Massive overheating problems when driving in temperatures above 80 degrees. Ran cool and well otherwise. Changing the thermostat did nothing to help. The radiator was never plugged, either. Installation of a big, finned oil cooler was necessary to keep the 1.7L VW engine from burning up in hot weather. Also, running the heater with the A/C off on hot days helped cool this perspiring motor, while roasting the driver and passengers.
The 1982 Scirocco used a series of expensive electronic plug-in modules in place of fuses. The modules would frequently burn out. One module was part of the ignition system and would cause the car to come to a dead stop in traffic when it would fail.
Body parts and factory mechanical parts prices were super high. When I owned the VW, it was listed (by a major insurance company) as the second most expensive car for body repair. It was as expensive as maintaining a Porche. The car was made in Mexico (as VWs are today), so why the exorbitant parts prices?
None of the local VW dealers would honor my warranty because the previous owner didn't provide me with the past VW service records. These records would have shown dealer servicing at intervals. I have never had this problem with any other make of car as long as the mileage or coverage period was within the warranty agreement.
I took the car to a foreign auto repair shop and was told that the Rabbit and Scirocco had inefficient cooling systems for hot-weather driving.
I am writing this review in retrospect because a friend of mine recently purchased a used, late-model VW with the newer 1.8L 16-valve engine and is experiencing the same problems that plagued me 11+ years ago. I hope this is only an odd coincidence!