Please recall that I am a sportscar enthusiast, and a Volkswagen fanatic as well. I still own my GTI, and do not use my Corrado as daily transportation. I hope that my admission of that fact will show my desire to be objective upon this review.
These cars run at very high coolant temperatures (mine constantly hovers around 230F in slow traffic). I have replaced the thermostat housing, the secondary coolant pump, and the upper radiator elbow.
Even with so much work, I find that the car is still consuming coolant. I suspect that the head gasket is failing. I have learned that the replacement gasket for the VR6 is much better than the original one. I can only suggest that if you are looking to buy an `early' Volkswagen VR6, it may not be a "bad thing" if the head has been off the car.
The passenger side window closes, but will not seal. It stops about 5mm short of the window seal. Investigation (taking the interior skin off) reveals that one of the cable mounts has broken. Per my local independant VW shop, the mount is a `dealer part'. Per my local VW dealer, the part is not available seperately (they wish to have you spend 500 U.S. Dollars upon replacing the entire window unit.
Battery drain! The US market Corrado was not offered without power windows/sunroof/trip computer, etc.
If you do not drive the car often, you will find yourself not being able to drive at all, due to all of the "luxury" garbage. The trip computer (and the previously mentioned auxiliary waterpump, etc.) drain the battery, even when the car has been shut off.
I bought mine as a `collectors' item'. Since I only drive it two or three days a week, I have often found the electrical system dead.
I must admit.. so many "jump starts" have not yet burned out my car's Central Processing Unit.
In my opinion, the VR6 Corrado is the best car Volkswagen has ever produced. In my humble opinion, every modern GTI or Jetta or Passat with a VR6 under the hood owes its existance to VW's little experiment (ten years ago!) shoving such a wonderful motor into an A2 frame.
Fantastic power, great cornering, wonderful brakes! I can only dream about what the car could do without suffering the burden of all that `luxury' garbage (power locks, windows, sunroof, etc.).
That being said, please consider that even though this particular model is still a Volkswagen-it really requires much more `regular maintenence' than most other Dubs do.
I would reccommend that if you consider an auto as a simple appliance to get you to work, you should ignore the Corrado. I say so because I'm selfish. I wish to see these cars return to the hands of people who would care about them.