic sedan? Reminds me of an old Impala wheel or something, just a flat two prong bar. :thumbdown

Typical C&D though, nitpick on certain points. Me personally, I could give a rats butt about back seat room in a sport compact. But I guess others do, so...... Here is my assessment:

Interior materials, build quality, style- GTI, hands down top notch, but Civic's materials and quality is just as nice, it's just fugly.

Exterior- Civic Si, not crazy about it's stout snout, but the GTI looks like a roller skate and I personally hate hatchbacks, I like coupes.

Performance- now owning a non-turbo car, I miss the turbo performance greatly. Especially if there is NO lag at all. I think the GTI will win if you are into refinement, turbo power, grace and manners.

Handling- It is what it is, how many people are going to drive their cars like an editor at C&D will? The GTI will do just fine in the twisties, as does the Si. I personally am in love with the interior of the GTI, VW has done an amazing job with interiors. The exterior, well just like the MK4, hopefully it will grow on me.

If it comes to dealer service, maintenance costs, and overall ownership experience, I'd have to go to Honda. Overall, both cars are equal contenders, it just depends on what you are looking for in a sport compact.
 

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The Civic was built for the driver. The GTI was built for the wannabe driver. Pretty simple, eh? :D

RottyB5A2 said:
Handling- It is what it is, how many people are going to drive their cars like an editor at C&D will? The GTI will do just fine in the twisties, as does the Si. I personally am in love with the interior of the GTI, VW has done an amazing job with interiors. The exterior, well just like the MK4, hopefully it will grow on me.
Spoken like a true dubber. Whenever anything about handling/driving experience comes up, its always justified by interior quality.
 

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Too bad they don't have a "dealership experience" component to the ratings. VW may not ever win a single comparo again!
 

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stealthx32 said:
The Civic was built for the driver. The GTI was built for the wannabe driver. Pretty simple, eh? :D



Spoken like a true dubber. Whenever anything about handling/driving experience comes up, its always justified by interior quality.
Sorry, I actually meant to put the interior part in a different paragraph, realized after I posted. And for some reason, whenever I go to edit a post, it screws up and freezes.

Back to handling, honestly, unless you are going to go racing through the local twisties at break neck speeds, the GTI's handling appears adequate. Now how many people are going to lose that ridiculous (but required) ride height by lowering the car? I have a feeling it will be quite a few.

Like I had touched on, if you are one of those people who consider dealer service, buying experience, past reliability ratings, etc.. into their car buying decision, stay away from VW. I know from experience how crappy their sales departments operate and how hit and miss the reliability is. Like I've said, my Altima was not my first choice, but when it came down to ease of buying, my mom's Nissan ownership experiences (past & present have been phenomenal), and an economical to own car, I went with the Altima. They made and make it so easy, at least at my local Nissan dealer.

But if you like a car enough, maybe you are willing to overlook the latter?
 

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RottyB5A2 said:
Back to handling, honestly, unless you are going to go racing through the local twisties at break neck speeds, the GTI's handling appears adequate. Now how many people are going to lose that ridiculous (but required) ride height by lowering the car? I have a feeling it will be quite a few.
So your standard for vehicle dynamics is that as long as it doesn't careen off the road during normal commute driving manuevers, it's good enough? Many people do care about the feel and dynamics of the driving experience even when they are not taking the car to 10/10ths. Those aspects are typically not fixed just by dropping the ride height (often they're made worse).

In other words, it's not so much a question of whether the car can get "through the local twisties at break neck speeds," but if it makes you want to.
 

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I admit the coupes are small... My sedan is huge in comparison. I can't even sit in a coupe w/o sunroof which is a little worse that the TC.
 

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stealthx32 said:
The Civic was built for the driver. The GTI was built for the wannabe driver. Pretty simple, eh? :D



Spoken like a true dubber. Whenever anything about handling/driving experience comes up, its always justified by interior quality.
Do you really think there is that much handling difference between the civic and the GTi, on a skidpad or otherwise, despite the ride height perception between the two? I've never read a review that looked down on the GTis "dynamics".

I say the civic was *not* built for the driver...the driver has to look at that horrific wheel and dash. Sad because on paper it looks like a great machine.
 

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scotty_passat said:
I say the civic was *not* built for the driver...the driver has to look at that horrific wheel and dash. Sad because on paper it looks like a great machine.
You've obviously never sat in one then. The giant tach in the middle. The shift light next to the speedo. The smaller, more sensitive (and more manueverable) steering wheel. The LSD. The stellar gearbox. No, those do nothing to benefit the driver. :poke:

Granted I haven't read the article, and I don't have any data in front of me, but history would tell me that the dynamics on the Civic easily surpass that of the GTI. Hell, this is the first GTI with 4 wheel independent suspension...
 

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Personally I love the dash layout on the new Civic; very sportbike-esque combination of digital and analog in all the right places. I wish I could get something like that on an affordable right wheel drive car.
 

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Medrosje said:
Drop the Navi and that roughly $5000 differential is probably reduced to $3000 which isn't a ton. Love the cloth interior pattern.

Also, the interior of the new Civic is just a bit too weird. The expanse of space between left panel vent and the steering wheel is HUGE. Very weird looking. And digital speedos suck balls.
$3000 is A LOT of money when the cars are inexpensive to begin with.
I like the Civics interior, much like I loved the expansiveness of my New Beetle.
'course, with the Civic you'll probably never know your service writers first name, unlike VW's current record.
 

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I wouldn't call these cars inexpensive. Base on the SI was 20,500 and it had options up to 23,500. Estimated base on the GTI was 23,500 optioned up to 28,000. I'd bet that the base GTI compares quite similarly to optioned-up SI, except for navigation. So you'd get a higher quality interior materials GTI with maybe more options than the similarly priced SI. I'm not comparing mechanicals or anything else like that, just the vehicle and its amenities.

So, I would guesstimate that the real-world difference isn't all that much, maybe 10% of the vehicle cost which, while still is a good chunk of change, probably isn't a deal buster.
 

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The SI's only option is nav and summer rubber. Everything else is standard or dealer installed. Optioned up with summer tires will msrp the car at 20190 without destination
 

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stealthx32 said:
You've obviously never sat in one then. The giant tach in the middle. The shift light next to the speedo. The smaller, more sensitive (and more manueverable) steering wheel. The LSD. The stellar gearbox. No, those do nothing to benefit the driver. :poke:

Granted I haven't read the article, and I don't have any data in front of me, but history would tell me that the dynamics on the Civic easily surpass that of the GTI. Hell, this is the first GTI with 4 wheel independent suspension...
the GTi has an awesome wheel (function and appearance) just like the GLi. The 6-speed in the GTi is very good too. The gauges are big and legible yet still easy on the eye.

I don't doubt the *function* of the civic, just don't like how it looks...really just the look of the wheel and dash cluster. The seats are nice...as is the rest of the performance package...and the price. But I'd spend the extra couple of grand to get the GTi in this case.
 

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Macabre said:
So your standard for vehicle dynamics is that as long as it doesn't careen off the road during normal commute driving manuevers, it's good enough? Many people do care about the feel and dynamics of the driving experience even when they are not taking the car to 10/10ths. Those aspects are typically not fixed just by dropping the ride height (often they're made worse).

In other words, it's not so much a question of whether the car can get "through the local twisties at break neck speeds," but if it makes you want to.
Alright fine, the GTI belongs in a roller rink and the Honda rules? Better?
 

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scotty_passat said:
I say the civic was *not* built for the driver...
scotty_passat said:
the GTi has an awesome wheel (function and appearance) just like the GLi. The 6-speed in the GTi is very good too. The gauges are big and legible yet still easy on the eye.

I don't doubt the *function* of the civic, just don't like how it looks...really just the look of the wheel and dash cluster. The seats are nice...as is the rest of the performance package...and the price. But I'd spend the extra couple of grand to get the GTi in this case.
So say what you mean next time. :poke:
 

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What the article didn't state is how no dealership is giving the SI at anything less than thousands over MSRP. My friend has had countless quotes from dealerships and every one is like $3k to $5k over MSRP.
Now the GTI can be had under MSRP and less than a ground over Invoice.

Take that crap into consideration and you can get a better equiped and better car for about the same $$$$$.
 
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