1987 Volkswagen Jetta 2 CSL 1.6 from South Africa


Perfect cheap car


Clutch cable has been replaced twice.

Door card is coming off on the passenger door.

Doesn't start easily in cold weather.

Difficult to get it into 5th gear.

General Comments:

Had the car resprayed in a custom electric blue, and fitted 17 inch MSR racing mags.

The engine has redone from the ground up.

It's very fuel efficient for an old car, and has performance that feels like a 1.8 and not a 1.6.

Parts are easily available, and are generally super cheap in RSA.

I'm planning to get a smash and grab window put in, and an alarm with central locking in the next couple of days.

Overall, I think it's a great 2nd hand buy, as long as you find one in good nick, and have it checked by a mechanic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2010

1987 Volkswagen Jetta Coupe 1.8 gas from North America


A car I miss, and I wish I had not sold it


I owned the car for 10 years. Can't remember the costs, but repairs were a clutch once.

I went through 3 or 4 voltage regulators.

One fuel pump.

General Comments:

My first car, and I miss that car a lot.

It took me all over the country; I drove it to California twice, New York, Florida, Maryland many times.

That car never gave me any real trouble. It drove great, has enough get up and go to make me happy on the highway and around town. The handling was very good for its class. It was not the fastest best or best handling, but it did everything very well.

It could cruise on the highway at 70-80 all day. The gas mileage was awesome. It always averaged 35 to 40 mpg.

I just found out my mechanic has one, and he's going to be selling it soon, and I'm thinking even though it's an old car, I might buy it just to have a Jetta coupe again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th January, 2009

1987 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


The overall reliablilty could have been better


Radiator had to be replaced. The Aluminum plastic interface in the manifold would fail due to fatigue. Expanding and contracting over and over again. I had the dealer install an aftermarket radiator. After that everything was OK.

Windshield replacement on this car is impossible. The design is so complicated. I had to have my windshield replaced when a rock cracked it. Three replacements later they got it right.

General Comments:

Big improvement over my 75 Rabbit. Much better fuel and electrical systems. Overall quality much better. More comfortable. VW has a beautiful four cylinder engine. Lots of power and good gas mileage.

The overall reliablilty could have been better.

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

Review Date: 31st October, 2008

6th Apr 2010, 18:01

My 87 Jetta is the best vehicle I've ever owned. The engine is solid, and I can easily push 70-80 mph. It's never given me any problems, and I'm only the 2nd owner.

1987 Volkswagen Jetta Carat 1.8L SOHC 8v from North America


Decent performer, but dressed to impress


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.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2008

3rd Jun 2009, 11:29

I got the same car for my birthday in December, 2008. It's been in and out of some shops since then. I got it with only 95,000 km on it, not too bad for a 87.

The brakes were the major problem on it. I've had to replace the whole system; pads, rotors, lines, master brake cylinder. The only other things I've replaced were the fuel pump and the driver side window washer.

Everything else is fine on it; A/C still works, heated seats, power windows and mirrors, all speakers are fine. After I got it back from the first shop, my brake lines blew. Luckily enough I had been driving it around all day and the line blew 2 minutes from my house.

All in all, I am very happy with the car.

3rd Jun 2009, 16:31

I've owned a number of VWs over the years, and in my opinion the 80's to early 90's were the best.

They are superb in their simplicity. Great runners, fine handling, and economical.

I owned an '87 Jetta GLI that went 228,000 miles before it gave up the ghost. My favorite perhaps was a 1993 Cabriolet, which I still miss driving.

If you get a good one, it is a wonderful experience.

If you get a bad one (like the '85 Cabriolet I once owned) it will be in the shop on a weekly basis.

All in all, I will always have a soft-spot in my heart for VW's of this era.

25th Dec 2010, 23:30

I have a little problem. I just bought a 1987 VW Jetta, but it comes with two different serial numbers; one in the VIN number and other different under the hood. Can someone can tell me something about it? vicko003@hotmail.com