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Honda Civic, Volkswagen GTI, Coupe, Hatchback
#114 of 523 GTI vs. Si
Oct 06, 2002 (1:28 pm)
I've now test driven both the 2003 Si and GTI, and I have to say, I'm leaning toward leaving Honda after owning them for 20 years. The VW is clearly faster, at least in the around town type driving I'm likely to do, and the GTI's interior is simple and classy compared to the Civic's busyness. I can't stand that metallicized plastic console over the shifter, and for me the driving position was not that comfortable- the steering wheel requires you to extend your arms too much.
Having said all that I'm still leery of the VWs. The Civic is a good car, and I've had great reliability with all my Hondas. How's VWs recent record? I know their past is not so hot, but things seem to be improved. Appreciate any feedback.
Oct 06, 2002 (2:20 pm)
If you are going to compare the SI which is $19,000 to a $21,000 GTI why not compare the GTI to a $23,000 RSX.
Buy what you like. You can make arguments either way for either vehicle. The SI has a better tranny but the GTI faster. The GTI has better brakes but the SI handles better. For me, at $16,000 the SI was an unbeatable deal especially when taking into account VW's iffy reliability.
#116 of 523 VW vs. GTI
Oct 06, 2002 (7:13 pm)
Not sure where you found the Si for 16K, but I'm in South Fla. and the best price I have so far is at the dealer invoice- 17,800. I was quoted 18,300 for the GTI so there's not much difference in money. Have not yet looked at the RSX, but I doubt it will be in the price range of either. A lot really comes down to personal preference- I prefer the VW, others may not. But it is the reliabilty issue that gives me pause.
Oct 06, 2002 (7:17 pm)
I guess the price depends on where you are because here in GA I got my first one for $16,300 including tint and when I totalled that one I got the next one for $16,900 including fog lights, splash guards, and mats. The GTI is a nice car, don't get me wrong. In July when I bought my SI I had a chance to buy a 01 GTI VR6 GLX w/ 17k for $15,500 (kinda says something about it's resale value huh?) but VW's reliability scared me away.
Oct 06, 2002 (7:33 pm)
You can buy a civic si in south florida for around 16,700 at braman honda or rick honda.
Greetings from sunny Miami.
Oct 07, 2002 (9:58 am)
"In July when I bought my SI I had a chance to buy a 01 GTI VR6 GLX w/ 17k for $15,500 (kinda says something about it's resale value huh?) but VW's reliability scared me away. "
Going to KBB.com and looking at how much used GTIs would be worth, a GLX like you describe is worth $16.8k private party value in "fair" condition. In "good" it would be $18.1k. To get an '01 model year down to $15.5k it took a GLS in "fair" condition. Edmunds Used TMV prices were slightly lower, but still, that price you were offered almost seems like an anomaly. VW resale value is generally regarded very highly.
If resale value was really a concern for anyone, I don't think the '02 Si has good resale in its future. If you have to give it away (well below invoice) to get people to buy a new one...
And on the subject of reliability, while Honda may be the benchmark, besides window regulator issues, VW has been making strides in recent years, as have many other car manufacturers. So, basically, I don't see why it scared you away that much.
Oct 07, 2002 (2:16 pm)
I'm with you, after driving the MR2 I was very sold, but I had promised myself never to buy anything the first time I went to a dealership.
Oct 07, 2002 (3:14 pm)
NHTSA website for either VW Jetta or new beetle for the last three years or so. We wil have to wait to see if they are really making the strides you refer to. In the meantime, I would go with the Honda for reliability. As far as resale, since they can't give them away new, I think SI's will become to the normal Honda low-depreciation rule. Lease one instead, and leave the problem of resale to the dealer.
Oct 07, 2002 (4:42 pm)
gotenks: If you do trade in value on kbb.com you will see that a GLX in good condition is worth 15,900. This particular one was clean but the guy had springs on it and an exhaust. That probably drove the value down a bit. If I go and option a new GLX the price is $25,000 MSRP .. that's a drop of almost $10,000 in a little over a year. That's not good in my book. Compare that to my 2000 SI which had a MSRP of $17,500 and now almost 3 years and 33,000 miles later kbb puts it at $11,300 trade. That's only a loss of $6,000 with twice the miles and twice the age as the VW.
My 2002 SI may not hold crazy value like the 99-00's but it should hold it just as well as a Prelude, which they had a problem selling too. A nice clean Prelude will still get good money because they are rare just like the 02 SI's are going to be. Honda's problem isn't that the SI is bad I just think they tried to sell too many of them. They shoulda taken a clue from Ford and Mazda when it comes to projected sales. Ford brought 5000 SVT's here and Mazda is bringing 2000 MS3's .. that's a more reasonable number. With the economy kinda in the gutter right now it's hard to justify a $19,500 small hatchback .. now if more people knew you could buy them for around $17,000 it might be different.
VW"s reliability scares me away because I work for a car dealer and see them come in every day with various problems and our buyers will tell you to stay away from VW products. Plus, like I said, the 01 I was looking at had the sorry 2/24 warranty which only gives you 2 years of coverage for the thing that goes wrong on VW's the most .. electricals.
Oct 07, 2002 (6:52 pm)
Actually, those resale values work out pretty closely. Basing it with the MSRP of the GTI between $23-24k (they probably went for under sticker when new though, I'm not sure. I'm not sure whether or not the Si went under sticker either), the GTI retained in the mid-60s, percentage-wise, of its value. The Si did the same.
With the '02 Si apparantly not being as desirable as its predecessors though, is there really going to be a strong enough demand for it to keep its resale value up? The Prelude's resale value is impressive, about equal to the GTI's (about $23k-ish MSRP down to $15.5k trade-in for an '01 17k), but I still have my doubts about the '02 Si. Only time will tell, of course.