Last post on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:11 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Golf
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Hatchback
Apr 26, 1999 (10:35 am)
There have been no problems with either the Civic or the VW. The Civic has almost 70k miles, and is still running on two of its original tires and 100% original brakes, thanks to the fact that the great majority (95%+) of its miles are highway miles.
Same for the VW - 36k miles, and no problems at all so far. Again, highway miles are the rule.
When the time for repairs does come, though, it will likely be much more expensive on the VW with that VR6 engine and associated powerplant jammed in the tiny front engine housing.
We are lucky enough to have two experienced non-dealer mechanics; one who has extensive experience with the European engines, and one who is a certified Honda mechanic working on his own; both their shop rates are much lower than the EXORBITANT $60+ rate charged by the VW dealer.
The Jetta is actually the sixth VW I have owned, preceded by a 1978 Rabbit, a 1981 Jetta, a 1984 Jetta, and a 1992 Passat. Only the Passat posed any problems at all; when it was just less than five years old I found out that the air conditioning condenser had rotted (maybe due to the fact that I rarely use A/C), and the fix was anticipated to cost at least $600. I traded it in, because at that time it had over 120,000 miles and I wanted something a little smaller and less dowdy looking. (Those 1992 Passats weren't things of beauty, if you know what I mean.)
Apr 26, 1999 (10:41 am)
Oops! Correction to my previous note. It is the *fifth* VW I have owned. There have been two other VWs in the family, though. My parents also owned a 1980 Rabbit and a 1981 Rabbit truck.
That truck (made in Wilmington, PA - during the only 3 (? I think) year period VWs were ever made in the States) was an unmitigated disaster. Electrical problems galore, water pump that went at 20k miles, solenoid that went out, and a rusting habit that beat any Subaru or Ford of comparable vintage hands down.
However, I know someone else who has a 1980 Rabbit diesel truck, lovingly cared for and regularly serviced, and it has 130,000 miles on it. I have been thinking about buying it.
May 03, 1999 (9:14 pm)
Oh gosh.... I started reading this forum because I am trying to decide whether to get a Civic DX HB or a VW Beetle or New Golf. From VW I like the safety of the car (particularly the Beetle) and how solid it feels, but I dont like that they seem to consume quite a bit more fuel than the Civic. Does it really make a difference in terms of monthly expenses? Also, I may end up having to move to Europe and then I would be really scared given the price of fuel there and that you have to pay about $300 more per year in taxes given the engine size. On the other hand, I think I like the Civic's handling (I need to test drive it again) and of course the low fuel consumption & reliability (although I dont feel they are as safe...hmmm). What to do? Or maybe I should wait and see if I do go to Europe and choose there from a much bigger variety of HBs, although they seem to be more expensive than here (I like the new Peugeot 206, it has gotten great reviews!).
I am really confused, please help!
May 04, 1999 (3:54 am)
I don't know if you've considered this, but if you're very concerned about fuel consumption you may look at the New Golf or New Beetle with a TDI diesel engine. If you don't mind a manual, and don't mind a little less hp, that may be perfect for your needs. Good luck in your decision!
May 09, 1999 (3:27 pm)
The VW TDI engine (in any of the models) should be strongly considered... when it comes down to day-to-day driving the torque is what really matters and the TDI has a lot more than a Civic and from a much lower RPM (155 lb/ft at 1900rpm).
Not to mention fuel mileage that also exceeds the Civic (42-50 mpg). Not to mention superior handling and road feel... safety... etc.
It will cost more, but for a long term vehicular investment, you'll be more satisfied. I know I am (99 Golf GLS TDI).
May 16, 1999 (12:35 pm)
>"O.K. VW lovers.. I'll admit that they are >getting better but they are still not the >250,000 mile carthat a Honda is."
I owned a '89 Golf 3 Hatchback which achieved 250,000 on one engine.
I owned 5 different 76' to 79' Hondas that in aggregate achieved 300,000.
It really doesn't matter which car you have; some make it longer that others. So in general, I'd say maintain your car well and it *might* serve you well.
The Hondas couldn't take the abuse, but the VW could.
May 16, 1999 (9:45 pm)
JD. If it is a real possibility that you are moving to Europe, I would suggest you hold on until you know. The cost of shipping a vehicle to Europe, plus the possible extra costs of having it modified to meet E.U. emissions could be quite high.
I don't know what expenses your employer will/will not cover.
May 19, 1999 (3:33 am)
A couple of messages back is a comment that implies that the TDI engine is only available with a 5-speed. Just wanted to correct that, the automatic is an available option with the TDI, and while they seem to be rare I have seen them at NY dealers.
#137 of 667 alex travanti
May 20, 1999 (3:28 pm)
Like many others in this forum, I'm trying very hr\ard to decide between buying a 99 Honda Civic HX coupe and a 99 NW golf TDI. Both get amazing mileage (35/43, the best of any honda and 42/49 for the golf), which is good for someone like me who runs up at least 2k miles a month. The benefits of the Honda are a slightly faster engine (115hp vs 95), standard alloy wheels, the wider availabilty of gas, and a better basic warranty. The golf on the other hand looks much better (or at least much more unique) and comes with a great assortment of standard features including A/C, 8-speaker tape player (vs the honda's standard 4-speaker radio), a security system for the car and the stereo, and much more. Although it has less overall hp, it has better low-end torque than the honda (which is notorious for having no power until the rpm's climb into the 5k's). The golf also has a more rigid body, suspendion and handling. The big difference come sin the price. The Honda runs about $13,000 whereas the golf is up at $16,000. Of course, if you add up all the features the golf has that are on the golf they would probably total around that $3k difference. Not to mention the savings in diesel costs. So, as most of you know, it's a very tough decision. When it comes to style, the golf looks cooler. However, while hondas are about as common as white bread, there is a huge variety of aftermarket products inclusing rims, body kits, spoilers, etc. that can customize a honda indefinitely. VW can be similarly equipped, but the products aren't as popular or widespread.
One final thing to remember about the HX and the golf TDI is the fact that they aren't easy to find. The HX is one of Honda's best-kept secrets and few dealerships carry them. The VW diesel engine is just as rare. So, unfortuneately, this gives the dealer the upper-hand as demand may outweigh supply and force the buyer into paying MSRP and above (especially with the golf).
Hope this little run down helps some confused buyers out there (it sure isn't helping me...)
If anyone else has some really nitty-gritty stuff that may sway me and the rest to either Germany or Japan, I'm all eyes.
#138 of 667 alex travanti
May 20, 1999 (3:57 pm)
Just wanted to mention, concerning my last post, the mileage figures were both for manual transmission. I do not recommend getting a VW golf with an automatic tranny as it is both sluggish and much less fuel efficient. However, the civic HX auto employs the virtually unknown CVT (continuously variable transmission) which was invented around the turn of the century but wasn't used by a major car company until Honda put it in the civic in 1996. What it does is removes gearshifts entirely and has a series of belts and cones which are smoothly and constantly changing the gear ratio. What good is this CVT technology? Well, for one thing it eliminates the annoying, hard shifts that many automatics make (especially older hondas) where the rpm's climp incessantly higher before the up-shift is made, and it also makes for one of the best gas mileage of any auto that I know of (34/39!). So, if you're not a real driver (and believe me, manual is REAL driving), you regularly use a cellphone, have to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic or are just lazy, than the civic HX CVT is the best choice. As far as reliabilty of the CVT tranny, I don't really know much about it. I would guess that a rubber belt system, as opposed to a metal gear system, would be prone to more maintenance costs (just as a timing belt must be replaced, but a timing chain does not).