1982 Volkswagen Rabbit LS 1.6 diesel from North America


Your best friend on four wheels


When I got the car it was in a bad state of repair, needing a water pump, brakes, tie rods and a bunch of other small things. I have replaced almost everything in the cooling system except for the heater core. The interior was mint when I got it, with the exception of the headliner (will be replaced at a later date) and the addition of a nice stereo (hidden, of course to keep in the theme of the car) After the brakes and tie rods, all that was left was some mainteance (timing belt, filters) and tires and that was it. Since then, for almost 45,000 miles, this car has been trouble free and still gets me 42mpg going 75mph with the original 4-speed!

General Comments:

Cheap honest transportation.

Very very cheap for good quality OEM parts.

There is not a "bad" repair job to do on this car, it's all so simple.

Handles awesome, if you can get up to a 'fun' speed :o)

A true peoples car.

Pure driving fun, even with 52hp. The car just has so much soul, it's more like your best friend on four wheels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2008

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit C 1.6 diesel WVO from North America


Old Rabbits do what they say they can


First of all, I bought this Rabbit converted to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO). The conversion was done my a fleet mechanic as a weekend hobby. Most everything was rebuilt in the process. Regarding the engine at least.

Lower Ball Joint was replaced around 110,000 miles.

I had to throw on a replacement horn.

Seats needed shimming to prevent wobble. I recycled the plastic footing off of other seats from parts cars.

Tires upgraded to the most aggressive mud and snow I could convince them to sell me. Lowers the mpg's and rides rougher, but I get up my driveway regardless of weather.

She wouldn't start one cold winter morning, and we had problems. The battery read 12 volts. After pulling and checking the starter and alternator with no solution found, I took it to the mechanic only to find the problem was the amperage for the battery. Volts read fine, but the amps were too low. Most expensive battery I have bought in years.

Transmission is starting to get picky. Doesn't like to go into first. I have found that pushing down like you are going into reverse let's you find it. Pretty scary if you are rolling though, for fear that you will throw her in reverse.

Heater blower works when it feels like it.

General Comments:

I was getting 50 mpg in the beginning. The snow tires reduces her to 43 or so.

Make no mistake, the 1.6L is not real powerful. I can maintain 70 on a hilly interstate (I66), but she works for it.

Comfort level is surprisingly high. The mechanic who did the rebuild was a bit obsessed with efficiency, so he removed all of the interior in attempts to get 60mpg. Said he got close, but high 50's was the best he could do.

She runs great on veggie. Gets the same mileage as diesel. The reserve tank was placed in the spare tire well. It is a 10 gallon so it takes up the entire trunk.

I had to modify the rear seat to fit over the lines which are run in the interior. They heat up faster that way allowing for winter running on veggie.

With the two tanks, I can get 800 miles per fill up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2008

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit L 1.7 Gas from North America


Great do-it-yourself kinda car


Well, my gal and I have an '82 and an '83 Rabbit L.

First the '82 (manual transmission) :

- fuel pump started leaking so I replaced it with a used one that seems to be doing the trick fine.

- wiper motor died, replaced it with a used one that works.

- squeely belt when I start the car in the rain...

- seems to have a rough time starting right now, gotta give it lots of gas to start it, and it's summertime...

- so far it's been a great car, nothing catastrophic has happened in the 16,000 kms I've owned it.

Now the'83 (automatic) :

- has a hot start problem... either heat soak in the starter or a vapor lock in the fuel line... either way it's because of the close proximity of the starter and fuel lines to the manifold...I'm gonna rewire the starter to give it some more juice...

- trans-axle pan leak, possibly caused by a previous owner hitting a rock or bottoming out.. have to use silicone gasket instead or the formed rubber kind.

General Comments:

Great cars. bought them for $300 canadian each.

Cheap on gas, easy to work on, parts are abundant at the local junkyard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2007

6th Mar 2008, 15:06

What kind of mpg do you get with your rabbits?

I bought an 82 rabbit L last month and can't find what they're supposed to get anywhere online. I'll keep searching...