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:
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
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.
The Golf has Style? Nuff said...