1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L from North America


I think the more recent Jettas are better


The starter and the fuel pump.

General Comments:

This car handles pretty and has (had?) some pep, but it is an old, rusty Northeastern U.S. car and I had a horrible time getting a starter that would hold up. A mechanic pointed out that the starter is in a bad place- under the exhaust manifold and under the back side of the engime block. Therefore, I had a hard time starting the car for years.

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

Review Date: 3rd September, 2005

3rd Sep 2005, 10:08

No, it's quite the opposite. Old Jetta's were highly reliable cars, at least when compared with the newer ones.

Have a look at the 1997-2004 Jetta's (or Bora's) reviews and start counting sad faces.

3rd Sep 2005, 15:02

Its known that the starter would get much too hot or melt and not work properly. It is an electric motor after all...

So that's why I had a custom heat sheild built for mine. ;)

1989 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


Textbook Volkswagen: flimsy, but fantastic


The exhaust system fell apartment somewhere around the 100,000 mile mark. Pretty much everything from the catalytic converter back just rotted away and had to be replaced.

At 110,000-120,000 miles or so, the rear struts got so bad that the wheels would literally bounce off the ground.

At 135,000 miles, plus or minus, the exhaust system started to go bad a second time.

General Comments:

The seats were really high and straight-backed, which gave a good view of the road, but also made it feel a little like you were driving a tractor.

It was by no means a performance car, but it kept up well enough with most traffic. It was a little too rickety-feeling to drive at high speeds anyway.

It got pretty good gas mileage - in the 25-30 mpg range.

It was fantastic in the snow. Extremely surefooted, despite its light weight.

Being basically a smallish-to-midsized box, you could fill it to the gills with whatever you wanted to carry -- band equipment, boxes of books, tag sale treasures, you name it.

It had a really cool two-tone blue tweed interior.

If it weren't for the fact that the exhaust rotted out from under it a second time, I would have driven it a lot further. There was nothing particularly special about it one way or another, but it was a real good car, all the same. It sort of marked an end of an era for VW; before long they'd become hipper, faster, flashier, pricier. This was a real Volkswagen: a good, but most importantly, cheap, car you could count on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2005

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.6 turbo diesel from North America


I love you Jetta!


The brakes on the car failed, I needed to overhaul the entire brake system.

The exhaust system had to be replaced.

Had a little issue where my door was torn off my car (my fault) so that had to be replaced.

New emergency brake.

General Comments:

The car has power like you wouldn't believe for a 1.6 liter engine.

The car is tight and responsive.

The fuel gauge dosen't move on this car! I can get 700 to 800 kilometers to a tank!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2005

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0L gasoline 4-cylinder 5-speed from North America


German Subcompact at its Finest


Nothing too bad has gone wrong mechanically with my Volkswagen thus far.

However, the ceiling carpet is torn in several places.

The radio does not work and will be replaced very soon.

General Comments:

I am actually quite pleased with my handsome subcompact out of West Germany.

I admire the fuel economy--I've gone as high as 33 mpg on the highway--and that's just the gasoline engine!

The performance of the car is, well, sort of sporty. It is able to hit 120 mph plus. Acceleration is commendable, also.

I got this car with a sport-tuned exhaust on it. It makes the car sound more powerful.

The tiny 100-hp engine runs forever, it seems. It has a lot of get-up-and-go.

The inviting five-speed is quite easy to shift.

The cabin of the car seems bigger than it actually is--and I like that.

The paint job is still looking very good figuring that this is a 15-year old car.

For a fifteen year old car that cost me 1800 US dollars, I must say that I am quite pleased with this Volkswagen. This particular brand of fine German automobiles has ran in our family since we came over from Germany long time ago.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2004

20th Dec 2004, 01:52

I have a 1988 Volkswagen Jetta and it is truly an awesome car. I can echo all of your sentiments here about the motor (great peppiness and torque; very easy to pass people) and the "celing carpet" (the headliner sags on a lot of these cars - mine included). I have a 2002 Honda Civic as well, and I like to drive the Jetta more than the Civic! It's just a fun car, and if maintained right, can last well over 200,000 miles on the original mechanicals. I am hooked on Volkswagens and Audis, and I hope to be for as long as I drive.