1981 Volkswagen Jetta GLX 1.7L from North America


A good economy car


Differential failed at 89000kms.

Rear wheel bearings failed at 102000kms.

Seats are badly worn.

Severe rust in fenders and radiator support.

Water leak in trunk.

Rear struts are showing signs of failure.

Rear spring broken.

Rear brake cylinder seized at 110000kms.

Water leaks from around the windshield right on to the fuse box, causing electrical chaos.

General Comments:

The Jetta seems to be a well made vehicle in its day, but time has taken its toll on the little beater. I like the way the car drives and performs, it is a great run about type of car. I think that it would be better with a manual transmission though, the engine revs pretty high on the highway. I would buy another Jetta, but I would go for something alittle newer like an '86 or '87, preferably with a diesel and standard transmission.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2003

1981 Volkswagen Jetta CL 1.6 diesel from UK and Ireland




Water pump seals went at about 100,000 miles.

Apart from above - nothing!

General Comments:

Most amazing car - now 20 years old and still going like a train.

Virtually no rust.

Can easily maintain 80mph on the motorway!

Interior is very basic, but teutonic functionality prevails.

Gear linkage is getting a bit floppy.

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

Review Date: 5th May, 2001

1981 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.5 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, practical, incredibly reliable and hugely fun to drive


Err... ummm..... nothing.

General Comments:

The BEST car I've ever owned, including my 1991 405 (see other entry).

It dances circles around anything I've ever driven in terms of handling, but lacks serious straight line speed and power (although an indicated 120mph is possible on deserted motorways in the early hours).

It easily swallows all my junk in its huge boot, returns 30-35mpg and costs peanuts to insure through a VW specialist, even for a 22 year old like me.

The basic engine design may be 30 years old now, the overall design isn't far behind and the car itself is 20 years old, but Ze Panzer Wagen just keeps on going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2000