1988 Volkswagen Fox GLS 1.8 Litre 5-speed from North America


Fun, and economical


I have only had the car a month, and so far nothing has gone wrong with it.

It does need new rear shocks, and a new valve cover.

I'm also told that something in the drive shaft is leaking.

The driver's side door lock has stopped working, and needs to be replaced, as well as the window does not like being rolled up.

I think the speedometer might say I'm going faster than I really am, too, but the car might just feel slow.

General Comments:

Excellent little car.

It goes about 550 kilometres on a tank of gas, and it only costs about $30-35 (Canadian) to fill.

Nothing is seriously wrong with it, except for silly things like the lock, and window that have become annoying.

It still has gone over 200,000 kilometres with almost no major repairs.

The Fox is slow. The sport edition has a five-speed transmission, and can hold its own on the highway, but everything starts to shake at about 140km/h.

The stereo and speakers are stock, but fill out the car. I am planning to replace these.

My biggest complaint is still the rack and pinion steering, which is a pain, especially at parking speeds. I expect it will handle better after I've replaced the shocks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2003

1988 Volkswagen Fox GL Wagon 1.8L from North America


Cute, energetic and reliable, the Volkswagen Fox is best for singles or moms on a budget


The there are only two major problems with this car. First, the electrical system for the dash is in need of rewiring (the high beam light cuts out intermittently and the brake light goes on when the brake is not on.) Secondly, the engine runs hot, requiring you to monitor (at least monthly) the oil level to make sure you don't burn up the engine. The alternator has been replaced twice since I bought this car. Additional items for consideration include: the drivers seat is frayed, the rear seats are not built for large adults and the engine compartment is very compact, making it interesting (read: difficult) to replace a battery, alternator, etc, though the air filter, oil & fluids are easily accessed.

One last addition- we experience severe cold here, which regularly freezes the handles of the car. I have broken the door handle twice in the past 5 years trying to open the car on a cold winter morning.

General Comments:

I bought this car because of the decent gas mileage (28 miles/gallon) and it's "get up & go." My Fox has always been peppy, including up hills, though I've noticed a marked decline in performance (especially on cold wet days) in the past year.

The Fox Wagon is cute, like most Volkwagens, but this model is also practical because it's great for hauling boxes, wood, garden equipment, etc. It is my main car for hauling stuff to the dump, recycling station or storage unit. The rear seat folds down to make even more room. You can also fold the passenger side seat forward a bit to easily fit 10ft+ 2x4s inside and shut the back!

This is a great "spare car." I would recommend this car as an errand/commuter/day trip car, not as a cross-country traveler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2003

5th Sep 2003, 12:32

Where can I get a door handle and how would I go about putting it on myself? Please get back to me at aaronknox@optonline.net.



8th Dec 2003, 08:33

I LOVE MY '88 FOX! I'm a VW girl, and I acquired my Fox Wagon (with 97K miles) after looking for a similar year in Golf. I was looking for fuel economy, a place to put my hockey gear and my dogs and I got everything I wanted. It's been a great car to me, easy to handle, inexpensive (although I have done a lot of work on her). She is now at 137k miles and I'm still having fun.

We carried four people, and their hockey gear (including a goalie's bag). It was tight, but not uncomfortable. I've moved half way across the country with her with my dog and had a great time. I've taken her camping and can stretch out in the rear compartment with out compromising comfort.

This is a great purchase for those who are on a budget, but need the versatility of a wagon.