What do Lester Green and VW Scirocco owners have in common? They both find out the last of their group of friends that it’s raining. If you’re taller than 120 cm, you probably don’t care about this car.
I have to admit I’m not a fan of the VW Scirocco. A car more cramped than a corporate elevator at 7:45 in the morning and as tall as my aspirations in life can’t possibly be on my list of favorite cars. However, mind-bogglingly, the VW Scirocco is one of the most requested cars on this dump of a site.
And it’s not hard to see why. Launched on the Golf V platform and brought up to Golf VII technology in 2014, the Scirocco has proven to be a reliable, robust, and good-looking car built for people who no longer have to bend over when putting laundry in the washing machine. The kind of people who always get swiped left on Tinder because they don’t have the minnimum height for it. People who can throw birthday parties at McDonald’s and sit in the birthday boy’s chair, even if they have a driver’s license.
Word has it that the Scirocco is a bad car. Is it for real?
Yes and no. The car’s bad reputation comes from its famous engines from before 2012, and in particular from the dezastrous 160-horsepower 1.4 TwinCharger. Lots of people bought it because it was the smallest engine and because it had a decent performance, but then they ended up with reliability worthy of the anuses of automotive history, as anal can’t be. The rest of the engines on the other hand are absolutely decent and give you the dwarf coupe experience on a relatively small budget. Yes, I understand that the 2.0 TFSI eats oil, but when you’re talking about 200-horsepower coupes, you can’t talk about minimal maintenance costs. Do you want minimal maintenance costs? Get a Corsa. Or a Clio. But not a 200-horsepower VW Scirocco.
VW Scirocco Engines
- 1.4 TSI of 122 horsepower – A popular engine among VW cars and great for those who want a city Scirocco and don’t necessarily want to leave the traffic lights first, no matter if they’re at the back of the line. Very important to buy the post-2012 versions that come with a timing belt.
- 1.4 TwinCharger of 160 horsepower – The infamous 1.4 TwinCharger also has a turbocharger and supercharger, so there’s more stuff to break. Serious issues with the pistons, compressor, and timing, issues that gave this car its bad reputation. Note that in 2012 this engine was scrapped and replaced with a completely new engine that no longer has these issues.
- 2.0 TFSI of 200, 211, 220, and 265 horsepower – The classic 2.0 TSI bolted on everything from the Polo GTI to the Golf GTI to the A4 B8 to the Seat Altea. We’re already used to the huge oil consumption, but when you have 200+ horsepower, you should accept that you can’t have total reliability.
2.0 TDI of 143 and 170 horsepower – Fortunately diesels come straight with common-rail technology so you’re left with the issue of the dual mass flywheel that wears out every 2nd engine start. However, are you sure you want a Scirocco diesel?
VW Scirocco General Issues
- For petrol engines, great care must be taken with the timing, especially with chain-drive engines.
- No VW without issues with the DSG automatic transmission, and the VW Scirocco is no exception. You really need to change the oil and filter every 60,000 km and you really need to scratch the Mechatronic unit in the crest so it doesn’t get upset or it will break down and kick your bank account in the testicles.
- As a true coupe, the back seats are for kids, Lester Green, or 3 cats. What’s more, the boot only holds a cigarette lighter and a CD of Tom Jones – Reload. Although, in the case of the Scirocco, we’re talking about a clown car.
VW Scirocco Verdict
Yes, it’s taken a healthy dose of hate and criticism, and rightly so. But if you know what to choose and are careful, the VW Scirocco can be a fashionable city car. I don’t understand why you’d buy a Scirocco and not a Golf VI coupe, but who am I to judge? There are also people who go by the premise that “in life, you have to be aesthetic”. And the Scirocco is very, very aesthetic. With all its minuses.
What engines do I recommend? First of all, I don’t recommend the diesel or the hated 1.4 TwinCharger until 2012. So, for the civilized Scirocco driver, I recommend the 122 horsepower 1.4 TSI after 2012, but overall I recommend the 200 horsepower 2.0 TSI. The old saying, you pay some money, but you know you don’t have it anymore.