Things that needed replacing when I first bought the car.
- Needed a power steering pump.
- Needed all rear fuel lines replaced, including filter.
- Needed brakes all around.
- Needed a new A/C condenser pump.
- Needed front springs.
In general this is a very good running car. Volkswagen has found a sweet spot for fuel economy and engine power. The car is not exactly the quickest off the line, naturally with a 1.8L. But once at cruising speeds of 50-140km/h, the car has decent acceleration.
The fuel consumption of this car is a pleaser. It takes very little gas to run. I get about 23-25 MPG in town, and about 30-32 on the highway; not exactly a hybrid but better than most compact cars, and full size sedans.
The interior on the "carat' edition is just below the luxurious "Wolfsburg" edition. The interior features chrome accents inside, lots of storage space to put maps, your cigs, sunglasses (stuff like that), above average bucket seats in the front, and a bench in the rear (which includes fold down arm rest. The seats are adjustable in many ways to accommodate many sizes of person. It includes heated front seats as well. The Carat also includes a crank sunroof, power windows, cruise control, lighted shifter column, lighted passenger side vanity mirror, and power side mirrors. The interior is roomy, and comfortably fits 4 people, it will seat 5, but it gets pretty tight in the back seat. The trunk on this car is absolutely enormous compared to most compact cars. For Canadians let's just say 2 hockey bags, no problem. :-).
The sound system on the Jetta Carat is fairly decent when stock. I have upgraded the head unit to a CD player, but the car came stock with a tape deck, and dash tweeters, front door speakers, and rear deck speakers.
Aside from the top dollar maintenance costs to repair this particular vehicle, the parts last a very long time, and the engines are good for 300,000+ km's. I would recommend this car for anyone who has a tight budget for a car, but still wants the luxuries of a top model sedan. It's also a gas saver, which everyone could use right now, hehe.