VGX Brake Pads

[1/20/2004] Reviewed by: John Magnuson -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

VGX Brake Pads (New 2004 Compound)

I put on some VGX pad in 2000 and they were the worst pads as far as brake fade I'd ever had. Someone at VGX read my previous review on and said they have a new brake pad compound that performs much better and they'd like me give me a free set to test out. I was a bit hesitant because the previous VGX pads I got were just plain dangerous. But I needed new pads anyway so I figured why not. Can't beat free!

First of all, these new compound VGX pads are a large improvement as far as peformance and fade resistance over the previous compound VGX brake pads. They probably resist fade about the same or maybe even slightly more than the stock brake pads. They are fairly quiet and seem to be ok quality. I can only get them to fade if I drive like a madman on mountain roads. They'd probably be fine for almost all street driving and most autocrosses. Don't take them to a track day if you're going to drive hard. My previous three sets of pads have been Porterfield R4S pads and I will switch back to them as they seem to be a perfect track/ street pad for me and never fade even when I drive like a maniac in the mountains. But since VGX was nice enough to give me a free set of brakepads I feel I should let everyone know that they have greatly improved the performance of their pads and they should be good for almost all street driven cars.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

VGX Metallic Brake Pads

[8/30/2000] Reviewed by Eric Miller -

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

VGX "Performance" Metalic Brake Pads

The hardware that came with the pads was ill fitting, resulting in my reusing the factory springs, clips, and backing plates. I then used the VGX pads for about 2000 miles before removing them. I cannot recommend that anyone buy these pads as they fade incredibly fast from heat, and leave you with little or no braking force when you need it most. Under heavy braking, they give off a large amount of black brake dust. While I haven't gotten them to catch fire, I did get them to smoke heavily. I can't believe these pads haven't been recalled as dangerous yet!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[8/16/2000] Reviewed by Matt Nichoslon -

Applicable to '90 - '97

high performance pads (yeah, right)

 Everyone's experience so far with this pad seems to be the same. I have 3 good friends that have tried to use this pad on their cars (BMW 325, GTI VR6, and A1 Golf). The VR6 driver caught his brakes on fire at Roebling Road. RR is a track that is EASY on brakes. I can use balsa wood to stop my car there. These pads CAUGHT ON FIRE!!! The BMW driver got the pads to fade heavily at a 40 second autocross. Pathetic.

Although these are marketed as perfomance pads, don't be fooled. Do not under ANY circumstances get these pads if you do ANY performance driving at all. This includes heavy stop and go rush hour traffic, mountain driving, whatever. You'll probably get these things to fade on the way to the grocery store.

Not an installed item

[6/29/2000] Reviewed by John Magnuson -

Applicable to 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

VGX Brake Pads. Come in a complete kit including brake hardware.

Although it was implied by both the product literature and the vendor that these pads are very fade resistant they in fact are not. After changing my OEM pads with VGX pad I started to experience severe fad after even brief periods of enthusiastic driving or long downhill roads. It is nice that they come with all the hardware and they are quiet smooth pads under normal driving but the fade is HORRIBLE. This is not a performance brake pad.

I later changed the VGX pad for Porterfield brake pads. The improvement was immense. I can now make about 20 times (no exaggeration) as many hard stop before fade becomes an issue. If you drive like a grandma all the time you'll probably be ok with VGX pads, unless you live in the mountains. And then even grandmas would have problems.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[5/9/2000] Reviewed by Kevin Morrison -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Set of front brake pads ordered from Finishline Performance.

First let me say that Finishline Performance is a first-rate vendor. I heartily endorse them. I decided to try the VGX pads because they were relatively inexpensive and come with all-new brake hardware, including new rubber seals for the caliper sliding pins, springs, shims, clips, and even a little tube of grease. My initial impressions were that the pads were pretty decent and they seemed to perform adequately on the street. Then I participated in a lapping day at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, a track that is known to be very rough on brakes. The VGX pads were not up to the task. They simply quit working when they got above a certain temperature. I could go 3 or 4 laps before I had to stop to let them cool down. The pucker factor was pretty high when I stepped on the brakes and experienced the sensation of the car NOT slowing down. They do not have a high enough operating temperature, and their friction coefficient is not high enough for track applications.

In summation, these pads are fine for the casual driver on the street, and come with a really nice, complete package of hardware, but they are not particularly high-performance pads.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Back to Product Reviews 15 February, 2004