Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 - )
Last updated 24 July 2014
2008 Volkswagen Scirocco least reliable new sports car in 2014 Which? Car Survey with reliability rating of 90.2% (still not terrible).
Not long ago it seemed that every manufacturer was giving up on coupes. GM killed the Calibra. It was curtains for Ford's Cougar and Puma. Toyota terminated the Celica. VW gave its Corrado the coupe de grace.
Only Peugeot persevered with its astonishingly refined 407 coupe. Hyundai hit the hot spot with its Corrado inspired Coupe. And Alfa stayed in there with its GT and Brera.
But times change. Where before a niche was the way to lose money, now it's one of the few means to make money. Profits don't come from cheap, mass-market eco cars. They come from what the public perceives as exclusive autos. So if a manufacturer can create a bit of wow factor status and charge more money for it at no greater manufacturing cost, his eyes light up like a cash register.
So the Scirocco (named after a north African wind) is like a breath of fresh air. The last two were both based on the Mk 1 Golf. This one's underpinnings come from next year's Golf Mk VI. And it certainly brings back the excitement of the wonderful 190PS Corrado VR6.
Unfortunately, like some people, it does not photograph well. You've got to see it in 3D to appreciate its squat, toad-like presence. It's wider at the hips than at the front. Yet 6' 2" stylist Klaus Bischoff made sure it's bigger inside than you would think it could be from outside.
He designed the car so he can comfortably sit behind himself, which is why the hatchback hinges protrude, Mazda3-like, under bulges at the back of the roof so they don't take up any headroom. Well done. Klaus.
He's also created a bottomless pit for four people's baggage, all of 292 litres. But don't expect your dog to be able to jump over the sill.