1989 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

1989 Volkswagen Jetta Carat from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance173000 miles

Summary:

Absolutely incredible!

Faults:

I have no complaints - this car has been fantastic!

General Comments:

The body is still in great shape - it has never even needed painting. I would venture to say that it is the best car I have ever owned or will ever own.

Mechanically, most of the work done on it has been maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd June, 2013

1989 Volkswagen Jetta Carat from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired145000 kilometres
Previous carDodge Neon

Summary:

Served us well, and is fondly remembered

Faults:

Air intake issue caused the car to lose speed on the highway. Had it checked by two mechanics who couldn't figure the problem. Took the car in to a VW dealership and the mechanic knew exactly what the problem was right away, $150 fixed it.

Solenoid problem - starter motor was installed too close to the engine, causing the car to refuse to start after driving it in hot weather. We learned to deal with this by keeping a piece of stereo wire in the car, and making a connection between the battery and the starter. Not ideal, but it worked...

Always had issues with the door handles, locks, trunk lock. In the end we had one door that would open on both sides. Heat was either all or nothing.

General Comments:

We bought this car at 10 years old, and put almost nothing into repairs over eight years - our kids were babies and we had no money to fix the car. All we did in that time was replace the exhaust system (after 6-7 years), brake pads, fluids (sporadically) and one power window motor (the most expensive fix we did, costing over $400). Never had a single problem with the engine, transmission, gaskets - nothing major, despite our abuse. We always enjoyed driving it - it felt so solid and responsive.

We still have fond memories of that car, and would buy another if it weren't for the cheap door handles and locks - too annoying, and a safety issue with kids.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2009

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8 from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance39584 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz 190

Summary:

Solid car, lots of character, but keep up on maintenance!

Faults:

When I acquired the car it was in good running condition. I had found it in the paper, sold for 1200 dollars, from an elderly person, who hardly drove it... I jumped on a car for 1200 and only 36,000 miles!...

I soon learned that they were all original parts, which needed replacing. It ran well for a while but then started to overheat. As a result: New head gasket, bolts, spark plugs, thermometer, wires, hoses fluid change, (which is imperative on Volkswagens, keep up on maintenance)... chapped me 1,000. And it was worth it.

General Comments:

Had the car for two years now and runs brilliant! Interior looks untouched, manual sunroof never leaks, only bother is air conditioning stopped working a while ago. Needs freon I bet.

When you buy an older Volkswagen, you must keep on the maintenence. I was lucky and found a lesser driven car. So it's original engineering for German driving can still be experienced. Seats are Benz-like without leather.

Being a notchback, the car has some body lean, but grips and handles like a true german engineered car. My previous car was a '93 Benz 190 series and my Jetta handled just as well, but the ride was a bit more bumpy than a Benz.

Only note: No airbags and an annoying seatbelt arrangement. The airbags on my Mercedes made me walk away from a head-on collision to Silverado. They're essential.

Also the 89 Jetta can only start when your seatbelt is plugged into the shoulder strap on the door. You can't start the car without the seatbelt fastened. And it makes it hard to enter and exit the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th September, 2008

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.8L Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired134000 miles
Most recent distance161000 miles
Previous carPontiac Grand Am

Summary:

Took a licking and kept on ticking

Faults:

Standard maintenance issues for it's age, such as alternator, starter, battery, etc..

Windshield wipers don't work, along with the sprayer.

Rear defrost doesn't work.

Dash lights are super dim and yes I have tried the adjuster switch and that is not the problem.

Dome light doesn't work.

A/C /heater fan makes an awful racket and doesn't work right.

Clutch is starting to go now.

General Comments:

Will get up and boogie if it needs to.

Not very good on cornering, but will hold it's own on the highway.

Never had a problem with the engine, I think it would run forever if put into another car.

It has been in a few accidents and I am surprised it is still with us, but I am moving on to something newer.

Cabin is cramped, but the trunk space is OK.

NO CUP HOLDERS!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2008

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 28 reviews