Do You Remember This Honest 1980s Wagon?

In 1987, year of the Ferrari F40, Volkswagen of America decided that against the likes of the Hyundai Excel and the Yugo, a reasonably priced Brazilian wagon should do just fine.

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Volkswagen of America

The weird thing about the Volkswagen Fox GL Wagon is that despite all expectations, it didn't suck. In fact, at $8175 fully loaded in 1988, it was a striking deal against the cheaper, but also much worse Hyundai Excel, and the Yugo, a small hatchback based on 1960s Fiat technology, built on the Serbian side of the former Yugoslavia.

The Fox sedans and wagons came from Brazil, where they were produced and badged as the Gol. Not Golf, just Gol.

The two-door Fox Wagon only got three years to shine in America, powered by the same 1.8 liter four-cylinder as the rest of the lineup. Producing 81 horsepower and 93 lb.ft. of torque, this engine would propel the wagon to sixty in 10.8 seconds with the four-speed manual.

"The only wagon in its size-class!" is what MotorWeek starts with, revealing that this budget shooting brake offered 33.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which could also be extended to 61.8 with the flat-folding rear bench. Precise handling with substantial body roll, good ride with plenty of road noise, confident brakes and 26 miles to the gallon. That's the Fox in a nutshell, with bad points gained for its front seats and cheap instrument cluster. Yet sitting in a car that started at $6990 in 1988, nobody could expect more from a VW made so far from Wolfsburg.

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