Used Car of the Day: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Diesel! Manual! Truck!

Yes, it's old, but this 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup checks a lot of boxes.


The forum post doesn't say much, but it tells us the truck runs well and drives well, is a turbodiesel with a 5-speed stick, and has a "classy" interior but also is a bit of a "project."

Mileage isn't listed, but the seller wants $5,900 and is based in Washington state.

Click here to check it out.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Jun 19, 2023

    I owned a '77 Rabbit hatchback. Still built in Germany, black interior with brown vinyl. A nice Germanic interior, unlike the Fisher-Price plastic interiors of the PA built cars. But... still one of the worst cars ever foisted on the American public. EBFlex would have had a field day and he'd be worshiping at the altar of Henry Ford if he'd owned a water cooled VW of that generation. The American Rabbits were no better and added early Buick handling qualities to the otherwise miserable platform. The only positive was space utilization, 4 people could fit in a Rabbit without amputation, but the pick-up negated that by shrinking the cab and putting the length into the bed. But then not bolstering the drivetrain and suspension to handle the bed capacity. A toyota or Datsun pick up of this era was a much better choice, perhaps a bit cruder but still running today compared to this turd. These have a bit of a cult following, unlike the hatchback versions, for the life of me I cannot understand why.

  • CannonShot CannonShot on Jun 20, 2023

    This brings back some memories! My dad was into diesel cars in the 80s and bought a brand new 1980 diesel Volkswagen Dasher (manual transmission) station wagon when I was 10 or 11. It was our primary family transportation through the 1980s. Somehow we squeezed a family of 9 into it, even for some family vacations. The older children liked to take turns sitting between the front bucket seats where we were allowed to shift gears when my dad pressed the clutch. The remaining six kids ended up in the back seat or the cargo area. That diesel engine was stinky and loud and so slow. I'm sure it took 30 seconds to get up to highway speeds. It had some reliability issues early on but after the first 2 or 3 years it ran really well. When my dad sold the Dasher it had 250,000 miles on it. One of my uncle's farm workers bought it and put more miles on it. It also had a great stereo. My mom used to go out into the Dasher parked in the driveway just listen to her favorite albums on cassette. I'd be happy driving one now if I knew someone who could keep it running. I think it averaged over 40 mpg.

  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.
  • FreedMike It's just a damn shame that Alfa never conquered its' quality demons in time for the Giulia and Stelvio to hit the market - these are loaded with personality, and we need more product like that.
  • ToolGuy When Cadillac takes all the advice offered by TTAC, will Cadillac be as Awesome as TTAC? LOL
  • ToolGuy When I say the chances of me buying one of these are remote, I mean remote as in (insert your own joke here)
  • ToolGuy Cool.
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