1986 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L gas from North America


Fine design, highly reliable and cheap to fix


When purchased, the alternator was replaced with a rebuilt unit, and the main fuel pump (loud electric whine) replaced at 266K along with the left-side CV shaft.

I replaced the rear brake cylinders/pads and front pads/disks at 260K, along with the semi-seized e-brake cables. I just replaced the right-side CV shaft when the outer CV broke apart at 346K.

A ā€œCā€ shaped fissure of rust on the driver side floor pan had the seat springing up and down on bumps, and was replaced with a riveted piece from an rust-free donor. A rust spot on the passenger floor pan allows water to soak the rear carpeting.

Door handles are a VW weak spot, 2 of 4 or broken.

The "A"-arm bushings are shot and clank over bumps.

Window scraper seals improved with black silicone.

General Comments:

This car has been a dream and continues to pass aircare like it could care less. I oil & filter change about every 8K, and air filter about every 30K.

This was a Saskatchewan car prior to BC, so I battle underside rust spots and stuck fasteners/bolts often.

A good econo car with inexpensive, plentiful parts. Fast if you push it, I cruise at 140km/hr on the highway.

Excellent engine access and design. If the timing belt goes, the valves are OK. I recommend the manual rack & pinion steering for simplicity under the hood (45 seconds to replace and tension the lone water-pump/alternator belt.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2006

8th Feb 2006, 16:53

Saskatchewan car eh!

Well, IMHO, you'd be better off purchasing a local BC VW, as that Sask car will continue to rust, regardless of where it now resides!

1986 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L Gasoline from North America


German engineering at its best


Shortly after I acquired the car the reverse light switch/ upshift indicator switch failed. It cost about $55 to repair and was really easy.

The transfer pump is currently failing on the car, I am told this is somewhat common. The part is around $60 and is not that difficult to repair.

General Comments:

This car has been in my family since 1989 and had around 60,000 miles on it.

It has had regular service and general wear parts replaced, but has not really had any serious problems to date.

If I had to get another car it would be the same car. I am that impressed by it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2004

1986 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4 cylinder from North America


The best little car I ever bought


Oil pump.

Fuel pump.

General Comments:

This is a grate car. I bought it for $1500 dollars and have put lots of miles on it. It is very reliable and it has never left me stranded. I live in NC and have taken this car to Texas numerouis time.

The seats are very comfortable and the car is very fun to drive. It still gets 30 miles to the gallon and does not burn any oil.

You must use 20w-50 in this car or the low oil pressure light will come on.

I have had no major problems with the car and would buy one again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2003

1986 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Wolfsburg 8v from North America


The ultimate reliable sport sedan!


Actual mileage is unknown since the odometer has been broken since I got the car.

When I bought the car, it needed a new clutch, which apparently was hard to install since they were selling it for that reason they were selling it. However, I installed the clutch with no problem and haven't had any major issues with the car since then.

Replaced pads and rotors all around ~3,000 miles after obtaining car.

Replaced rear calipers after I realized the parking brake was sticking, the remanufactured right caliper (watch out for those) still sticks...

Driver's side seat bolster is fairly worn (not torn!) due to getting in/out of the car. The leather interior is quite nice, the only part that's torn so far is the rear seat seam up towards the rear deck, and it has the usual driver's seat wear.

Valves tend to tick when it starts to need an oil change.

General Comments:

My car is the Wolfsburg edition with gray leather interior, and when I got the car, the mileage was unknown except that it was over 350,000. I originally bought the car for $500 and have since put close to $1500 into it, not bad for a car going on 17 years old.

This car still has the original engine and 5-speed transmission, which should tell you something about it's reliability.

If this car has good OEM suspension parts (especially on the GLI models), it handles very well for a 4 door sedan.

I have yet to drive the larger 16v engine, but even this 8v that's in my car with over 350,000 miles on it will beat a stock civic off the line. Premium gas makes a remarkable difference.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2003