GTI vs. Civic Si vs. MAZDASPEED3

08-03-2008, 06:35 AM
Some background info first:
-I'm a second-year college student looking to buy my first car within the next year
-Trying to stay between $20,000-25,000
-Looking for something fun to drive that isn't a full-blown sports car (too expensive and my parents would kill me)... a "sport compact" kinda thing, I guess
-I *sort of* know how to drive stick-- I learned on my friend's car but I haven't had more than a few hours of experience, so I'm still a newbie-- so I guess a forgiving transmission might be nice?

So here's what I think about each car, prove me wrong (or right :P):

Volkswagen GTI
From what I hear, interior quality is the nicest, and friends have told me that an ECU flash (which is relatively cheap, no?) will give huge performance gains... DSG is intriguing but it doesn't seem as fun as stick... I'm worried about reliability though, I've heard bad things about German cars.

Honda Civic Si
I was really sold on this car until I found out about the super low torque... VTEC doesn't seem that great to me; I don't want to be constantly redlining the thing (wouldn't it kill my gas mileage and/or attract unwanted police attention?). Interior is kinda weird and I'm undecided about the looks... but it is the cheapest, and I could get it WITH navigation for the price of the other cars stock.

I've really been leaning towards this recently... it looks nice inside and out and most importantly it's the fastest of the bunch (:D)... and maybe this is a little vain of me but you don't see too many of these on the road, unlike the other two (especially the Civic).

Other cars I'm considering but am not especially into for various reasons:
Audi A3-- Really nice, but it basically just seems like a more expensive GTI...
Acura RSX-s-- I LOVE the way this car looks but from what I can tell it's basically the same as the Si, and I dunno how my parents would feel about me getting a used car
Volvo C30-- Nice, but it doesn't seem very performance oriented

That's about it... comments, suggestions, corrections? Any input would be appreciated, I'm pretty torn... thanks!

08-03-2008, 06:53 PM
Ive seen tons of comparos in magazines between the Si and GTi, and the Si was overwhelmingly praised as the superior of the two. You can drive it like an economy car, but the extra power is there if you need it. The steering response was sharper and was simply a more fun car to drive. Take a look at the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, its pretty similar to the previous two.

08-05-2008, 11:52 PM
I'll say this...

The GTI is the best all arounder.

The Si lacks torque and is not as useful as the GTI's hatch. The interior is not as nice and lacks refinement. Only thing it has that I like is a LSD.

The MS3 does have more power, but its reliability is more in question, to me, then the GTI's. It's a Ford. Also, the interior as good as it looks, is not put together very well. I drove one and it seemed like it was going to fall apart on me on a simple off ramp going 40 mph. I was like jeez, this car is brand new and sounds like it has 70,000 miles on it w/all the creaks, groans, and moans. Also, 5 door hatches do nothing for me.

GTI has won Automobile of the Year, the engine has been hailed as the best 2.0 liter motor, it's in the Car and Driver's Top Ten Rides...plenty of ppl have loved it. I'd definitely stick to the manual, but the DSG is supposedly the cat's meow.

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