2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0




There was an immediate problem with the transmission, which violently downshifted at inappropriate times. Several service reps blew me off and said that it was "normal" for an automatic to do that. It took several visits to have somebody tell me that "It's a very common software glitch." Then it took another month of waiting for the one guy who could fix it to come back into town.

Defective windshield wiper inserts.

Personal items were missing from the car after having it detailed at the dealership. They promised a certificate for a free oil change which never materialized.

The stereo unit went completely inert due to a fuse popping out. I got the "It's a common glitch" line and had to wait a week and a half for somebody to simply re-seat the fuse, which I could've done myself, but they refused to tell me where it was.

There was a faulty regulator concerning my power windows, which refused to close. (refer to "common glitch" line.)

The knobs kept breaking off the face of the radio. Many replacements. I finally just glued them back on.

Defective sunroof shade.

Plastic latch on the arm rest lid broke inside the unit.

The entire arm rest assembly refused to move up or down, and then fell apart completely.

The door handle on the driver's side is peeling.

Yellow viscous fluid is still leaking from all doors.

General Comments:

I thought that I had done the proper research on this car and I received a very good "vibe" during the purchase process. Obviously, I didn't do enough searching. My old Saturn was much more reliable!

The service is terrible and has no concept of "follow up."

The repairs take hours longer than first promised. Oil changes average about two and a half hours- even with the earliest appointment of the day.

The treatment I have received from the staff has either been extraordinarily immature or extremely aloof.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd July, 2003

11th Jul 2003, 11:30

Please report your issue.


15th Sep 2003, 17:14

Wow! I guess that just goes to show that not only is quality control essential, but so is picking a good dealer. I've got the 2002 Golf, and I haven't had nearly so many troubles. What problems I *have* had were dealt with immediately.

Once, shortly after I'd purchased the car, the driver's door handle stopped working because something had come loose inside the door. I called for a service appointment and was given an appointment one week out. I commented that it was going to be pretty frustrating waiting a week without being able to get in the driver's side door. The appointment scheduler immediately changed gears and had me bring the car in as soon as possible.

5th Jul 2009, 16:35

It's funny because I also had a Saturn before my 2002 Jetta, and apart from a few fixes it was quite reliable. My Jetta is turning out to be a nightmare because my warranty ran out and it doesn't help that I am the second owner. My trouble is with the transmission. Occasionally it won't shift into Reverse and I have to shift it down into Drive or either 1 or 2 before it jerks into gear... I am dreading having it fixed as it might run me broke.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS wagon 2.0L


Sleek, attractive wagon


The 2003 GLS is supposed to come with map pockets in the backs of the front seats. Mine are missing; apparently manufactured that way. No help from the dealer or from VW, as I no longer have window sticker.

The floor mats are supposed to snap in place. Mine don't fit the snaps in the floor. The dealer offered me another type of mat, but they wouldn't fit either. The quality of the mats isn't that great anyway, I'll probably replace them with something else.

The worst problem is that the floor on the driver's side is always wet. We've had a rainy spring, but I can't believe how much water I keep finding on the floor. I don't think it leaks around the door when the door's closed, but I think it pools around the seals and rushes in when the door is opened. I can't be the only person with this problem.

General Comments:

All in all, I like the car a lot. It handles well, and seems solidly built.

The exterior is sleek and attractive, without the goofy styling excesses of a lot of cars.

The overall quality of the interior is excellent (except the ridiculous cup holders and the floor mats).

The front seats are comfortable, but the back seats have no legroom for an adult. The back seat is so crowded that there's no way three people could sit back there--what's the center headrest for? I took it off and improved visibility out the back tremendously.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2003

25th Jul 2003, 07:34

My 2003 Jetta wagon has the same water issue except it's the back seats, back seat floor and passenger side. Just 30 minutes of rain will fill these areas with water. The dealership thinks I'm crazy and said I must have left the windows cracked. Why would I leave the windows cracked when it's raining?

The water issue is just the icing on the cake to a plethora of problems I've had with the car since driving it off the lot, most all problems electrical. The headlights and wind shield wipers would go off randomly. The stereo stopped working. The speedometer is possessed. That car has been in the shop at least once a month since I bought it in November of 2002. It doesn't even have 10,000 miles on it. I can't stand the dealership (West Broad Volkswagen in Richmond, VA). All they care about is the sale. Follow-up and explanations of problems stink. Sounds like people are having similar problems ("It's just a software glitch. It's just the way they were built.") I, too, regret ever buying this car. I will NEVER buy another Volkswagen again.