2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0L


Disappointed in Volkswagen


The front passenger side speakers crackle and fail often.

The gas cover doesn't close anymore.

The sound seal around the doors freezes to the doors.

Suspension is not good in the cold.

The brakes are very poor in the cold.

General Comments:

I have been reading the reviews on this site and I am truly disappointed in the number of complaints for the model car with which I am having trouble.

I had to replace the pads and rotors after 14000km. The warranty covered them to 12000km, so I paid $500 for it. Now at 23000km they seem to be ready to need replacement again. Another $500 for my dealers car, on top of the $500 to be allowed to drive their failing car for that month.

When the vehicle is cold, the suspension makes loud noises, like a 19th century carriage.

The sound seal around the doors freezes to the doors. It has torn off in places when I force the doors open.

The front passenger side speakers crackle and fail often. This seems connected to the volume control on the deck, as they come back if I play with it. It will be interesting when I report this to the dealer, because that will likely be one of the few days that is works.

The gas cover doesn't close anymore. This started yesterday. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

Due the sheer number of reports regarding the ignition coils, I suppose that I will have to prepare for trouble there as well. So far, it's been OK.

I live in Newfoundland, Canada. We get an insane amount of snow here, and I am learning that the Jetta is poorly designed for cold winter and snow. The brakes, in particular, are probably fine on the Autobahn in Germany, but the freeze, stop working, and make a lot of noise here in Canada.

I thought that VW made good cars. That was the reputation anyway. But I am discovering that they are more interested in styling and promotion rather than engineering a dependable car. I have been experiencing failures that make me question the quality of the entire automobile. My warranty does not cover me through my entire lease, and I pay enough to drive a car already, without having to fix flaws in the design or workmanship in a car that is still technically belonging to the dealer.

Somehow it does not feel right when I bring a car to a dealer and they say, in effect, "OUR car needs this fixed, again, and YOU have to pay for it."

I miss my Mazda B4000. The extra I pay to drive a VW must be being spent on their cool commercials, because it is not going into a well made product.

I will be avoiding Volkswagen for sure after this. I will be cautious about Audi, Seat, and the rest of the VW Autogroup as well I'm afraid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th February, 2004

18th Aug 2004, 14:59

I don't think people who buy Jettas are in the market to buy a Mercedes or a Porsche :)

26th Mar 2008, 02:33

Keep in mind brake pads ware, its when you let them ware down that you need to replace the rotors too, that's when it gets expensive. Pads ware fast or slow depending on how hard you drive you car.

10th Nov 2008, 12:40

Not on a VW Jetta... you have to replace the pads and rotors as they are 1 component. Same goes for the sealed transmission, which I replaced at 80K miles. NOTHING on a VW is an easy or frugal repair. Purchasing a new battery was $175 for battery+installation, can't really install yourself b/c there is a fuse box covering the battery requiring removal in order to replace the battery.

27th Nov 2008, 20:47

I've replaced my battery, and I'm far from auto/mechanically inclined. The replacement was about $90 at Schucks (Kragen/Checker/PartsAmerica)... and I plopped it in myself, no problems. (I have a TDI GLS with what I think is called "self venting" battery... maybe it's different from gasoline models?)

But the brakes are a different story. I don't want to learn how and then replace them myself, and the dealer quoted me $540 for parts+labor. Looking at the parts, they run about $120 for standard stuff, or $200 for performance parts... just seems kind of steep.

24th Mar 2010, 15:53

The brake pad is been giving me problems, it gets bad often, how many times would I need to replace now? Not too happy. adebiyicosby@yahoo.com, Nigerian.

23rd Sep 2010, 13:51

I think that 2002 Jetta remains one of the great miracles that VW has done so far. I have owned two of them, and they've served me well. Kudos to VW.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI


Still fun despite headaches


The trunk latch is broken.

The armrest collapses.

The armrest compartment lid broke off.

Both front windows collapsed (fixed through recall.)

Spring came FLYING out from under passenger seat.

Knobs came off stereo.

Front right brake disk failed at 5,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is a lot of fun to drive, but so many gadgets have broken. Since we get our $1,500 extended warranty reimbursed eventually, we've been hesitant to have Volkswagen fix the broken interior gadgets since the value of the repairs still will be much less than $1,500. I'm sure the dealership would do so in a heartbeat. They've been honorable. We've just lived with some of the problems, but having a trunk that won't latch is a major headache. We've fastened it from the inside with a bungee! The car has handled a lot of mileage beautifully. No problems with the engine to date (touch wood.) Average mileage is about 42 mpg, which includes a lot of mountain driving. Have gotten as much as 48 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd January, 2004