Least reliable? my 1980 VW Rabbit C 1.6L gas engine had so many electrical bugs it was ALWAYS leaving me stranded. The alternator would charge when it wanted to, and when it didn't want to, it would slowly kill the battery while I drove it leaving me where ever the battery decided to leave me.
It got so bad that I learned to only park the car facing downhill so I could push start it if needed. Then the Rust started to really set in and the dang gas tank failed internally. Every time I took a left turn the car would stall. That car was something else. I walked home so many times back then I lost count. A few times It would leave me stranded on a date, and let me tell you... Girls don't like that![/QUOTE]
That's odd. Those early water cooled cars were excellent (a 1.6L rare at that). VW was so different back then compared to the present. Quality as well as customer support has gone so far down. I think it is just because they know people will purchase their vehicles now (Americans more accepting of foreign vehicles).
Least Reliable: An 86 Grandpa Blue Ford Tempo. I took possession of it in about 1992. Even though I believe it to be a fairly reliable and successful vehicle for Ford, I had nothing but problems with it. I was not mechanically inclined enough at the time so, I cannot articulate everything that was wrong with it (even with regular maintenance).
Most Reliable: 2003 VW Golf 2.0 manual. Never any problems. When I did do any of the maintenance, none of the components recommended for replacement showed any wear (including things such as cabin air filter, engine air filter, spark plugs).
The gen1 Rabbits were notorious for electrical probs if the windshield leaked at its base on the driver's (left) side (common rust area). Water would then drip directly onto the fuse block and relays under the dash, creating all sorts of electrical gremlins. I had 6 of those cars!
Electrically that is true because the A1 VWs had a... cannot remember the name now electrical system. If you had a broken antenna and water got in the hole, you could short the system. Cars electricals are separated and closed now to avoid this.