1975 Volkswagen Rabbit Review

1975 Volkswagen Rabbit from North America

Model year1975
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership1976
Most recent year of ownership1987
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles

Summary:

Too unreliable

Faults:

The Zenith 2B carburetor had to be replaced with a Weber after eight years (60K miles). It added three years of life to the car, but if I had started out with a Weber I would have been a lot happier.

Distributor had to be replaced after about 50K miles because of worn bushings. Probably because the engine vibrated too much.

Front seats wore out after about 50K miles. Got better ones out of a newer VW in a junk yard.

Water temperature gauge broke at about 50K miles. Replaced it myself. Not too difficult.

Engine burned oil constantly.

Wheels rusted out and had to be repainted by hand.

General Comments:

This car had beautiful pickup and handling. But the overall quality was poor. The simplicity of the design made it easy to work on the car. Which was a good thing for such an unreliable car. I learned all about how to do routine maintenance on cars, and to fix things that shouldn't have broken to begin with, when I owned this car.

The car survived a collision with a six point buck when it was six months old. I survived the collision, too, and I kept the car 11 years. The body shop repair work and the paint job that went with it started to rust out after about 7 or 8 years. Near the end it was faded and worn out.

I guess I kept the car longer than I should have because of the accident. I was somehow sentimentally attached to the car more than I should have been. I made a deal to buy a new car, but before I could drive the Rabbit to the dealer to trade it in it broke down one last time. I cried. If I hadn't been in that serious accident, hitting that big deer and all, I am pretty sure I wouldn't have cared so much for such a temperamental car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st October, 2008

26th Jan 2009, 21:02

But the poor carb, hasty design and horrific interior noise level were only the beginning. VW told me 1 quart per 1,000 miles was "standard", the catalytic converter went at 10,000 miles, and more paint ended up on my sponge than the car. I was finally pulled our of the car by my brother when I tried to drive it off the dock in Block Is. RI. Probably one of the world's top 10 worst cars, up there with the Pinto and Citation, all of which we wisely purchased at the guidance of the top auto mags. Never bought a VW, Ford or Chevy since. VW prevailed, the others.. well time is not on their side for taking us for a ride.

28th Jan 2009, 21:51

The 1975 Rabbit was the first year of introduction into the United States.

I own a '75 VW Rabbit. Driven on dry days only, and doesn't seee the winter. Still has the original engine and drivetrain (3-spd automatic). No rust anywhere on it (came from California).

I put a rebuilt Zenith carb on it, but it will go away soon. The Zenith tried to control too many functions off vacuum. This was the car's failing, and was replaced by either CIS injection or a Weber carb after the 1976 model year.

The 1975 year has many quirks (part codes and otherwise) exclusive to the first year of introduction. A "smoothie" front hood, rear metal hatch emblems, unique hatch and door design, 110mph speedometer, front grille design, and about 50 other 1975 model traits make this year highly-prized among VW water-cooled enthusiasts. Only some of these traits are shared by early '76 models. The '75 models (as well as early '76s) are known by enthusiasts as "Swallowtail" Rabbits because of the unique rear sheet metal on those versions.

The build quality was good compared to other domestic makes of the same year and class. But not perfect. There's a 1-inch-long gap in my spare trunk well, from the factory, that wouldn't have a chance at passing through quality inspection in later years.

If you have a 1975 Rabbit, or run across one, save it. The value of a solid clean original 1975 car can fetch well upwards of $5000-$6000.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 1 review