2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI 1.9 turbo diesel


I have a very high opinion of this car, have had great experience and would buy another one tomorrow


Electric window lift passenger side failed while under warranty. VW fixed, also installed "update kit" to driver's side. Shortly after, I received letter in the mail extending the warranty on electric windows to 10 or 12 years (don't remember which) with unlimited mileage. (Have had no further problems with windows)

Drivers side inside door handle is peeling, similar to other comments I have seen posted here. I agree unsightly, but I didn't bother to complain about this cosmetic issue.

Other than routine maintenance, the only repair items I've had to do to this (TDI diesel) car are:

Alternator failed at 117000. That was sooner than I would have expected, but still more than 100K miles, so not sure if I can complain!

Right side CV joint wore out (thump thump thump on turns) at around 134000 miles. Again sooner than I would have expected, but not sure if I can complain about that! (Replaced with a used unit, cost $100, still running fine)

Had to install new set of glow plugs at 175000 miles due to orange light on dash.

That's all. At time of this writing, the car has 198000 miles on it. Very much highway miles- the car commutes between Atlanta, GA and Anniston, AL. Still has original brakes and clutch (yes, original brakes at 198000 miles).

General Comments:

I felt compelled to write about our (this) car after reading several other posts indicating bad luck. Maybe we just got one of the exceptionally good ones. (We have had no radio problems.)

We're not VW "lovers", but have grown to really like this car as it has had very low maintenance and still gets 49+ MPG (USA) even after 198000 miles.

The engine still consumes little or no oil between oil changes. Not exactly a drag racer, but the plentiful torque makes it very easy to live with.

By the way- we liked this car so much, we bought a new 2003 Jetta diesel wagon. Had the car for 44000 miles, only problem ever had with that one was interior lights dimmer switch failed, replaced under warranty. We traded that car on a pickup truck. We like the new pickup, but really miss the jetta wagon! (It got 50 MPG)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2006

30th Jun 2007, 12:15

I am glad that someone finally got a decent VW. I have heard some of the older models did not have the same problems as the newer ones. I have also heard that the European imported VWs were also built with higher quality parts.

I honestly believe that because you got rid of your VW 2003 TDI at 44000m, you saved yourself a world of trouble. I had the unfortunate luck of purchasing a used 2002 TDI at 44915m, and I was immediately immersed with nearly all the problems listed in other posts.

I wish my car's bells and whistles functioned. It's what set the VW apart from every other car; however, because VW seems to have some trouble building proper electrical systems, and because they seem to like to buy cheap parts in bulk, my car is an average car - and really, it's not even that. It's an average car with many annoyances that can be drowned out by a nice stereo.

I wish you the best of luck with your older VW.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8 diesel TDI


Needs skilled/ethical service behind a great car


I am worried about the VW dealers service departments. I owned a 2002 TDI and had no problems for three years until the first time my local dealer worked on the car. Two days later it would not start and continued to not start at random. They said turbo was dirty and cost my left arm to clean. That fixed that problem however, now the cars fuel mixture was off.? Took it to another trusted guy in town and he said that the computer had been messed with. Well in the mean time my brother bought a 2005 TDI and the same dealer has done something to that car. Just wondering if anyone knows if this maybe my imagination or are the TDI engines junk? Thanks and I hope everyone has a better experience with their TDIs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd April, 2006

5th Jun 2006, 21:08

I now live in the USA and have a gas powered jetta wagon. However I used to live int he UK and previously owned the super-fast 6 speed golf TDI PD (you can see I still miss it!)

Anyway, the computer can get screwed up and require resetting by VW. For mine I think it happened when the battery went dead. I think the system can re-learn but as I recall you get sluggish performance until this is done. Take it to VW and get them to reset it. FYI the TDI is a great engine very torquey, and if you are lucky to have the PD and 6 speed gearbox, you have a gem.