Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems?

Jason · Oct 17, 2021 10:00 AM

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 01

When the third-generation VW Scirocco was revealed to the world in 2008, it was no exaggeration that many jaws were left on the floor. Here was VW, makers of the Golf and Passat (very competent cars no less), unveiling a devilishly sexy coupe that looked like no other, with performance to match.

Needless to say, it quickly became an object of desire for many yuppies, with it's lusty silhouette and sporty dynamics. More than a decade on, the Scirocco is no less seductive. Can it win your heart as a used car purchase? Here's what you need to know about the maintenance and common problems of the third-generation VW Scirocco.  

Which VW Scirocco variant should I buy?

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 02

The VW Scirocco was officially launched in Malaysia in 2009, with the 2.0 TSI model being the first to enter our markets, with a RM 243,888 price tag. Powering this variant was VW's ubiquitious EA888 2.0-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder outputting 211 PS and 280 Nm. All that grunt is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (VW calls it the DQ250). 

The 1.4 TSI variant soon followed in 2010, and was priced at RM 188,888. As the name suggests, this one is powered by a EA111 1.4-litre, twincharged (supercharged and turbocharged) 4-cylinder making 161 PS and 240 Nm. Rounding off the powertrain combo is VW's 7-speed, dual clutch transmission (DQ200).

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 01

Facelift model pictured

Globally, the Scirocco range received a facelift in 2014, but it never made it to the Malaysian market officially, as the Scirocco nameplate was already pulled from showrooms by then.

VW Scirocco powertrains
  Output Transmission
1.4 TSI 161 PS, 240 Nm 7 DCT
2.0 TSI 211 PS, 280 Nm 6 DCT

There is the full-fat, steroid-injected R version that sits right at the top of the Scirocco range, but for this buying guide, we will focus on the 1.4 TSI and 2.0 TSI models. Below we list the differences in equipment between the 1.4 TSI and 2.0 TSI. 

VW Scirocco equipment
  1.4 TSI 2.0 TSI
Headlights Bi-xenon Bi-xenon
Upholstery 'Merlin'
Fabric
'Vienna'
leather
Powered
front seats
No Driver
only
VSC Yes Yes
Airbags 6 6
Keyless
entry/start
No No
A/C 
system
Auto
2-zone
Auto
2-zone
Cruise
Control
No Yes
Reverse
camera
No No

Prices hover around RM 55k for 2011 models, of which there are plenty of choices. If you prefer the more powerful 2.0 TSI, budget around RM 65k and you get to choose from 2009 to 2010 models. 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 02

2.0 TSI model gained 18-inch rims

Our recommendation is to go for the 2.0 TSI model. Not only do you get more performance, you get a slightly plusher interior (plush leather, no less) and overall a more rounded car to live with (more on that later), even if ownership costs are undeniably higher.

Why buy a VW Scirocco? 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 03

Well, take a look at it. This is a model that was launched in 2008, and it still looks box-fresh and desirable as ever. The slinky, squat and wide-hipped curves on the outside gives it a distinctive shape, one that has stood the test of time very well. The frameless doors just serve to accentuate the Scirocco's sporting intentions.

No doubt, driving one of these will get you eyeballs everywhere you go. This third-generation Scirocco heralded a new 'family' grille design that is still evident in modern VWs to this day. That pinched, horizontal dash across the front of VWs you see today? Yep, all from the Scirocco. 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 04

Typically Teutonic ambience. Note the triangular door handle

Stepping inside, one of the most instantly pleasing and recognisable elements in the cabin is the triangular door handles. And yes, the rest of the Scirocco's interior is typically Teutonic. That means the dashboard and insides are built like a bank vault, solid to the touch. However, it can come across as a bit sombre and muted.

Nonetheless, there are no major learning curves when it comes to the Scirocco's ergonomics. You jump in, and get going. If you've been in a Mk5 or Mk6 Golf, the Scirocco will feel no different to operate inside. 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 05

1.4 TSI models came with fabric interiors

What is different compared to the comtemporary Golf is that the Scirocco is less spacious inside. So, what it makes up for style, it sacrifices a little in space. It will fit four adults at a stretch, but those rear seats aren't suited for long-distance journeys. 

But yes, the Scirocco does carry off a stronger sporting ambience compared to its Golf stablemate. With 312 litres of boot space, you do have enough space to do a spot of grocery shopping or a short holiday. 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 06

312 litres of usable boot space

Or just take it for a spirited drive on a nice stretch of road (responsibly, of course), and you'll find that the Scirocco does not disappoint. Regardless of which variant, the Scirocco is happy to roll up its sleeves and please the driver. Because of its wide track, grip is plentiful and the driving experience is predictable, fun and gratifying. 

Adding to the rich driving experience is the punchy combination of the force-inducted TSI engines and the snappy DSG transmissions. Both variants have superbly calibrated responses that make them a riot to drive.

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 07

Ride comfort, however, is not exactly a Scirocco forte, especially the 1.4 TSI version that employs passive suspension. You will feel road imperfections and the best (sorry, worst) of Malaysian road surfaces. In the 2.0 TSI version, things are a bit better due to it having the DCC adaptive dampers. But who cares about ride comfort in a car this stylish?

What's the ownership and maintenance costs like? 

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 08

VW was one of the first car makers to jump on the 'downsizing' trend with its engines. That being the case, the road taxes on both Scirocco variants are not the most exhorbitant. We break down some ownership costs below. 

VW Scirocco ownership costs
  1.4 TSI 2.0 TSI
Road Tax
(RM)
70 380
Tyres/pc
(RM)
380 530
Tyre size 225/45
R17
225/40
R18
10k km 
minor
service (RM)
260 320
30k km
gearbox 
oil change (RM)
210 570

Once again, WapCar.my sought the insights of Steven from VAGTechnik to get a better idea of what are the common issues with VW Sciroccos. 

On the subject of engines, Steven points out that the EA888 engines are generally not problematic, with the caveat of proper maintenance. However, there is a batch of pre-2011 units that are prone to having failure of the timing chain tensioner. A replacement would cost around RM 2,200.

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 09

VW's twincharged 1.4-litre TSI engine

With the EA111 1.4 TSI engine, one common issue with this powertrain is cracked pistons, therefore a compression test is necessary if you're serious about getting one of these. This is more prevalent in 2011 - 2012 model year cars.

Overhauling this engine would cost in the range of RM 5,000 to 8,000, depending on the severity, according to Steven.

VW Scirocco common problems
Part Symptom Price (RM)
Ignition coil Misfiring engine 800
Water pump Overheating engine 400 -
550
Radiator Overheating engine 600
Wheel speed
sensor
ESP
malfunction
65/pc
Radiator fan motor Overheating engine 540
Passive
damper
Knocking noises,
harsh ride
200-
250/pc
DCC 
damper
Knocking noises,
harsh ride
1,000/pc
Timing chain
tensioner
Engine misfiring/
difficult to start
2,200
DCT
Clutch 
Slipping on 
acceleration
2,500 -
2,650
Valvetrain
decarbonisation
Loss of 
power
300 -
500
Mechatronic Unable to 
select gear
2,300
Engine overhaul
(cracked pistons)
Loss of 
compression

5,000 - 
8,000

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 10

Photo credit: Amazon

Transmission wise, Steven shares that the DQ250 wet clutch units are generally pretty robust and trouble-free, provided the maintenance has been done properly and regularly. Most of the time, you'd only have to worry about a clutch replacement (RM 2,500). 

With the DQ200 dry-clutch transmission, it's important to pay attention to the mechatronic unit, Steven shares. If it has been replaced before, it's one less thing to worry about, as the newer units are improved. Otherwise, changing a mechatronic unit will set you back around RM 2,300.

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 11

Photo credit: VAGTechnik

Because both the EA111 and EA888 are direct-injection units, it's best to watch out for carbon build up on the valvetrain. This can cause loss of power and poor fuel economy. A decarbonising service can cost RM 300 - RM 500, and is recommended for engines that have done 100,000 km or more.

Seeing that many Sciroccos have been around since 2009, the suspension will probably need to be replaced too regardless of whether it's the passive dampers (RM 200 - RM 250/pc) or the adaptive DCC ones (RM 1,000/pc). Steven does point out that many owners will usually plump for aftermarket options when the dampers expire.

Conclusion

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 12

With prices of Sciroccos now a far cry from what it was when new, the VW Scirocco is indeed a rather attractive proposition for someone seeking a Continental ownership experience with a sporty and stylish twang.

Furthermore, VW has already made it clear that it has no plans to make a fourth-generation successor, so the Scirocco will go down the path of the dodo, or like its now much-revered cousin, the Corrado.

What we can say it, Sciroccos were a rare sight when new, and will remain a rarity in the future. If that's your cup of tea, shop away.

Used 10 year-old VW Scirocco for RM 55k. Maintenance and common problems? 13

Jason

Road Test Editor

Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.

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