1982 Volkswagen Rabbit from North America
A worthy heir to the Beetle
The tie rod ends were bad when I bought it, and had to be replaced.
The headliner had to be held up with thumbtacks.
The plug wires had a tendency to come loose at odd times.
The exhaust system from the manifold back rotted away right before I sold it.
Otherwise, it never gave me any trouble at all.
I can see why it was named the Rabbit; it literally leapt off the line. It won more than its share of streetlight-to-streetlight drag races, though the element of surprise may have contributed somewhat to that.
It got spectacular gas mileage; consistently in the low 30s.
It was as surefooted as a little truck in the snow.
It carried a surprising amount of cargo for such a small vehicle. Even carrying passengers in the backseat was a reasonable proposition.
The shift and steering could have been a little tighter, but on the other hand, it wasn't really meant to be a sports car.
It took all the beating that a college junior in a band could inflict on it, and kept running tirelessly on.
It had it all: quick, reliable, fun to drive, plenty of cargo space, and cheap as all get out. Very nearly the perfect car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th May, 2005
18th Jul 2005, 00:38
I had an 81 Rabbit, and I had pretty much the same experience. The headliner fabric separated from the cardboard backer, so I put thumbtacks in it. The factory exhaust system between the exhaust manifold and the intermediate pipe is terrible, so I modified mine a little and it lasted longer. Fortunately they're super-easy to work on.
A lot of stuff didn't work on mine when I bought it (for $50), but my biggest complaint was the shifter. Before you get used to it, shifting gears is like churning butter.
2nd Mar 2006, 12:05
My 1981 Rabbit. Runs like a tank. Most of the flaws mentioned above were taken care of before I got it. No headliner.Tin Can.
I put acoustic foam stereo sounds great.
My friend had one that went 3oo thousand miles.