1979 Volkswagen Derby L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Rock solid build, excellent reliability - unbeatable quality and service


The bodywork started to show its age towards the end, but the mechanicals were as tough as old boots.

The interior started to wear away with age, but apart from that everything was excellent.

General Comments:

I bought a 14 year old Volkswagen Derby for £350 in 1993. The bodywork was still shining like a diamond and the engine ran as smooth as silk.

The ride and handling were hardly exciting, but they made the driving comfortable enough. The engine gave good performance and good economy.

The interior of the car was solidly screwed together, but the standard of comfort and amount of space were not too good.

My previous car had been a 1974 Austin Allegro which failed its MOT due to rust. The Derby was far better, only towards the end did a few spots of rust start to appear.

I finally sold the Derby for £20 in July 2002, by when it had covered 190,000 miles and was 23 years old. The bodywork was starting to get slightly rusty, but the mechanicals were as good as new.

My next car was a 1991 Ford Escort 1.4 LX, which had covered 118,000 miles and cost £500. It had been my mother's car and had given her years of reliable service, but was now starting to show its age. The bodywork was rusting and the gearbox and brakes starting to go wrong. But it lasted a whole year before I sold it to a mechanic for £250. I'd used it a lot for driving around the country, and it had clocked up 135,000 miles - 17,000 in one year! I bought a 1994 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 CL for £900, the car had covered 114,000 miles. The Golf had so far been an excellent car and the Escort was reasonable, but the Derby was the best of the four cars I've ever owned and I wish I'd kept hold of it even longer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd April, 2004

1982 Volkswagen Derby L 1.1 from Lithuania


A good choice for fresh drivers


The front seats are very low-positioned and are really uncomfortable. The engine is too weak and therefore it uses over 9 liters per 100 kilometers in city, but you cannot get any good dynamics nor speed.

General Comments:

The trunk is impressive.

The gearbox could use a fifth gear.

It is interesting, but when driving 60 km/h it looks like 160 km/h.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2003

14th Sep 2004, 06:32

I also have Volkswagen Derby SL, engine 1.1 and you know what??? No matter how cold it is outside (-28C, believe that?) it starts very and very easy. The compression in tree cylinders is 12, and 8 in the last one, the car is 22 years old, though.

20th Oct 2008, 12:05

Whos cares at what temperature it starts.

Tell more about this driving characteristics.

1979 Volkswagen Derby LX 1.3 from Sweden


Not a real car..


The gearbox is a pile of crap. I'm on my second now!

The engine is not any better. The valves sound like snare-drums.

Rust is also a big problem, especially in the wheel openings.

General Comments:

The back seat is not big enough for a smurf, and the front seat is not much better.

Though the trunk is huge!

It handles O.K.

However, an used Opel Kadett C is a much better buy!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th October, 2001

26th Nov 2001, 01:17

I am a 19 year old owner of a Volkswagen Derby and would like to add some of my one experiences.

If you need parts, no matter what, there is a 90% chance that they still have them in your country (even in the original box) contary to a 9 year old Opel Omega f.e.

My Derby might be 25 years old, but the acceleration is pretty fast.

And you have to admit he is adorable (cioute).

Unfortunately some the disadvantages are relevant.