1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 4-door 1.8L 4 cylinder from North America
The most reliable car I've ever owned.
Other than a couple of sets of tires and the usual scheduled replacements:
Thermo switch replaced at 40,000 miles.
Other than that, nothing ever broke!
Paid $8,300 for the car in 1988, my first brand new car. Assembled in Brazil. Had great fit and finish. Felt solid as a rock. Small and easy to wash and wax.
Pretty good gas mileage - not great, but it was a 4-speed with no OD.
Bought the factory shop manual and kept it in the very large glove box.
This car never broke down on me. The above-mentioned thermo switch didn't cause the car to be undriveable (I just had to turn on the AC to get the cooling fan to run at high speed when the coolant got hot in traffic), and was replaced by me for about 30 dollars.
Brake pads were an easy change on all 4 corners, one wheel at a time, using only the scissors jack, a cotter pin hook, a pair of locking pliers, and a micrometer to check disc thickness. Took about 45 minutes to do the whole brake job (rotors looked great, uniform thickness and well within spec). Tightened down the lugs on the last wheel, and had a cold beer.
This little gem took me halfway across the USA more than a few times, at speeds up to 90mph on the interstate (radar detector on). It tracked like a slot car and never complained.
It was underpowered if you ever had 4 adults on the seats, but with one or two, power was adequate.
A great car for the owner that doesn't want any surprises. If I could find one in mint condition, I might just buy it for old times' sake, probably the wagon this time for cargo space.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 28th July, 2006