1985 Volkswagen Jetta 1.6 diesel from North America


Very dependable long lasting car if maintained


I bought the car with a damaged 5 speed transmission. The car sat for a while and the seals went, which leaked the oil out. I then rebuilt the transmission.

Difficult to start in the winter. I had to keep the block heater plugged in.

General Comments:

I owned this car for ten years. I kept on the regular maintenance. It never failed me.

This car of mine didn't have the turbo. The performance wasn't great, but the fuel economy was fantastic.

Although the mileage was accumulating on this vehicle, I never felt that this car was going to leave me stranded on the freeway. It was predictable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2004

1985 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.8L Gasoline from North America


Looking for reliable driving fun? Look no further...


Valve cover gasket needs to be replaced to stop an oil leak.

Exhaust manifold gasket leaks exhaust, causing poor performance and skewed readings for the Oxygen sensor, making the car run rich.

Outer CV joints have failed, causing clicking noise in turns.

Driver's seat has worn badly down to metal understructure.

General Comments:

Prior to reading the above problems with the car and assuming that it's problematic, two things should be considered:

1) The car over 18 years old.

2) When I bought the car from the original owner, it had been sitting outside as a spare car for two years. In fact, between October 2001 and December 2003, less than 250 miles were put on the car!

I bought this car as a project car because I love VWs and I like restoring cars. I didn't expect a car without problems, and it's not my daily driver. It's quite easy to work on. I don't regret the mere $800 I spent on this car, it's a genuine blast to drive.

For only having 100 hp, it sure is peppy. I have no trouble getting on to freeways at all.

The cabin is very roomy, and the trunk is very large.

If you treat these VWs right, they will last for a long time, and give you years of driving enjoyment. It puts a smile on my face every time that I drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2004

16th Jun 2008, 21:20

I'm pretty sure the CV joints in my 85 GLI have gone to hell. When I am on the throttle or just coasting, a metallic clicking noise can be heard from the front nearside driveline. I was wondering if you did the work yourself and how long it took you to replace the CV joints on your Jetta?

Much Appreciated.


1985 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8 Liter from North America


Best used vehicle ever purchased


Head gasket went after 150,000 miles.

Transmission failed at 180,000 miles.

Muffler fell off.

Locks did not work when acquired.

General Comments:

This car was always reliable. I never worried about it starting when I had to drive it anywhere.

The Jetta has good gas mileage. I got approximately 30 miles per gallon on the highway or 25 miles per gallon.

The car handled surprising well. It saved me from at least two different accidents.

I recommend this car to a teenager looking for their first used car. It is cheap and handles great. It's lots of fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2003

29th Aug 2005, 18:19

Hey, what's up? my name is Ryen Bartley and I own a 85 Jetta. where would you find cheap fuel pumps (if you can anymore) for my car? it needs a new in-tank pump, so I can trade it for a small pickup. but with all these goods reviews, I'm second thinking the small pickup. so if you can help me with prices please do. festis_07@msn.com.

1985 Volkswagen Jetta GL turbo diesel from North America


Outstanding economy, solid drive


Mostly the usual items, but the diesel does not need 'tuning up', per-se.

The diesel fuel pump konked out at 410,00 and the repair was so costly (even with used parts) that in the end I have decided to retire the vehicle.

I think these vehicles are reliable up until they move into self-destruct mode, like mine did at 410,000km.

At this age, it was starting to exhibit many of the little signs of aging, like failure in trim and door handles and such. I was tolerant of this.

General Comments:

The car is best-suited to someone looking for very low fuel consumption. I have driven 1000km on one fill-up, and diesel in most places is substantially cheaper than gasoline, and has more stable pricing.

1980s interior styling feels more spacious than late-model cars with more sculpted cockpit-like interiors, in my opinion.

Not particularly quiet, and smokes a bit when starting cold.

Excellent highway vehicle. Handles well, with a much more solid feel than most Japanese cars. Ours had no power-steering, which I kind of liked for the solid feel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2003