1982 Volkswagen Scirocco 2 dr coupe 1.7 fuel Injected
Fun to drive, but too expensive to maintain
Massive overheating problems when driving in temperatures above 80 degrees. Ran cool and well otherwise. Changing the thermostat did nothing to help. The radiator was never plugged, either. Installation of a big, finned oil cooler was necessary to keep the 1.7L VW engine from burning up in hot weather. Also, running the heater with the A/C off on hot days helped cool this perspiring motor, while roasting the driver and passengers.
The 1982 Scirocco used a series of expensive electronic plug-in modules in place of fuses. The modules would frequently burn out. One module was part of the ignition system and would cause the car to come to a dead stop in traffic when it would fail.
Body parts and factory mechanical parts prices were super high. When I owned the VW, it was listed (by a major insurance company) as the second most expensive car for body repair. It was as expensive as maintaining a Porche. The car was made in Mexico (as VWs are today), so why the exorbitant parts prices?
None of the local VW dealers would honor my warranty because the previous owner didn't provide me with the past VW service records. These records would have shown dealer servicing at intervals. I have never had this problem with any other make of car as long as the mileage or coverage period was within the warranty agreement.
I took the car to a foreign auto repair shop and was told that the Rabbit and Scirocco had inefficient cooling systems for hot-weather driving.
I am writing this review in retrospect because a friend of mine recently purchased a used, late-model VW with the newer 1.8L 16-valve engine and is experiencing the same problems that plagued me 11+ years ago. I hope this is only an odd coincidence!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 20th October, 2002
2nd Apr 2003, 12:22
There was NEVER a Scirocco manufactured in Mexico. They were ALL made at the Karmann Factory in Osnabruck, Germany.
I have owned three, and they were all reliable, fun to drive cars. I still have the third one, and have no plans to ever part with it.
20th Jun 2003, 15:44
All Sciroccos were made in Germany. I own two of them, both have around 350000 km (yes, one third of a million) on the clock and are running strong. Fast Fun and reliable. A big step above Japanese and American cars. Buy one, drive it and have fun.
9th Dec 2006, 12:00
I don't know where you got your scirroco. Mine came from Germany. The fact that you had the only known mexican made scirroco may have been the cause of all your problems. My scirroco is as solid as ever and is a real gem of a car that still compares well with modern cars.
10th Feb 2009, 10:23
Condolences on your plight. I had my '82 Scirocco in Georgia, Alabama, and N Florida with minimal issues. I had a cooling fan sensor (located on the radiator body about a third of the way from the top; about a $40 part) go out that gave me an overheating problem @ about 180K miles. I replaced that myself, flushed my cooling system and had no further issues. That was the only mechanical problem I've had since buying it in '98. This is the most fun car I've ever owned even thought it's not even close to being the most powerful. I plan to restore it in the near future.