1988 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala 1.8 carb from UK and Ireland


Golfs are boring and this is better value


Nothing really! It was still running the original tyres and shocks so those had to be changed.

Someone crashed into the side while parked (twice), covered by insurance.

Clackety engine when cold, so hydraulic tappets need replacing (common fault apparently).

General Comments:

Really solid and reliable, especially when compared to my previous X1/9, which was a dream to drive on the rare occasions it wasn't at the menders.

Very practical, handling OK and performance fun after fitting a Weber carb (the original Pierburgs are crap) and an air filter.

Looks still do it for me, though many find them dated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2001

22nd Mar 2001, 05:40

I agree. I have a 1987 GTX and love it to bits! Unfortunately, I've just found out the tappets are going and could use some advice as to replacing them / what it cost you as I am far from mechanically minded.

Any advice gratefully received!

14th Mar 2004, 19:29

I had too sell mine : (

Tappets are very easy to do, buy the rockers and pop them in, simple, you don't need a brain for it it that easy.

29th Nov 2005, 15:41

They are the greatest, and I'm proud to say I own one!!!

1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V 1.8 from North America


I am happy with this machine in every way!


Cooling system has a few glitches... and I replaced the timing belt, gaskets, distributor, plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. The car will eventually need a new clutch and exhaust, but the car is mainly all original parts, 12 years old and pushing 170,000 miles. This stuff is just maintenance. Plus, I want to change out the clutch and exhaust for autocross after-market parts anyway.... I bought it for $1300 and spent $300+/- on maintenance over the past year.

General Comments:

Give me a short shift kit, upper sway-bars, 17 rims, sach clutch and TT exhaust, plus bore out the 1.8L to it's full 2.0 and a new paint job and I'll rule the streets and the autocross. Add a roll-cage and safety equipment and I'll rule SCCA IT Racing. This car is my ride today, my race car tomorrow, and my toy for life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2000

1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V 1.8L DOHC 4-cyl. petrol from North America


This is the most reliable VW/Audi product I have ever owned (this is my 7th). I've experienced a minimum of non-routine repairs, considering my driving style.

In over 150K miles, I've replaced 2 front wheel bearings, 3 batteries, 1 alternator, and 1 exhaust flex joint.

Wearable parts (brakes, belts, wipers, etc.) have lasted a surprisingly long time. I'm still running the original clutch, plugs, wires, and (except for the flex joint) exhaust system. I have only replaced the brake pads and rotors 1 time, belts 2 times (precautionary), and cap and rotor 1 time.

Upgraded suspension with an aftermarket performance kit (springs, shocks, sway and stress bars) and upgraded to 15" wheels with 205/50 series tires. The suspension parts have a lifetime warranty, which I took advantage of recently (new springs and shocks).

(I suspect that some of these upgrades, in combination with my driving style, may have lead to the premature demise of the wheel bearings.)

Of course, the usual assortment of unreasonably expensive VW garbage accessory and trim items have either broken or fallen off. These include headlight switch, driver's seat recline knob, driver's seat tilt forward handle (the rear seat is useless anyway), rear hatch locking mechanism, rear seat latching knobs, "Karmann" logo and black-out tape on the B-pillar, etc.

General Comments:

I will never, ever part with this car. They will have to pry my cold, dead fingers off the steering wheel.

More fun than any car in its class, more reliable than any VW/Audi product I've ever owned.

This car is relatively light, so the 16V DOHC 1.8L engine is more than adequate; short gearing in combination with a "point-and-shoot" driving style in traffic provides excellent take-off and stopping power.

At 75 - 80 mph, the car takes on an Autobahn personality, travelling smoothly, and feeling well connected to the road. The silver metallic paint has faded to a nice dull gray, making this car a great "sleeper" at speed on the highway (when you don't want to stand out too much).

As with other VW products, many high-quality aftermarket performance pieces are available. In addition to the suspension and wheels/tires, I've addressed other less-than-perfect items, including a short-shift kit, cross-drilled rotors and metallic pads, stainless steel/teflon brake lines, European market headlights (the US sealed beam units are junk), etc.

I'm 6'0" and 200 lbs., and I think VW made my Scirocco to specifically to fit me. The sunroof doesn't help though, but I'd rather lean back a bit, than live without it.

The leather seats are incredibly supportive and comfortable on long or short drives. All the important controls fall easily into my hands.

(Sciroccos don't really come equipped with many non-important controls or accessories anyway. I chose to avoid power windows and door locks. After all, who needs them on such a small car, and since it's a VW, they would inevitably break anyway.)

In the USA, insurance companies don't particularly like performance-oriented VWs, so insurance is astronomically high. This of course probably has something to do with the astronomically high cost of VW parts, and the tendancy of VW drivers to actually DRIVE (unlike the seemingly infinite number of far eastern economy cars on the roads with absolutely NO personality).

I ask people who are interested in a VW two questions:

1. Do you really like to DRIVE?

2. Do you have a sense of humor?

They have to answer "yes" to both questions before I'll recommend they check out a VW.

If they don't LOVE to DRIVE, then the intense, almost religious, joy of driving a performance VW will be completely lost on them.

If they don't have a sense of humor, then when the stupid little accessory pieces break, and the large repair bills for these stupid little pieces hit them, they will really need to just laugh it off and go for a DRIVE.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd December, 1999

15th Jun 2005, 16:36

I think that this review is an amazing report on how great this car really is. I recently bought one for myself and I can honestly say that I was more than impressed with its performance. Not only is the acceleration impressive, but the comfortable handeling around corners is breathtaking. I have owned many different cars, but this is the second VW I've had and I must say I find myself day dreaming about getting behind the wheel, winding out first throwing it into second, and just eagerly looking for anything that resembles a corner. Good job buddy, keep rollin the VW's.

15th May 2015, 04:28

My '88 Rocco was resurrected from a side of the road, non-working car lot, and $10,000 in repairs, paint and custom wheels later, I still love this car... It has over 330,000 miles on the original 16V engine and still gets me everywhere I want, with acceleration and handling to rival Ferraris.

My only problem now is in 2015 when I need an "impossible to find" part. Get to know a TRUE VW mechanic, and it still is possible...