1988 Volkswagen Fox Reviews - Page 3 of 9

1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 1.8L from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8L Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired167000 miles
Most recent distance240000 miles
Previous carMerkur XR4Ti

Summary:

Last of the indestructible German cars

Faults:

Moonroof seal at 175000.

Clutch cable (twice)

Heater core at 220000.

General Comments:

This car is ordinary as far as driving goes. Not unduly solid, stable, or difficult to handle. I cannot say that it impressed me in any way. The four-speed stick with the funky VW shifting was so-so. The motor is not particularly powerful. I got more zip for half the noise out of a Tercel.

The front interior space is good but the rear is cramped. Gas mileage is unimpressive. Some trim parts are cheap and hard to get or substitute because the Fox is the odd car out in the Golf/Jetta family. The moon roof seal in particular was literally irreparable--no amount of silicone could keep it from leaking. Bit of a bummer in a Florida summer.

My (then) wife was in charge of this car's maintenance. She changes the oil every 20000 miles if you're lucky. She doesn't know what a spark plug looks like. OK, she does but she doesn't know what a NEW spark plug or ignition wire looks like. She needs a car like this. This car had 12 Indiana winters as a work vehicle under its wheels when we got it and survived another 70000 miles in her hands.

For a while we both used this car to commute a combined 800 miles a week. By then the odometer had long given up its ghost so the 240K miles is just an estimate. The car always survived and got us there and back, mostly without incident. My ex even managed to sell it in the end, worse for the wear but still running. For a cheap Brazilian-made heap this is quite the achievement.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2009

1988 Volkswagen Fox GL Sedan 1.8L 4 cylinder. from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8L 4 cylinder. Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired67234 miles
Most recent distance108677 miles
Previous carFord Contour

Summary:

Energetic, yet reliable, cheap to run car

Faults:

Very little has gone wrong with the car. The battery had to be replaced once, and the secondary (in-tank) fuel pump had to be replaced once, which I think may have been my fault for bouncing the engine off the rev-limiter (fuel-cut by the relay) so much during racing.

Other than those things nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

This is the most reliable car I've ever owned. It was purchased by my parents back in 1994 and I began driving it in 2003. I learned to drive manual in this car. It's had 3 regular drivers and it's been driven hard.

In the last year of ownership I drag raced it a lot and never had a single issue with it. For the type of car it's pretty quick. I upgraded the exhaust to a 2 inch catback and that dropped the 0-60 from about 10.5 sec to about 9.5 sec. That's a pretty good performance increase for just a cat-back.

The car is fun to drive and handles pretty well considering its on stilts. The car is rather high, high enough in fact I took it off-road many a time when going shooting with friends. It handles incredible well on dirt tracks and over some mildly rough terrain. But deep mud and the skinny tires with only FWD will get you stuck in some areas.

I sold the car in 2006 and bought a '06 Hyundai Tiburon SE in it's place. After 9 months of ownership of this new car the VW Fox still has a place in my heart and I miss it dearly. I wish I could of kept it, but I didn't have a place to park it or the money for extra insurance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2007

1988 Volkswagen Fox 2 door 1.8L from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8L Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired30 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles

Summary:

Loved every minute of it

Faults:

Very little went wrong with my car during the 12 years I owned it other than wear and tear items such as brake pads and tires. The finish looked almost as good at the end as the beginning (it was usually parked under cover).

The one time I was stranded, it was the radiator which had cracked and leaked out the coolant. The second worst failure was probably the way the oil warning light and buzzer would come on even though there didn't seem to be anything wrong with the engine.

General Comments:

If the 5-speed manual had been available when I bought it, I'd have chosen that over the 4-speed, which required some finesse. The 4-speed brings on the torque, but you really have to gun the engine to get the car up to speed.

I loved the handling, especially with wider tires. When it came time to replace the tires the first time, getting the bigger Pirelli tires sure made the car louder though. The cabin can't keep the road noise out. The next set were touring tires and that helped a lot.

I would not have gotten rid of the car, but got squished between two others on the freeway, no thanks to the driver behind me. :- (

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2006

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 27 reviews