Honda Civic Si Takes on Volkswagen GTI Despite Price Difference
Even when the game is rigged from the start, a good competitor can still win some battles while losing the war.
We came across this comparison from Car and Driver recently, which pits the Honda Civic Si against the Volkswagen GTI. Though it’s four-door hot hatch versus sedan, the author Jeff Sabatini acknowledges it, writing, “[we ignored] their dissimilarity in body style to focus on their shared enthusiast-friendly mission.” Fair enough.
We’ll just ruin this bit right away: the Si takes home the silver as the GTI, unsurprisingly, gets the victory. But, we’re calling this a win for the Civic. Why? Well, for starters, the comparison does what few shoppers would do and waves a magic wand over a $7,025 price gap. That’s the difference between the $24,990 Si and the $32,015 GTI they compared it to. Especially when, despite the price difference (which picks up an LSD and other goodies for the GTI) they come to this conclusion: “The Civic was exceptional in the canyons, where the GTI was still quite good, nearly its equal.” How’s that for good? The Si not only hangs with the GTI, a perennial sport-compact favorite, it’s better when things get twisty!
Much of the praise lavished on the Si centers around the Honda’s excellent chassis. For example: “Where the Si corners flat, promising never-ending grip, the GTI leans, warning the driver to back off earlier than necessary. Whereas the Si dives into corners with an almost twitchy eagerness to rotate, the GTI is more methodical in its attack, taking its set and then relying on its helical limited-slip differential* to pull itself around the bend.” These are precisely the reasons anyone would consider the Si instead of a regular Civic.
ALSO SEE: Honda-tech Drives the New Civic Si
Briefly, the GTI takes the crown on fit-and-finish, superior infotainment, and greater power. We didn’t think the last Civic we drove was that bad, but then we saw the pictures. It’s the one with the touch-screen for volume. This isn’t the best system Honda’s ever made or even has on the market currently. We’ll give ‘em that.
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