[Vwdiesel] Payload capacity

William J Toensing toensing at wildblue.net
Wed Nov 25 22:10:05 PST 2009

My guess is the VW Rabbit pickup would have a capacity of 1/2 ton or 1000 pounds. 
As to top speed, in 1979 I took European delivery of a then new Rabbit LX 5 speed tudor. On the Autobahn, top speed was 85 MPH so it was in the right lane most of the time. When in the left lane, which is for passing only, got some dirty looks from BMW, Mercedes, & Audi drivers when passing trucks doing 90 KPH (56 MPH). Also found out why Citroens don't have self canceling turn signals. When in in the left or passing lane you are supposed to leave your left turning signal on as a warning to those driving 150+ MPH on the Autobahn.
However, my X wife managed to get a speeding ticket in Wyoming (back in the days of the STUPID 55 MPH speed limit going 95 MPH down a mountain hill heading east on I-80 just west of Laramie, Wyo. She got that Rabbit in the 1983 divorce. 
As to MPG, that Rabbit only got MPG in the low 30s. Once, I did get 42 MPG in Europe after converting liters per 100 Km to MPG. However, once back in LA, I had an extra 10 gallon fuel tank installed as well as air conditioning which is probably why I only got MPG in the low 30s.
After that divorce, I bought a new 1983 Nissan Sentra diesel & that car did get fantastic MPG. I tend to be obsessive about fuel economy & keep logs of gallons taken per fill up so I had a record of every gallon bought for that Sentra down to 3 decimal points. When I sold the Sentra, I found the overall average for the 50,000 miles I drove it was an outstanding 42+ MPG! I sold the Sentra after buying a new Mazda 626 diesel in Oct. 1985. I only got from 30 to 35 MPG with the Mazda, but drove it for over 10 years & 170,000 miles before the engine overheated & died due to a hidden thermostat bypass hose I didn't know about, burst & the temperature gage failed to disclose the engine was overheating, only running warmer than normal. Lesson learned. Monitor your temperature gage & the temperature it shows under various operating conditions & outside temperatures. Investigate when it acts abnormally. Also, install an extra temperature gage to monitor the temperature at a different part of the cooling system.
Bill Toensing, Nevada City, CA

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