1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8 from North America


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


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


Took a licking and kept on ticking


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.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2008

1989 Volkswagen Jetta N/A 1.8 Gas from North America


A good quality, nice car to drive


Considering how old this car was when I got it, there were things that went on it over the course of the time that I owned it.

It needed a new starter, alternator, and some other things that I can't remember.

It seemed like something would happen once or twice a year would need to be fixed at around $500. All those parts were original and considering how old the car was, it is pretty amazing that it all lasted that long.

General Comments:

The car was roomy for it's size and had a large trunk. When I sold it recently, the interior was in perfect condition except for the e-brake boot cover.

For the time that I had it, I didn't have to anything to the engine or transmission except for regular maintenance. When I sold the car, the engine and transmission still ran pretty well.

I don't think that anyone can really complain about the car now, considering how old it is now, anything can happen to the car. My mechanic said that particular year is one of the best that Volkswagen made. In recent years the quality of their cars have decreased, but they are still pretty decent cars compared to the domestic cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2007