1987 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg from North America
A car college students can count on!!
The only things that went wrong with this car were just routine.
Battery died (but I had left the wipers on…)
Dash lights went on and off.
Windshield wipers stopped working.
Everything that needed to be fixed on this car my dad and I fixed with the help of a manual. The most expensive repair was to fix the wipers, which cost about $160.
Also, when it rained really hard, the floor in the back would get wet (No big deal though, I just used a wet vac to suck it up). We never did figure out why it leaked.
I got this car from a family friend who took GREAT care of it. The inside of the car was in perfect condition, and it ran almost like new (It was the first car I learned how to drive stick on, so I beat it up a little bit, but she still purrs like a kitten).
This car has been through 2 years of college, driving from Pittsburgh to the Philly area almost every weekend (along with various road trips). I used this car hard, and it never broke down or failed in any way. This is the most reliable car I think I will ever have owned (They just don't make them like they used to!).
I am sad to say that I had to give this car away, but just to my sister (I wanted to write a review on it just to tell everyone how great the car is). I did get a newer Jetta, though, and I am convinced that VW's are the best cars out there.
I never want to own another kind of car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th June, 2001
5th Aug 2002, 15:00
The most common source of water infiltration for theses cars are the rear door window seals. It's a cheap and easy fix!
1st Mar 2006, 16:03
I totally agree with the previous comments regarding what a great car the '86 Jetta GLI is. I bought mine on November 5th, 1985, and kept it until this past Friday when it was hauled to the salvage yard, still looking like it did when it was a baby (I took great care of it). That car was fast, sexy, comfortable and, until the past two years, reliable and so cheap to keep. Mine had two nicknames: Hundel, which means 'small dog' in German (think Jack Russel Terrier), and 'the snarling tiger of the asphalt'. I went everywhere with that car, and racked up a number of speeding tickets with it (how do you drive one without wanting to race it?). Unfortunately, Hundel started having one expensive problem after another these past two years, and when the alternator went out two weeks ago, coupled with a burning electrical smell, I threw in the towel. Due to the reliability ratings on the new VW's these past few years, I sadly ended up replacing Hundel with a Mazda 3s. The Mazda is gorgeous, but it's just not the same. The ride is too smooth and insulated (you Jetta owners know what I mean - you can feel everything going on inside those old 5-speed VW's) and, of course, no Mazda trunk could ever match a Jetta trunk. Plus, the Mazda looks like so many other cars on the road now. Not like those GLI's, which were one of a kind.
Anyway, I'm pretty blue about not having my Hundel with me anymore, and I needed to write about it. Hopefully, it will be able to prolong the lives of other Jettas, as sort of an organ donor. Rest in peace, Hundel.
P.S. The water leaking problem: had the same problem myself this past winter, and it wasn't the window seals. The vapor barriers inside the door panels had deteriorated, and I had an inch of water in the rear flooring area. You need to remove the panels and replace the barriers, and make sure to caulk the barriers to the panels very carefully. In my car, only the bottoms of the panels were wet. If the problem had been with the window seals, the panels would have been soaked from the top down.