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CivicX vs. GTI

Discussion in 'Civic versus...' started by takemorepills, Dec 10, 2015.




  1. takemorepills Senior Member

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    Been on here a while, long time fan of older Hondas. The new CivicX definitely is an appealing car to me, but the long drawn out silence on the Si, plus the threat of an Si equipped with a 1.5T has seriously got me worried, I am now going a different direction. The GTI has reeled me in, and I am in the process of purchasing one (lease, in case I decide I don't like it, I can get an Si later)

    I could call this a Si vs. GTI, but honestly the new CivicX with 1.5T spreads good performance across many trims, much like the Golfs have TSI (1.8T) and GTI (2.0T), I feel blurring the line a little is OK, and I'll try and compare the GTI's strengths fairly to the 1.5T and the sense of what the SI has been and may be.

    Price:
    GTI minimum entry price: 2dr S 6MT about $24.8K, prices go WAY up to $39K, at which point it doesn't make sense to compare the upper strata GTIs to any CivicX currently offered. A 4dr SE GTI with DSG ($29.7K) is about as far as I would go in comparing to a Touring CivicX

    CivicX minimum EX-T about $23.2K, Touring $26.5K.

    It seems CivicX has the benefit of price? Not really, VW is hurting right now, CivicX is new and VW incentives are steep due to "DieselGate". I can get a GTI S DSG with lighting package for $23.3K right now, which includes VW's current $1500 non-VW owner bonus. I'll say "tie" for now, hard to compare these 2 on price and mission directly.

    Advantage: debatable

    But, going forward I will compare GTI S DSG with lighting package to a Civic EX-T...

    Style:
    GTI is blocky, conservative and Teutonic. Not too far different from my 87 Prelude's blockiness and other "Legendary" old school Honda's like the old hatchbacks and Preludes. In my mind a "win", for me personally. Probably a design that will age very well because it adheres to basics and not trends.
    Also helps that GTIs are available as 5 and 3 door hatchbacks. This is huge to me, as of course, I miss the days Honda offered 3 door Civic and CRX. The CivicX is almost certainly not going to gift us with a 3 door variant.

    CivicX is very curvy, swoopy, has a bunch of added in body lines. In my mind, it is the best looking take on this way of designing cars. The CivicX looks great for a new language style, I really like it. But I personally prefer more restraint like the older Hondas had. But still, I call this one a win too just because Honda did what they had to do to be current and they are killing everyone else in this type of design language. 5 door hatch on the way is a very strong plus.

    Advantage: personal preference.

    Reliability:
    GTI is a VW, and VW has a bad reputation. The Mk7 GTI on MQB platform, however, is proving to be far better than all VW's prior to it. This car MAY reach a "good" rating in reliability in due time. I will be a guinea pig. In the year and a half this car has been out, there has been a relative silence on enthusiast forums about issues. I am somewhat shocked. But...

    CivicX carries Honda's well earned reputation. Wouldn't surprise me if the X continues on.

    Advantage: CivicX

    Quality:
    GTI Mk7 has a slight downturn in perceived quality, but it is still regarded as extremely high for a compact car. No widespread reports of rattles. Soft materials nearly everywhere, good quality of even base materials.

    CivicX is a huge leap in quality. People have referred to it as almost "German-like". Good for Honda. However, I have heard that the cloth seat material is a bit off-putting to quite a few members here.

    Advantage: GTI, because it is a continuation of German perceived "quality" and CivicX just recently entered that perception also.

    Standard equipment (GTI S DSG with lighting package vs. EX-T)
    GTI: Here the GTI probably ekes out a "win" with it's AFS bi-xenon headlights that turn with your steering wheel, XDS+ vehicle dynamics system, red LED accented door panels, seat style, back seat style. Aside from electronic park brake, the "S" trim GTI is similar to EX-T. The fact that VW offers lighting package as a separate item kills the EX-T and it's fixed option structure. Even the Touring LED headlights can't compete with AFS Bi-Xenons. VW MIB2 infotainment system has slightly smaller screen than Honda's Android based system, and is also having bugs (but not as bad as Civic). The MIB2 system wins for me because it has a CD player, 2 SD card slots and USB along with Android Auto and Apple. The MIB2 has more hardware, and CivicX has more expansion due to Android.

    CivicX holds it's own, has electronic parking brake and Android based infotainment. However, I strongly dislike the infotainmet being married to the HVAC, the current bugginess of it is not forgivable in my mind.

    Advantage: debatable, but...GTI

    Performance:
    GTI, well it's gonna kill the CivicX here. Way under rated 2.0 is rated at 210/258, but dyno's at the wheel 225/260, which is crazy. ALL dyno'ed GTIs over achieve on the dyno. AND, the DSG is not a penalty box at all, either 6MT or DSG GTI can be heavily tuned. XDS+, legendary GTI suspension tuning, strong brakes. No contest. DSG is way better for performance than CVT any day. And the GTI DSG is a great trans. Also, 2.0T can be had with 6MT in any trim.

    CivicX performance out of the box is commendable for the 1.5T, however severely limited in potential by 1.5T being small and stuck with CVT. Upcoming Si won't stand a chance unless it gets it's own 2.0T and is as surprising as the 1.5T. CivicX brakes are very good now, no issues there.

    Advantage: GTI, GTI, GTI

    MPGs:
    GTI: not bad for what the car is capable of.

    CivicX: obviously better MPGs.

    Advantage: CivicX

    Value:
    GTI: In base S, leather SE or with the $1500 Performance Package on the S or SE, the GTI is an excellent value WHEN you take advantage of VW's current troubles. These cars can be had for $800 under invoice plus a $1500 bonus. Getting the Autobahn package and driver assist tech pushes the GTI into $38K territory. I am no fan of driver assist, if you are a, CivicX Touring would be a better deal. If you care about performance the GTI in lower trims is a better deal. I must note that even base GTIs are well equipped with LED fogs, infotainment system, etc.

    CivicX: In light of the lower level GTIs, I don't think the EX-T is currently the best deal. But a Touring certainly is a great deal to those who value drivers aids over performance.

    Advantage: GTI S beats EX-T.


    So, that's my opinions right there. Can't wait to hear what others think. I have spent a lot of time mulling these choices, and as a Honda nut I still chose GTI.
     
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  2. Design Senior Member

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    GTI is a better built car. Period.

    The appeal of Honda is being over-engineered for longevity. And with that comes the resale value. Very few VWs ever cross the 200K mark unless an owner is on point with every single hiccup. Historically, VW failure rates go up exponentially, compared to Honda, once they cross 70-80K. And with that, the total cost of ownership (well beyond the typical 5yr/60K comparisons).
    http://tradeinqualityindex.com/reports/Volkswagen.html
    http://tradeinqualityindex.com/reports/Honda.html



    One of the most honest quotes I've heard comparing any VW to any Honda:

     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  3. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    I agree. I wouldn't want to consider a German car for the long term. My Prelude is nearly 30 years old (manufactured 11/86) and I have EVERY receipt for it. Tires, 2 clutches, oil changes, 3 timing belts, tune-ups, brakes, batteries etc. Never towed into a dealer, and the first time something "broke" was earlier this year, the thermostat stuck open. Oh yeah, original radiator too. Wish I could say the same for my 2007 Nissan.
    But, I am very frustrated with Honda for putting that infotainment radio in the CivicX and tying in the HVAC controls. IMO, the CivicX can last as long as my Prelude, but think about that Android radio after 30 years....even 10 years...no thank you. It is a serious disservice to the Honda reputation to build in something that is destined to certainly become terribly outdated long before the car expires.

    Also, many people lease ot trade in so frequently they will not mind that Android radio in the Civic, nor will they ever own a car out of warranty period. For these kinds of car owners, the GTI is an excellent alternative at this time. Much more so than a Mazda3!

    Hopefully, the SI will rock and someone will figure out how to carve that cancerous Android radio from the dash of the CivicX so I can get back to long term Honda ownership.
     
  4. Allain New Member

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    What's the factory warranty like for the Golf / GTI?
     
  5. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    3/36 basic, 5/60 powertrain. I'll be leasing for 36 mo, turn it in right when lease expires.
     
  6. s2ker

    s2ker Senior Member

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    The GTI infotainment system will also be way outdated in 10 or 30 years.
     
  7. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    No sh1t man.

    That's my point. Now that most car's baked-in obsolescence has the same lifespan as a German car's warranty, I may as well drive the German car.

    I'll be keeping an eye on the Si.......
     
  8. Design Senior Member

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    Meh, I do think infotainment is becoming an easy thing to bypass - even integrated ones.

    Rumor is iDataLink is already working on a module for the Civic.
     
  9. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    Cool. I think the aftermarket will figure it out. The hvac integration complicates things though
     
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  10. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    So after work I went to look at the CivicX and GTI. The dealers share a common lot. CivicX is very nice, but I didn't bother to drive it. I test drove the GTI, the moment I opened the door I knew I had to buy it. I got to try launch control a few times also. Very impressed with the power. Build quality is amazing, seats were awesome. So I ordered a red 4 door SE DSG with lighting package. The SE has leather, panorama sunroof, etc. I did end up paying $28k for it, way more than I could have bought a CivicX for, but no Si yet so.....yeah here's to hoping Honda does the right thing. 2.0T Si with DCT option. If they do, when my lease is up I'll be back.

    Enjoy your cars guys, it's a good time to be enjoying such awesome cars!
     
  11. Design Senior Member

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    Good pickup. Enjoy!
     
  12. HondaGeek

    HondaGeek Senior Member

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    When I was selling luxury cars, I would tell people a simple truth. "German cars drive well when everything is working properly". Having stints with Acura, BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, based on customer feedback, the amount of engine bays for each brand, loaner vehicles, recalls, warranty work, etc, without question, the Japanese brands were more reliable.

    And as far as better built, not performance, but just pure build quality (which to me includes longevity and how well everything holds up together), nothing comes close to Lexus. I have seen hundreds of cars from all these brands, and when looking at similar models, with similar years, miles, etc, the Lexus always holds up better. No rattles, fit and finish is still "fit", etc.

    In the end, the Civic Touring really had no chance against the GTI. They are two very different vehicles all together. Yes, the GTI is very fun to drive. But I have dealt personally with people who have them and you really do have to keep on with the maintenance to make sure everything is always working properly.

    I drive my cars very hard. Three Sis which every day were driven past 8K RPMs and have had zero issues.

    That being said, I do wish you the best with this GTI and hope that you get a good one, unlike Autoblog who have had issues with their GTI this year.

    Lastly, I know people want an auto tranny on the Si, but I still believe that the Si and Type R should be manual only. How could they not, when Honda makes the best manuals in the world (stated by pretty much every automotive publication on the planet)
     
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  13. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    Mostly agree with you except on Lexus. I would say that Lexus specific models like LS are excellent build quality. Shared Toyota platforms feel less "special", although actual quality is quite good.

    Regarding GTI issues, from my year plus of scouring the internet, it turns out, anecdotally at least, the WRX is having more issues. That was also being considered by me. But, motors are grenading and they are having an issue with the pitch stop mount. Gotta remember the internet condenses the bad experience, motivates people who'd otherwise not go online to discuss cars.

    That's why I'm leasing. I think leasing German is ok. Also the new Honda's aren't what I would consider a good long term proposition anymore. To me, a new Honda with an Android infotainment system has become a lease type vehicle.
     
  14. HondaGeek

    HondaGeek Senior Member

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    Yes. Only lease a new German car. I agree with you completely.

    As far as Lexus is concerned, the entire range has excellent build quality, especially when compared to their German counterparts. The reality is that many BMW and Mercedes fans make fun of Lexus, Acura and Infiniti because they share components with their non-luxury counter parts. How is that a negative when it comes to build quality? Sure, it can result in some design similarities, but that does not impair quality. Hell, when Lexus came out with the first ES, it was engineered from top to bottom as a Lexus, which was then stripped down and became a Camry, instead of the other way around. Its a fact that Toyotas and Hondas are more reliable than any German luxury vehicles (numbers dont lie), although the British take the cake with the Land Rover of the last 10 years. The LS is the best built (not talking performance) car in the world. But the other models are equally good. Even the ES350, which is perceived as an old women's car, has a very high build quality. The biggest evidence, however, is when you get five year old models and compare all the brands together. This is when you really see the difference.

    Agree with you completely about the WRX and Subaru in general. Friend of mine was a mechanic at Subaru for years and he would tell me the stories of oil issues (burning and leaking), with their turbo engines, more with the STi than any other model.

    Reliability is such a big part for me, that even if the car drove absolutely amazing, I simply could not consider it. Time is money, as they say, and having to bring your car to the shop for weeks at a time (like my friends who drive and sell BMW) is not an option for me. Rather, I don't want to make it an option.

    Getting a reliable, new German car is a coin flip. I hope you get a good one.
     
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  15. OP

    takemorepills Senior Member

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    I still have my Prelude and Titan, and the dealer is right next to my house. So far I like the dealer. No big deal if it's unreliable, I'll be back for an Si and I'll update my experience.
     
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