The Volkswagen Scirocco is a sport compact hatchback made between 1974-1992 and 2008-2017. The Scirocco is a more stylish and sportier version of the VW Golf and is still a fairly popular car on the 2nd hand market. The Scirocco offers a more focused driving experience compared to the Golf thanks to a stiffer setup and a lower center of gravity.
The Scirocco is a relatively reliable car, especially the last generation of the Scirocco, but it does suffer from certain issues worth talking about. These issues are typically associated with the engine, clockspring issues, issues with the equipment, the electronics, and issues with the ABS/ESC.
Some of these can be taken care of with preventive maintenance which means that you can solve them before they start causing issues. Clockspring issues are sadly a constant on many VW models, even after VW tried to fix these with multiple recalls.
If you are interested in buying a Scirocco, be sure to find one with not too many miles on the clock and one that has been maintained correctly. This means that service history is a must for the Scirocco, otherwise, you will face a lot of trouble during your ownership.
VW Scirocco – Engine issues
The Scirocco is known to suffer from rough idling, especially after a cold startup. This is usually accompanied by a check engine light and a serious drop in fuel efficiency. If that is the case, be sure to check your intake manifold as it is likely clogged with carbon deposits.
In order to fix this, you need to clean out the carbon deposits from within the intake and repeat the process whenever necessary. Sometimes the intake manifold can get damaged which will require you to order a replacement manifold and install it to deal with this issue permanently.
VW Scirocco – Clockspring issues
Many Volkswagen models suffer from steering wheel clockspring issues which inevitably result in defective steering wheel switches. These can also cause issues with your airbags which will not deploy in an event of an accident. VW issued recalls to fix this issue, but the NHTSA estimates that there are more than 1.2 million cars still affected.
As such, if you do start experiencing issues with the clockpring, the best course of action would be to opt for a high-quality aftermarket part as VW’s original parts are the reason why this happens in the first place. Either way, you should fix this as soon as possible as defective airbags are not something you want from your daily driver.
VW Scirocco – Equipment issues
The Scirocco also suffers from various equipment issues which are not serious in their nature but can cause a headache every now and then. The perfect examples of such issues are the glove box not wanting to close shut and the trunk lid that does not want to stay open. These are typically down to panel alignment or struts and should be replaced to solve the issue effectively.
Other VW Scirocco equipment problems also list problems with various interior switches which have trouble operating. Sometimes you will have to press them with force which could cause them to get stuck. These are not an issue per se, but it’s something that requires replacement parts to fix.
VW Scirocco – Electrical issues
Older VW Scirocco models are close to 40 years old now which means that they have seen better days. After a while, these tend to develop various electrical issues associated with the exterior and interior lighting, faulty bulbs, defective power window controls, and issues with certain gauge instruments and functions.
To solve these, you will have to replace these parts which can cost more than you’d think, especially on older models due to the parts not being all that easy to source.
VW Scirocco – ABS/ESC issues
The VW Scirocco was part of a recall due to faulty ABS (anti-lock brakes) and ESC (electronic stability control). These can be solved in two ways. The first and easiest fix is to take your Scirocco to a dealership where they can do a simple software update and solve the issue, sometimes just temporarily.
If that is the case, to solve the issue permanently, you will have to order and install replacement ABS/ESC control units which is the preferred option according to many VW specialists.
Is the VW Scirocco worth it?
The Volkswagen Scirocco is designed for those who enjoy what most VW models have to offer, but deem them to be a bit boring. As such, if you are in the market for a compact, FWD sports car that combines legendary VW ergonomics with a more focused driving experience, the Scirocco is definitely worth the money.
Earlier Scirocco models are not nearly as popular as the newer ones because they are old and lacking in all aspects compared to modern-day VWs. If you go for a 2017 Scirocco, you are still getting a state-of-the-art VW experience.
How long can a VW Scirocco last?
The Volkswagen Scirocco can last upwards of 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. It’s the same story as with every VW product because they do make great, yet rather complex cars that need tender love and care. As such, if you are after a Scirocco, only go for an example with full-service history as that is going to save you the trouble down the line.
Earlier Scirocco models are starting to become modern classics which means that decent examples are known to retain value well. However, this is because it’s rather difficult to find decent 1990s Scirocco models in the first place.
Is the VW Scirocco a safe car?
Yes, the Scirocco indeed is a safe car because it got a stellar 5-star rating in all credible crash testing organizations. Furthermore, the Scirocco is available with all the state-of-the-art safety kit such as adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring, but these are part of optional packages.
As such, if you want the safest version of the Scirocco, you will have to pay for it. This is the case with all German premium cars as they come with costly optional packages.