1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 1.8L from North America
Last of the indestructible German cars
Moonroof seal at 175000.
Clutch cable (twice)
Heater core at 220000.
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