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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
What car have just done a group test on the 118d, A3 Sportback TDi 140, 08 Civic 2.2 ES and Golf (6) TDi 140.

Sadly, the Civic came last, mostly for ride and steering quality despite having a bigger boot and better engine than the rest.

golf6-20081126094708.png

Some snippets:

Engine:

The engine in the new Golf is no more powerful than the one in the old car, but it's smoother and more flexible. The Civics engine has a different character from the others: not as eager at high or low revs, but a huge mid range thump.

Ride and Handling:

Most of the Golf's suspension, steering and chassis parts are carried over from the previous model. ...already so good that nothing needed to change. ... the odd thud over bad potholes ... otherwise so smooth that you'd swear VW has developed hover-travel. The Golf's an excellent cruiser ... the steering is well weighted ... you'll run out of nerve long before the Golf runs out of grip. This incredible composure is especially reassuring, and you'll still feel involved enough to enjoy your driving.

The Civic's suspension is flustered by poor surfaces, but the ride quality improves as you pick up speed. The Civic is the first of these four to stumble on more demanding roads. It's steering ... is unnerving at higher speeds because there's minimal feel, and after that initial turn in it all becomes a little mushy. On top of that, the Civic doesn't grip as well as its rivals.

Refinement:

... new Golf the most refined yet. Some road noise gets through, but wind noise is well contained and the Golf is the quietest cruiser here. The new engine also helps: where the old TDi was loud, this one is quiet and smooth.

The Civic engine ... whistles and wheezes. The suspension clunks noisily over bumpy roads, too, but the Civic is peaceful enough on the motorway.

To live with:

Golf cabin... as radical as cereal at breakfast. Visibility ... isn't a problem in the Golf.

Civic .. futuristic ... can reflect in the windscreen. Civic's front pillars are rather thick, and rear vision is appalling.

Quality:


Golf ... it's hard to fault the finish or materials. There are more soft-touch plastics than before, plenty of smart details, and a slick precision to the way switches and controls work.

The Civic feels the cheaper car that it is. ... some of the materials are rather lightweight and most are hard to the touch. On the upside, mechanical reliability is as good as it gets, and Honda dealers were credited in our 2008 JD Power survey with being helpful and extremely efficient.

Conclusion:

Golf:

For: Outstanding ride, handling and refinement; comfortable cabin, good residuals, flexible engine, lots of safety kit, great image.

Against: Same-again looks may be a disappointment to some; no steering wheel mounted stereo controls as standard.

Verdict: The Golf is better than ever. Desirable, refined and great to drive, it's simply one the great all-rounders there is.

Civic:

For: Low price, well equipped; roomy and versatile cabin, engine has strong mid-range shove.

Against: Poor rear visibility, cabin looks low-rent in this company, fussy dash, vague steering, weakest residuals.

Conclusion: Funky and versatile, but style has triumphed over substance in places. No match for its rivals here.
 

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Lord of JAE.....
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5,395 Posts
The Civic feels the cheaper car that it is. ... some of the materials are rather lightweight and most are hard to the touch. On the upside, mechanical reliability is as good as it gets, and Honda dealers were credited in our 2008 JD Power survey with being helpful and extremely efficient.

ROFLMAO...............:rofl:
 

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Wine and cooking !
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Mmmm ... So Golf is still the standard ! So old fashioned but still a standard ;-)
 

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Is the Golf's boot any bigger? I ruled out buying the last one as the boot was too small.

Its the first thing I look at on a car, its doesn't matter what it is or how cheap, if the boot's too small its no good.
 

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The Talented Mr. Robbieee
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No excitment in the golf. I looked at the A3, golf and the civic. All really good cars.
 

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I hated my 2005 Golf, I found the ride too soft and the cabin was really cheap. Also was the most unreliable car I've ever owned, and I've owned Alfa's!

Much much happier with the Civic, ride is much more too my liking, although I do like a nice firm ride! Also the Vtec engine in the 1.8 is great for me as it loves to rev, much like my old Alfa.

Golf for me was boring, unreliable and a chore to drive.

And how can they put the 1 series second?? It's sooo over priced, especially if you want anything other than just the basics.

Hmm... maybe I should write for what car!
 

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Premium Member
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435 Posts
Can't comment on the new Golf as I haven't driven it, but they seem to have hit the nail squarely on the head regarding the Civic's weaknesses.
 

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radix lecti
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960 Posts
They miss out a crucial point: Insurance.


For myself, the difference between insurance group 10 and 14 (in the case of the golf) made circa £600 difference to the lowest quote.
 

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Premium Member
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Ok so i can agree with most that has been said and yes we can all strongly agree with the poor rear visuals but if that is the only main thing that is letting it down then...oh well

I still love my Civic i have no concerns with handling at all nor power fuel economy is ok but in think average for a car of similar spec
 

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Premium Member
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546 Posts
I had a 04 Golf 2.0 TDI and whilst it was a solid car it wasn't very interesting and the mechanical reliability was shocking lost count the number of times it was in the dealer for repairs and to be fair the quality of the work done by various dealerships let a lot to be desired.

And the paint wasn't any better than the civic

Civic is much more funky and fun to drive styling is much better and touch wood haven't had a problem with it yet
 

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I had a 04 Golf 2.0 TDI and whilst it was a solid car it wasn't very interesting and the mechanical reliability was shocking lost count the number of times it was in the dealer for repairs and to be fair the quality of the work done by various dealerships let a lot to be desired.

And the paint wasn't any better than the civic

Civic is much more funky and fun to drive styling is much better and touch wood haven't had a problem with it yet
I couldn't agree more, the amount of times we had to send back our Golf to the dealer was shocking, they never totally fixed it. In the end I gave up and used it as part exchange and got the Civic.
 

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Civic gone, not forgotten
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2,092 Posts
As What Car have moaned about the Civic in the past, they can't be seen to go back on their word so it was doomed from the start.

Spec wise, an SE would have been a closer rival than the ES and then the cost saving would be immense!!! Not that that would have made any differ ence though:rolleyes:
 

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Civinfo's Bulb Supplier
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2 points separating 2nd from 4th, and the Civic only scores 2 out of 5 for "behind the wheel" which is subjective so the civic could have easily come 2nd.

Also they fail to take into account list price and value for money.
 

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Premium Member
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525 Posts
Do we buy Civics for their looks...almost above everything else?

Maybe we should ask ourselves this:

Would I buy a Civic if it looked like a Golf?
 

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Performance is for all the cars the same, wel excuuuuse me but lots of dynoos have shown the 2.2 to be well over the factory figures, think it was 10 bhp extra. The figures added to the chart clearly show the civic to be the fastest( 0-100 was 8.6, no?). So i dont understand why it doenst get a 5. My friend drives a golf 5 and its a boring car too me, not to mention the incredible noise the 1.9 TDI made and while my civic has its rattles, the golf surely has them too. Now the new golf engine is good but is no match for the 2.2.
Begind the wheel in the civic doenst even score well!!! Is there any car with such an amazing dash in the same price list?
Vague steering, def NOT in my type-s, its as direct as you want it to be; These tests are just so subjective, in the end its what you like and not what on old fat bloke (clarckson ;) ) thinks of the car.
My civic is number one for me, even with its small faults and niggles
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #19
I bought the Civic over the Golf 5, because despite the fact that I found the Golf to handle and steer better, I didn't like the rattly 2.0 diesel and I found the interior to be dull and low quality.

I'd be interested to see how the Golf 6 drives, because they appear to have addressed these issues - it's allegedly the same as a 5 but with a better, quieter engine and a higher quality interior.

Woette - all the cars tested had a top speed within 2 mph of each other (the Civic was the slowest) indicating similar performance.
 

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Super Moderator
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21,011 Posts
As much as it's painful for us, at the end of the day, this is a review by someone who has driven the cars back to back and given an opinion.

Presumably if we were to arrange test drives back to back would we think the same?

What these tests don't consider is brand reliability, of which VW have definately slipped, and reports here indicate that they have become rattlers with little chance of a dealer fix.
Audi's are just too expensive when you spec them up.
 
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