1983 Volkswagen Quantum GL 1.6 turbo diesel from North America
An improvement on the Dasher, built like a brick, but with the usual VW electrical foibles, etc.
Replaced front exhaust down pipe.
Installed rebuilt CV axles (maintenance).
Replaced left & right front ball joints (kinda loose).
Replaced leaking rear shocks with struts off a Jetta.
Odometer has stopped working (so exact mileage unknown), & sometimes the speedometer lighting goes out.
Replaced clutch after throwout bearing got stuck.
Replaced front & rear brakes & wheel cylinder (maintenance).
Replaced broken emergency brake cable.
A/C compressor failed; replaced with a used unit.
Leaking A/C hose and pressure sensor replaced.
Noisy left-front wheel bearing replaced.
Battery replaced (it was way old).
Installed a fuel filter pre-heater (driving in about -8 deg F weather one time, the fuel filter nearly waxed up on me, this is cheap insurance).
Replaced heater core that "smelled bad" (still not sure it was the core or the hose connections that were leaking).
Replaced belts, timing belt & bearing (maintenance).
After driving a diesel Rabbit for a number of years, this Quantum seems about twice the car the Rabbit was (has A/C, power steering, turbo boost, power windows, all the things the Rabbit lacked), but still gets 41-42 MPG+ on my daily commute.
Looking at the list of repairs, it's been somewhat on the unreliable side -- but considering it's a 31-year-old car with an unknown past history...
Has never failed to start, but I do plug in the block heater when it drops below 15-20 deg F; (no use adding unnecessary wear & stress to the motor/electricals).
A bit labored accelerating from a standstill; but once out on the highway it's like the Starship Enterprise ("warp 6, Mr. Sulu") -- and easily climbs Colo. mountain passes.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th November, 2014
10th Nov 2014, 16:38
I always wanted one of these cars... the wagon in particular. My dad had a diesel Rabbit growing up til the block cracked (twice), and a couple diesel Audis. In the '80s a VW was still basically a less fancy Audi and a damn good car, well engineered. The Quantum is a rare find to begin with and especially with that turbo diesel - 5-speed powertrain combo, you just won't find another one. Enjoy it, happy miles :)