Last post on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:11 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Golf
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Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Hatchback
#321 of 667 Civic vs. Golf Performance Facts
May 26, 2000 (7:16 am)
Civic Si vw. Golf 1.8 Turbo
There is a magazine review (I have it at home) comparing these machines.
The Honda has 200 horses (versus 150 for the VW).
The Honda is a couple hundred pounds lighter.
So the Honda is quicker, right? WRONG.
The VW beats it in 0-60 times over and over.
Why? German horse-power vs. Japanese HP!!!
Japanese HP is almost a "theoretical" figure because you can't use it. Its always at MAX RPM and exists for a micro-second before you shift.
German cars have torque at useable RPM. You are in the power band ALL THE TIME, not hitting 200 HP for a micro-second.
For $1000- you can replace the entire exhaust on a Honda and get another 10% power ... 15% if you're lucky.
For $500- you can bump a VW turbo to 200 H.P. and BLOW AWAY ANY STOCK JAPANESE CAR FOR SALE UNDER $50,000- (many companies make "chip upgrades" for this). This is the same engine that puts out 225 HP in the Audi TT (with a bigger turbo on it) and is used in Audi A4 rally cars putting out over 350 HP reliably! (see http://www.tap1.com for VW/Audi turbo race cars) It is one of the toughest engines in production.
But even stock, its monstrous torque from less than 2000 RPM means it will launch from a stop-light while a Japanese car is either:
1. puttering up towards its power-band
2. smoking one tire while the other slowly accelerates the car.
Even my diesel Beetle embarasses Honda and Toyota V6s off the stop lights and its only rated at 90 HP! (but by the other side of the intersection, while I'm shifting to 2nd they're just hitting their power-band in 1st and would rocket past ... if the traffic wasn't sitting still up ahead ... this is Seattle after all!)
#322 of 667 carlady
May 26, 2000 (3:12 pm)
181kmiles, in addition to the responses you get here, please be sure to check out the Smart Shopper conference. I believe they have a topic on best dealers that could be helpful to you.
May 31, 2000 (10:04 pm)
There is no Civic stock with 200hp.
Motortrend just test drove the Jetta 1.8L (turbo) with 150hp and put it up against the Nissan Sentra. The VW did 0-60 in 7.8s and the Civic Si with 160hp (it's the fastest Civic there is in the US) does it in 7.2sec.
Tell us which magazine you saw this in, what month and the page# please.
#324 of 667 Just a little FYI...
Jun 02, 2000 (3:27 am)
I've seen two different specs on the 1.8t Golf. SportCompact which was 8.2, and European Car which was the lowest at 7.3. In European Car they compared a 1.8t Beetle to an Si a few months back. They were able to launch the Beetle to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. While getting the Si to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The Golf was supposed to be faster than the beetle because of aerodynamics and weight. I could be wrong but I do believe that the little Golf has always been just a tad faster than the Jetta.
#325 of 667 I agree with most of you...
Jun 02, 2000 (6:02 pm)
However, simply looking at the numbers doesn't tell you much about a car's real potential. No one will argue that the Si is a powerful, performing little fun car. But in order to accelerate properly, like only1harry points to, you have to rev up the Honda engine a lot, to the point that it's the clutch which 'gradually' transfers the power to the wheels (not very elegant, makes a lot of noise, and wears out both tires and clutch in a fast time). It's exactly the same if you compare a Ferrari and a Porsche. Both are great (and fast) cars, but if your aim is to scratch other cars at green lights, go for the Porsche. I am not saying that car is better, it just has a lot more torque than the latin competitor. Interestingly, in Europe, high revving cars are associated with Southern Europe and 'torquey' engines with Northern Europe. Having spent much time in both regions, I am still undecided, and would love to see both a Ferrari AND a Porsche in my garage!
Formula One cars, I believe have a 1.5 liter engine from which they churn out 600-800 bhp. Weighing in at about 1000lbs, they will do the 0-60'' in about 2.5 seconds I believe, although their torque is absolutely miserable (these cars rev up to 16,000 rpm)
Jun 03, 2000 (3:16 am)
alfaromeo, for the good and enjoyable information!
Jun 04, 2000 (1:53 am)
You're welcome! My technical knowledge is not as thorough as that of many who participate in this column.
By reading some posts (and not only in this column) I get the impression that people get all worked up in trying to define the better car.
To me, that's nonsense.
Setting 'everything' aside, choosing between Honda or Wolksvagen is a question of what sort of driver you are. One is high revving, the other is 'germanic', i.e. low torque.
Assuming you drive a stick shift, this means that a Honda will require you to 'pull' through the gears, and to some that contributes to driving pleasure (more 'sporty'). You also need to down shift a lot more. Again, some like that style.
VW, on the other hand appeals mostly to people who like a 'no-nonsense' ride, with power and torque in the low range.
Better? More fun? There is no absolute answer to those questions.
Again, to make a proper analogy, Honda's roadster (I can't remember the name) is very powerful, yet produces very little torque. That is why it addresses another buyer than the guy who would buy a Mercedes roadster with the same power.
American food? French?
Italian ...shoes? or English?
Need we say more?
Jun 05, 2000 (7:25 am)
I completely understand where your coming from alfaromeo; however in my opinion the specs produced by the magazines can be pretty helpful in giving a person some type of an idea on the performance capability of a particular car. Take for instance any sport bike (which cost a heck of a whole lot less than any Formula One race car) which can be propelled from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. Now I know for a fact that the best I can do 0-60 mph on a bike is about 4-5 seconds; however it gives me one heck of an ego boost to know that my bike is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. I know that I don't have a way with words like most people, but hopefully you can see my point.
Only1harry, this months issue of Sport Compact has a VW Golf 1.8t vs Honda Si article which is pretty interesting I think.
Jun 05, 2000 (2:12 pm)
I 'll try and get hold of one. Until I do can you summarize the tests a little? I 'm sure they liked the VW better. I would too because of the torque. I 'd take a 1.8L over a 1.6 which is why I chose the Integra GSR after looking at the SI.
I 'm really glad there is a mid-level VW now. The gap was too big before between the 115 & 170 V6 motors.
#330 of 667 VW Golf or Honda Civic?
Jun 06, 2000 (1:38 pm)
I'm interested in the Golf GLS and the Civic EX. I'm leaning towards the Golf after I test drove it (it was a lot of fun to drive!), but I still have some questions:
1)Is the Golf GLS is a good investment?
2) How reliable is it? I plan to keep it for awhile
3) Any great deals? Great warranties?