1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 1.8 from North America


The best car I have ever owned


In the four years I owned the car, nothing happened that was seriously wrong until the very end.

The starter failed around 120,000 miles. I replaced it and never had a problem again.

The gas line began to leak near the top of the tank at around 130,000 miles, which prevented me from filling the tank.

The floorboards began to rust out at about 140,000 miles.

The last straw came when the fuel pump burned out at 145,000 miles.

General Comments:

This was one of the most sturdy cars I have ever driven.

Very reliable in the snow.

The interior seemed a bit cramped and the seats a little hard, but once I got used to both, I loved driving my car.

I was very sad to have to put my Fox out to pasture.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 1.8L from North America


One of the best economy cars on the road


I had some service done to the fuel distributor.

Replaced radiator Hose.

General Comments:

Most of the other Volkswagen owners I know have problems with rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2002

1988 Volkswagen Fox GL 1.8 Liter from North America


It's a tin- can with wheels that drains the wallet


External fuel pump fails almost annually.

The reverse lights no longer work.

The engine burns a tremendous amount of oil.

This model is listed as a gross smog polluter with the DMV - causing me to be monitored regularly.

The hood latch sticks.

The tachometer fails almost annually.

Gas mileage is terrible for such a small car - and is getting worse.

The fuel lines have needed replacement.

General Comments:

It is what it is - an economy car. However, what you save in the short term gives way to the long-term operating costs associated with owning this vehicle.

I suspect that much of my electrical problems are associated with a short somewhere - probably where the wiring harness is located.

I was dismayed when a head employee in service at the VW dealership I go to admitted this model was nothing but junk. Needless to say - I won't buy VW again.

If you have to go cheap when buying a car - make sure you can get rid of it before the manufacturer's warranty expires! Otherwise - get something better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th January, 2002

27th Nov 2002, 16:42

Hmm. For the reverse light, I had the same problem. Some water got into the trunk and dripped in the lights casings. I sealed the casings.

Sticky hood hatch: been there. even with WD-40, I have to pull it free to prevent my hood from slamming onto my windshield when on the highway.

Poor gas mileage: The car must have a problem... 30-35 mpg is still commonly done by Foxes these days.

I agree that most economy cars (Cavaliers/Sunbirds, Firefly/Metro/Sprint) are only economical when you buy them, but it the long run, the car dealer gets annoyed of seeing you every week. Still, the Fox is (in my humble opinion) an exception.

20th Aug 2004, 03:35

You said the tachometer fails almost annually?

This must have been an after-market add-on; I own an '88 Fox and I have an analog clock where the tachometer should be (which I'm going to *cough* fix *cough*). Have you examined this in your shortage of dash equipment? There could have been an improper install by the person who modified the factory configuration.

12th Aug 2007, 20:41

To the above poster: The tachometer was a option on the Fox, it only came on some of the foxes.

And these cars are junk, and if you do get one... get a pre-91 car, those digi engines are a pain.

8th Dec 2008, 23:07

My Fox of the same year is a beast. It takes an enormous amount of abuse, has nearly 200k miles, and still gets up and goes every day. I read above that "You can't blame the previous owner." You can't. And if you were the original owner, perhaps you should have taken better care of it...