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Thread: Jetta vs Civic?

  1. #1
    CPS Technician
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    Canada Jetta vs Civic?

    DP and I have to buy a car. We're leaning towards new since he is not handy at all with cars, and while I am in some ways we really want to not have to worry about fixing cars for once.

    We're looking at small sedans, but they still need to fit all 6'2" of DP. We have no children yet, but we want a car that will be car seat friendly since we plan on keeping this car as long as possible. Current favourites are a VW Jetta and a Honda Civic. We've test driven both and he fit in both comfortably. I lean toward the Jetta (especially if we can stretch the budget for a TDI, although that'd doubtful), he leans toward the Civic. Also in consideration are a Toyota Corolla and a Ford Focus, although the Focus is a reluctant consideration only because my cousin works at the dealership and keeps promising steep discounts.

    Ok, if you made it through my unnecessarily long ramble, my question is anyone have experience with seats in these cars? I've installed in a Honda before, but none of the others and I don't exactly have seats sitting around to try in them. Any other cars in the same price range and size we should be considering? Any input would be appreciated, we really want to have as much info to take into consideration as possible.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy jgomez411's Avatar
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    We have a 2012 Civic. Our daughter just turned 2 and since she is our only child, we can stick MyRide (a bulky seat if you are not familiar) rearfacing in the center seat with no problem. With that being said though, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be for your tall husband if you had more than one carseat back there (just a thought in case you are planning on keeping the car for a long time). The gas mileage is good though which is very important since DH drives about 25000 miles a year.

  4. #3
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    Quote Originally Posted by jgomez411 View Post
    We have a 2012 Civic. Our daughter just turned 2 and since she is our only child, we can stick MyRide (a bulky seat if you are not familiar) rearfacing in the center seat with no problem. With that being said though, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be for your tall husband if you had more than one carseat back there (just a thought in case you are planning on keeping the car for a long time). The gas mileage is good though which is very important since DH drives about 25000 miles a year.
    We definitely want to keep it as long as possible, so multiple car seats in the back seat are possible. That's my worry with the Civic. He looked cramped to me in it with the seat all the way back, although he says he was comfortable. Any seat at all behind him would be an issue I think. In the Jetta he didn't even keep the seat all the way back, he brought it up some, so I'm thinking that extra room may be valuable.

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    I have a 2006 Civic and my dear friend has a 2012. Both of us have fit three carseats across the back without many issues.

    My friend currently has a Boulevard, Radian, and BubbleBum in her 2012 Civic and it works fine. She is 5'11" and her husband is at least an inch taller, and they haven't any issues with the Civic.

    I am not a fan of the Jetta at all (after having test drove both new ones and used ones, and also based on the experiences and reports of my brother the mechanic), so I am biased. I'd go with the Civic.


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  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    I have a Jetta. It's an older TDI though...2001. One thing that is important to know about VWs is that there is rarely a place to put a rear facing tether. Usually a tether will go around the front car seat track, but in most VWs, you can't wrap it around the track because the track is flush with the floor. So if tethering when rear facing is important to you, make sure you look into that.

    We currently have a RFing Marathon behind the driver and a FFing Radian in the middle. DH is only 5' 9" though, so he can have the seat forward a bit. We are trying to figure out a 3 across situation for our baby due in April, and it's proving to be quite a challenge.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy Mercuria's Avatar
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    Quote Originally Posted by rverrone11 View Post
    One thing that is important to know about VWs is that there is rarely a place to put a rear facing tether. Usually a tether will go around the front car seat track, but in most VWs, you can't wrap it around the track because the track is flush with the floor. So if tethering when rear facing is important to you, make sure you look into that.


    We're a VW family. I drive one (my second -- first one got sandwiched on a highway), my husband drives one, and my dad drives one (latest in a line of three in the last 30-ish years). They're engineered so that everything fits really close together. This is true in the engine compartment and in the cabin. People have managed to wiggle the D-ring around the seat track, but don't count on being able to RF tether. It's quite labor intensive, and I'm not sure it's not damaging.

    I should also point out that, in the long run, it will probably cost much more to maintain the VW (parts tend to be more expensive). Short term, scheduled maintenance is free.

    Of course, I still prefer to the VW (obviously).

  8. #7
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot201 View Post
    I have a 2006 Civic and my dear friend has a 2012. Both of us have fit three carseats across the back without many issues.

    My friend currently has a Boulevard, Radian, and BubbleBum in her 2012 Civic and it works fine. She is 5'11" and her husband is at least an inch taller, and they haven't any issues with the Civic.

    I am not a fan of the Jetta at all (after having test drove both new ones and used ones, and also based on the experiences and reports of my brother the mechanic), so I am biased. I'd go with the Civic.
    Hmm, that makes me want to test drive the Civic again, although I'm sure I remember his legs being sort of scrunched up with the seat all the way back (he's all legs of course) and there was no way a RF seat would fit behind him with it all the way back. If he had to be any further forward I don't know if he'd fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by rverrone11 View Post
    I have a Jetta. It's an older TDI though...2001. One thing that is important to know about VWs is that there is rarely a place to put a rear facing tether. Usually a tether will go around the front car seat track, but in most VWs, you can't wrap it around the track because the track is flush with the floor. So if tethering when rear facing is important to you, make sure you look into that.

    We currently have a RFing Marathon behind the driver and a FFing Radian in the middle. DH is only 5' 9" though, so he can have the seat forward a bit. We are trying to figure out a 3 across situation for our baby due in April, and it's proving to be quite a challenge.
    I'm not concerned about RF tethers. Here in Canada all new seats have some form of rebound control anyway, so I could opt for seats that don't use tethering as their rebound control, and I always did tend to lean toward the side of not RF tethering anyway. Three across is a good point, I should look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuria View Post


    We're a VW family. I drive one (my second -- first one got sandwiched on a highway), my husband drives one, and my dad drives one (latest in a line of three in the last 30-ish years). They're engineered so that everything fits really close together. This is true in the engine compartment and in the cabin. People have managed to wiggle the D-ring around the seat track, but don't count on being able to RF tether. It's quite labor intensive, and I'm not sure it's not damaging.

    I should also point out that, in the long run, it will probably cost much more to maintain the VW (parts tend to be more expensive). Short term, scheduled maintenance is free.

    Of course, I still prefer to the VW (obviously).
    The VW may cost a bit more to maintain you're right. I should check with DP's mechanic to see what he thinks about this, he'd do all the work after the dealership's free maintenance was done, and they're pretty good friends so he'd be honest. I prefer the VW too myself after seeing my parents drive an '87 Jetta until 2004. It was a tank. The engine still runs today.

  9. #8
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    We have a 2011 Jetta (Sportwagen TDI) and my IL's had a 2002 Civic. We ruled the Civic out b/c we wanted a hatchback/wagen to haul the dog. However, even if we'd wanted a sedan, we would not have taken the Civic as they get REALLY loud as they get older. When we drove my ILs Civic we had to shout in order to hear each other and we were sitting right next to each other. Our old CR-V got louder as it got older too, but not as badly as their Civic. That said, we had no problems getting 2 rfing Avenues in my ILs Civic. However, we are short people. I have the longest legs of the bunch of us.

    We love our Jetta. We put a rfing TFP behind the driver with plenty of room. I agree with others that it is difficult to rf tether in a VW (not impossible, but difficult). We have a rfing Radian behind the passenger. You can't use LATCH/ISOFIX in a Jetta w/ a Radian b/c it will loosen on its own. The AA will fix that (LATCH stays tight if the AA is in place, but w/o it the angle is such that it loosens itself). The classic Britax seats fit fine but again, you have the rfing tether issue. I have done a bunch of 3-across setups in the Jetta, lmk if you want to know what works. The newer Jettas have more room in the back (2011-current sedans are the new body style, 2011 and older Sportwagens have the old body-style), so more may fit there.

    I much prefer the Jetta and would buy it again even with slightly higher maintenance costs.
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  10. #9
    Senior Community Member veggiegirl228's Avatar
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    IMO, I'd go with the Civic. We had a 2011 Jetta as a rental I thought is was ok. I'm just not a fan of VW. I don't have much experience with Civic so I can't answer on that as they get older but I'm a huge Honda fan. Our neighbor had an older Civic (late 90's or early 00') and he had a ton of miles on it when they sold it. They drive a new one (12') and he's a good 6' to 6'2" and it seems quite pleased with the car.
    Jennifer, SAHM to DD, 9.9 yrs old, 4'7", 73 lbs. Current ride is Safety 1st Incognito

  11. #10
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    We have a 2010 civic and my 6 ft 5 in husband fits in it no problem. We have the carseat behind the driver seat and he is completely comfortable. My son too.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician cookie123's Avatar
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    We have a 2010 Jetta. We like it a lot but it's never had a car seat in it! The one thing I know for sure, and which is very important today since it was 2 degrees when I went out, is that the heated seats are really really good!

    Sorry to be of no help what so ever.
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  13. #12
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    I don't own either car, but I did just drive my brother's 2001 Jetta for 2 months while he was out of the country and I was personally very impressed with it. I agree with the above poster that the heated seats are amazing when it is cold out. I miss those the most.

    I only have one child so I don't have much experience with car seats in the Jetta. My 4 1/2 year old rode in a FF Radian while I had it. It installed easily with LATCH and unlike in my DH's Camry, the Latch didn't loosen up with time. However the top tether was very hard to install and almost impossible to take off. It literally ate away part of where you tether it (sorry can't think of what to call it at the moment). I am not sure if that was a problem of the Jetta or the tether on the Radian though. I will also say it felt much roomier inside than I was expecting and that was an older model.
    Last edited by carolinagirl; 12-12-2012 at 01:13 AM.

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy thtr4me's Avatar
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    Re: Jetta vs Civic?

    I am on my second VW (upgraded from a Jetta to a Passat Wagon) and I cannot imagine driving anything else (well maybe something else German). The handling on them is just so much better IMO. Yes, VW's have their issues, but I like the performance, handling, and safety features over a Honda. I say Jetta all the way.

    Oh, and I have a Britax Boulevard RFing in mine, and I was able to get a RFing tether installed without too much fuss. It took some time and careful finageling, but I got the strap around the very back part of the front seat track, right in front of the last bolt. If you can slide a butter knife under the track, you can get a tether strap under too .

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