Buying review of the Volkswagen Corrado 1988-1995 Common Issues Engine Inspection
Thanks for watching another buyers review, today we got a special car that I wanted to review. Probably the most beautiful 90’s coupe to come out of Europe. This car was assembled from various parts like the mark 3 Golf and Passat from the time, but this does not make it a internal project, as a matter of fact this was quite a pricy car back in the day. Most desirable are the ones with the VR6 engines.
This car is right on the edge between sportiness and comfort, the VR6 engine is one off the best engines Volkswagen even built. VR6 is a six cylinder but the angle of the cylinders makes this engine quite compact, so it is easy to fit in the corrado or the mark 3 golf for instance. I have a very fond memory of my aunt owning a VR6 in the 90’s. I remember the noise of the engine and how quick it was. Eventually she sold it since people tried to steal the car numerous times. Funny detail is that the Corrado was only made if you ordered one from the factory, in total 97.521 cars where built. Most car where built in Germany, but the car was also availabe in the US and Canada.
Best engines would be the G60 and VR6 engines, both engines have their own characteristics which we will go into a little later.
What we try to figure out today is to see if this car is a good purchase 26 years after it went out of production.
Volkswagen had 3 inline 4 cylinder engines for this car, the 2.0 liter, the 1.8 16v and the 1.8 G60. There was also the VR6, which closely resembles a V6 engine but the angle of the cylinderbank made this engine more compact than the traditional V6. This way the engine could be fitted to the Corrado and also the MK3 Golf of the time. Only distinction is the the Golf had the 2.8 VR6 and the Corrado the 2.9 VR6.
On the VW forum people argue about what was the best engine, some claim the G60 was lighter in the nose so this made the car better handling, the G60 had a turbocharger and put out 160 horsepower, the VR6 was more heavy in the nose of the car and had more of a high speed cruiser feel to it, when you rev the engine you get rewarded by one of the best sounding engines from VW, the VR6 put out 190 HP.
Now to some of the things you should know, there are reports that the VR6 with highmilage consumes quite some oil. Best thing to do is do an engine revision or buy a donor car. The G-charger on the 1.8 G60 is a weak point, this charger need regular maintenance. Cars that have a doubtful past should be avoided or you should do a proper car inspection by a VW specialist.
Also if you want to do the maintenance yourself it is probably best to go for the G60, the VR6 leaves you almost no room in the engine bay to inspect and repair the engine. That being said, with normal maintenance these engines are quite bulletproof. Again oil consumption is something that should be checked regularly, especially these engines now that they are more than 30 years old. Even my 1.4 four cylinder in the Polo used quite some oil.
In the VR6 it is also important to check the state of the engine chain.
Driving the car hard is no problem, as long as you give the engine time to warm up. All and all these engines are quite reliable, but without proper maintenance, you will set yourself up for a potential headache also since parts are not that easy available anymore.
My personal opinion, I still really like the look of these cars, yes you can tell they are old, but it has the classic Volkswagen design and from an era that gave us many good Volkswagens.
I would not daily drive a car like this, prices range from very cheap to quite expensive. Lots of these cars where in the hands of younger drivers in the early 2000’s who modded their cars. Original cars are obviously preferred and these will be more expensive. There is still quite some fanbase out there for the Corrado, if you are lucky you can buy a well kept example from an enthousiast.
Last but not least, these cars can rust. All visual parts like doors or the chassis can rust. Cars with a detailed set of maintenance are preferred, cars in which more money is spend on the sterio instead of maintenance, please walk away. The 1.8 liter is quite bullitproof and more fun to drive since these G60’s are lighter and more fun in the corners. The VR6 is made for long motorway journeys.
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