Civic vs Golf - Another Review! - Civinfo
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 13:02 Thread Starter
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Civic vs Golf - Another Review!

This is my little comparison between the Civic and the Golf. Focus on practicality, quality and my views of the engine and gear box and the car on the road.

As most of you know, the plastic in the dash is quite easy to scratch and many Civinfo members complain about dash rattles and things like that.

However I have learnt that this is not only the Civic.

So, I rolled around in an 3 month old Golf TDI 140 (about 500 miles) and here is my feelings about that:

Practicality
The first thing I noticed about the Golf was the boot. It felt small. I had to double check it was a Golf. For a moment there I thought it was a Polo. Not a very good first impression... I imagined the boot would be closer to the Civ - but... no.

The front seats felt a bit cramped, but not bad. The cup holders were not very impressive either. Putting a 50 cl bottle in the front of the door pocket was not very successful even though it looked like it was designed for a bottle. It kept falling backwards when the door was opened.

For me, the Civic wins this section hands down (and we have not even touched the Magic rear seats )

Felt Quality
I accidently scratched the plastic on the dash with my nails. I thought "what the h....! This is a Golf - that should not be happening!"

I just had to test again. Of course I tested it on a location where it would not be seen - and poof! A nasty scratch, using nothing but the index finger nail!

To be honest, the material felt more or less the same as my Civic.

It also had more than one annoying rattle, The plastic trim just under the window, the nozzles to the aircon between the front seats and something else I could not find.

So in this section there is a tie - but since I have very few rattles in my civic the Civ is favored anyway.

On the road
The Golf was comfortable to say the least but also quite stiff handling. This particular model was equipped with 16" wheels, so I would have expected a softer ride. At speed the Golf felt good and solid. It went where it was pointed. The difference in quality on the tyres I have on the Civ and this Golf makes it difficult to really say which was the best.

Engine and Gearbox
The engine I had the pleasure to test was a 140 TDI. It had quite a pull, at low speeds and a decent fuel economy. But... it sounded like a tractor and when it was revved it you though it was about to break into bits when getting up at around 4500 rpm. It was nothing wrong with it, but the sound was horrible! Coming from my 1.8 petrol, which sounds like a racer when revved.

I have not yet had the pleasure to test a Diesel Civic, but from what I have understood it does not sound like a tractor.

The gearbox very good. In part this made up for the terrible sound.

I feel the 1.8 Civic felt quicker, but of course, only if revved a bit. So the Golf is behind in this section too.

Styling
The Golf has Style? Nuff said...
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 13:07
 
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Boot on the Golf is microscopic compared to the Civic, an interesting review!
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 15:51
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Good to see the potential issues with the Civic put into perspective,comparison wise to the Golf
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 16:44
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How you can compare unsame things? (you haven't learned this is school?)

Golf is just a car and Civic is a spaceship!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 17:13
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How you can compare unsame things? (you haven't learned this is school?)

Golf is just a car and Civic is a spaceship!
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 23rd August 2008, 17:30
 
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Personally I cannot see how you can begin to compare build quality.
I have a Civic and my wife a VW GT Tdi - the Golf is a much better built car.
I have no bias as my review on my Civic was good with no problems to list, but having both cars in the family I can say that the Golf is better quality but also more expensive. When it comes to speed unfortunately my 1.8 cannot compete with the Diesel and my only regret is that I didnt go for a Diesel Civic.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 09:48 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rneilg View Post
Personally I cannot see how you can begin to compare build quality.
I have a Civic and my wife a VW GT Tdi - the Golf is a much better built car.
I have no bias as my review on my Civic was good with no problems to list, but having both cars in the family I can say that the Golf is better quality but also more expensive. When it comes to speed unfortunately my 1.8 cannot compete with the Diesel and my only regret is that I didnt go for a Diesel Civic.
I never said "build quality", I said "felt quality", which is quite subjective. I would expect that a car such as the Golf is of better quality than the Civic due to the higher price - but after this experience I am not at all that sure about that anymore. I may have had too high expectations on the Golf - but for me, it didn't live up to it's reputation.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 10:29
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Last time I drove a golf comming from my Civic, the dash on the Golf felt like it belonged on a Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa from the mid 80s in comparisson. Other than this, I liked the Golf. But the higher price and the boring looks of the Golf mean that I'm quite happy with my Civic.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 13:52
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will be interestng to compare the all new golf against the facelifted civic
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 14:18
 
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will be interestng to compare the all new golf against the facelifted civic
New Golf is way too dull.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 14:32
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New Golf is way too dull.
I was meaning more in terms of overall quality, build, plastics etc
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 14:37
 
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I know, but could you own something that boring??
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 15:16
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I know, but could you own something that boring??

well said !
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 18:23
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The Golf is a good car for those that like a more conservative image - the civic is for those of us who like to stand out a little

Thanks for the very informative review. I think it puts a lot of things into perspective.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 18:54
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Quote:
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The Golf is a good car for those that like a more conservative image - the civic is for those of us who like to stand out a little

Thanks for the very informative review. I think it puts a lot of things into perspective.
Exactly HM, and when all is said and done it's purely down to personal taste.

The Golf is a little boring looking though isn't it?
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 24th August 2008, 20:49
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The Golf is a little boring looking though isn't it?
Can't disagree with you DR
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 27th August 2008, 22:06
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Good review and comparison test.
Thanks!
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 28th August 2008, 00:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rneilg View Post
Personally I cannot see how you can begin to compare build quality.
I have a Civic and my wife a VW GT Tdi - the Golf is a much better built car.
I have no bias as my review on my Civic was good with no problems to list, but having both cars in the family I can say that the Golf is better quality but also more expensive. When it comes to speed unfortunately my 1.8 cannot compete with the Diesel and my only regret is that I didnt go for a Diesel Civic.
Is your wife's car a Mk IV or a Mk V Golf?

IMO the mk IV dash feels like an Audi A3, the Mk V like a Skoda Octavia.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 29th August 2008, 13:29
 
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Hi, it is mark V if that makes any difference to you.
As I said previously I have no bias we have both cars in the family.

It is all personal taste. For example i had a go in a 1.4 civic diesel and was shocked at the total lack of performance - there is a car that looks good but has nothing more to offer. Some might say a case of "all fur coat and no knickers!".

But it is personal choice at the end of that day.
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 1st September 2008, 21:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rneilg View Post
But it is personal choice at the end of that day.
Have to agree with you on this one. Like you, my wife drives a Mk V golf (though its the 1.4TSI). A lots been said about the build quality (or lack of) in the civic. I've driven both cars and I find it difficult to describe the differences in both (obviously not referring to the styling here but rather the perception of level of quality). Nonetheless I'll try with an analogy. The golf to me is like a length of metal rod, thick and dense. You strike it against a surface and all you get is a heavy low thud. The civic on the other hand is like a hollow length of metal piping. You strike it against a surface, and it vibrates and resonates and gives off a loud twanging sound. The fact that its hollow or vibrates noisily when struck does not necessarily mean its any less stronger or durable than the denser, thicker rod. It just feels "different."

I am no engineer. But this difference in perception of both cars is either because the golf comes with much better sound insulation in the doors and between the engine bay and cabin. Or because the civic comes with a "crappy" suspension set-up leading to all the in-cabin jolts and rattles (or perhaps both).

That's my attempt at comparing the two cars. Reading it over again, not sure it makes any sense

"Crappy" suspension or not, I love my civic, and would never trade it in for a golf.

PS I drive the 1.8 sport
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