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Maintenance costs are one of the most important parts of car shopping, as buying a car with low maintenance costs can save drivers a lot of money in the long run. One of the reasons why Volkswagen is popular is because the German automaker has many reliable cars with low maintenance costs. Here’s a look at three Volkswagen models with annual estimated maintenance costs of less than $500. 

1. Volkswagen Cabriolet

Overall, RepairPal gave Volkswagen a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5. That’s an above-average reliability rating for an automaker. However, unfortunately, the average VW car has an annual maintenance cost of $676. Still, one of the perks of having a large lineup is that a handful of VW cars have yearly maintenance costs that are significantly less than that. 

The Volkswagen Cabriolet is one of those cars. It has an average annual maintenance cost of just $451. Overall, drivers were pretty satisfied with their compact car as they gave it an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. However, drivers reported a total of seven problems with the Cabriolet. The most common problem had to do with the manual transmission, as it was prone to making noise, and the reverse gear could fail.

Notably, this problem with the manual was reported early in the car’s lifecycle, as drivers reported this issue after only driving about 14,000 miles in the car. Another common problem had to do with coolant and oil leaks. The cost of fixing this problem depended on its source. Drivers who only needed to replace the valve cover gasket paid about $100. However, drivers who needed to replace the water pump may need to pay well over $600.

2. Volkswagen Fox

A red 2011 Volkswagen Fox Urban subcompact car model
2011 Volkswagen Fox Urban | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Volkswagen Fox was a subcompact car discontinued a decade ago, allowing it to have a very affordable average annual maintenance cost of $411. Like with the Cabriolet, owners seemed to be happy with the car as it has an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. Owners reported five problems with the Fox, and the most common problem was that the car’s ignition wires could break down and cause a misfire. 

This issue with the ignition wires needs about $100 to $200 to fix. The VW Fox also had problems with coolant and oil leaks, and just like the Cabriolet, the cost of repairing that problem depended on its source. Replacing the valve cover gasket costs about $100, and replacing the water pump may set owners back by about $500. Furthermore, owners also reported issues with the car’s manual transmission. The reverse gear may fail, and there’s noise in the transmission.

3. Volkswagen Rabbit

The Volkswagen Rabbit is another VW car with a low maintenance cost; owners paid an average of $463 a year on maintenance costs. Like the Cabriolet and the Fox, owners seem happy with the Rabbit, as it has an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. In total, owners reported three problems with the Rabbit. The most common problem had to do with the German car’s HVAC vents. Owners reported smelling a musty odor coming from the vents.

This HVAC issue affected VW Rabbits at an average mileage of 50,000 miles. That said, owners reported it happening in as little as 13,000 miles. The second and third issues are related to one another. After starting the engine, drivers could hear popping noises in the trunk. Drivers were also sometimes unable to start the Rabbit after refueling. However, both problems can be solved by replacing the N80 valve.

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