Our 1976 Audi Fox was a wedding present. We owned it for five years until our daughter was born (I refused to let her ride in it). It broke down the first day we owned it. It had a sunroof that blew out the headliner at 1,000 miles. Valve seats, water pump, injectors, clutch, motor mounts, radio, all failed in a very short time. By far the worst car I ever owned and I have driven some of the worst. It was even less reliable than my 1964 vw bus and my 1966 tr4a.
I owned a 75 Fox for 5 years from 1983 to 1988. The worst car I ever owned. The ignition switch was replaced twice, the regulator went out 3 times, the transmission was shot after 70 thousand miles, the headliner fell down, the dash cracked, the gas gauge needle bounced so much you could never tell how much gas you had, it went through numerous carburetors, the shift linkage bushings failed, the wipers were slow, the blower motor was not very powerful, the wiring to the lights often corroded, the radiator fan relay would go out constantly. The parts were way over priced and hard to find. Usually only the dealer carried what was needed. No one wanted to buy them in the 1980's. You almost had to pay people to take them from you. When you went to the junkyard you could find most Foxes that were in there with no body damage. People just gave up on them.
I had a '76 Silver Fox I bought new in November of that year. It's a toss-up as to whether that or the '73 100LS I traded for it was the worst car I ever owned. Both of them were a reliability nightmare. But there were excellent things about it, too. I'll list those first.
Considering previous comments, I must have gotten very lucky on some of the components.
The fuel injection never had a problem in the 8 years I had the car. It was always great.
The manual transmission and clutch were trouble-free. No problems with them.
I had to replace the front shocks, but that's pretty normal.
The vinyl seats looked and felt good to the end.
Now, the problems.
Like the 100LS, very early in its life (around 10K miles) it started burning oil. There was always a supply of oil and a filler in the trunk.
It couldn't stand very cold New England winters. Even while running on the interstate, the fuel line would freeze, and in a very bad way. The excess return fuel line to the gas tank would freeze solid, so what would happen is the excess gas would be dumped into the crankcase. So, once you were froze up, it wasn't a simple matter of thawing it out. You needed an oil change. The dealer suggested putting cardboard in front of the radiator. Phooey!
The A/C was a nightmare. Replacing those bushings on the compressor was a frequent and expensive proposition. I heard more squealing fan belts on that car! Then, there was the electrical problem with the A/C. It seems that the fuse block just couldn't handle the current that the radiator pulled for very long, and it warped from the heat.
And, the paint was faded and ratty-looking after about 5 years.
Add to this the fact that I ran into at least three dealerships that provided downright incompetent mechanical service. Don't get me started. Suffice it to say that twice I got the car back with every nut and bolt finger-loose. No kiddin'. Glad that I was in the habit of checking things out when I got the car back.
Will I ever consider another Audi? Not on you life, especially because Audi never acknowledged there were problems with the Fox and the 100LS.
Today I'm a very satisfied, loyal, and dedicated Celica driver.
A review of a 30 year old car? Submitted now? For a car that you owned almost 30 years ago? And this is a proof of shoddy German engineering? Right...
By the way, how many Pintos are there out there on the roads? An how long is it since you saw a Citation, Omni/Horizon or a Reliant on the road? They all never lasted very long. Cars of the seventies and early eighties were mostly all bad except for Cadillacs and MB knew how to make quality cars back then (not to be compared with the current model lines). Today almost all cars seem to have the same quality, and that is mediocre (not good, not bad).
What does how many Pintos or anything else 25+ years old are still on the roads have to do with an Audi Fox?
As far as whether today's cars are "mediocre", consider this: 30-40 years ago, a car that made it to 100K miles was considered ready for the junkyard, now it's just halfway through it's useful life...
Many cars with 100K miles are ready for the junkyard today as well. Take a peek around this site and you'll se people with 40-50.000$ cars with 50K on them having serious trouble. Maybe the engine isn't worn down, but the engine is only one of the parts in a car. It doesn't help if your engine is OK so long all kinds of electrics and electronics are failing and your interior is falling to pieces. Another problem with modern car (from the nineties and especially the last ten years) is that it's impossible to do even simple work or maintenance.
So today you may have a eight to ten year old car with no rust and little engine wear, but still it's better to send it off to the junk yard because it need a new 2200$ ABS job or 3000$ electronics job after the battery short circuited (real examples, both cars were sent off). There simply is a lot of unreliable parts in a newer car. Get my drift?
I was one of the few to get one of the cars that worked I guess.
I bought a 1976 Fox new and kept it until 1991. It had 255,000 miles on it when I traded it in.
The only problem I ever had was a connector in a plug to the fuel pump became intermittent.
Funny you should ask, because I just saw a really nice Reliant yesterday. In fact, I see different Reliants almost every day. You must be one of those picky people who will never be satisfied with any car, and will always find something to whine about. Cars of the '70s were mostly all bad? My '71 Barracuda was great, as was my '71 Charger, '73 Charger, '75 Charger, '76 Volare, '79 Volare, '80 Volare (oops, sorry, that's an '80s car). Our '84 Reliant was also a good car, as was our '85 Dodge and '89 Chevy. Lest anyone thinks that I'm remembering these old, "mostly bad" cars through rose-colored glasses, I still have the '71 Barracuda, '73 Charger, '75 Charger, and '85 Dodge and they are STILL good cars. I honestly hadn't driven anything nicer until 2005. Up until then, cars of the 1970's were better than cars of the 1980's and 1990's.