1989 Volkswagen Jetta Flair 1.8 from North America


Good handling and performance, but poor quality disappoints



Rear side window and rear window both leaked when car was brand new. Took the car back to dealer to fix.

Car came with wheel lock nuts which completely stripped the first time I tried to removed them. Had to ask dealer to replace them with regular wheel nuts.

Engine idle is not smooth. The car literally shakes when at idle.

Sunroof has a rattling noise which is made worse by the engine's rough idle.

One of two release cables on the driver's seat came loose and the seat would not release properly. The dealer 'fixed' this problem by tying a knot in the cable to shorten it. Eventually the cable broke and the driver's seat would not release on one side.

At the first scheduled service at 6 months, the dealer replaced a number of engine components according to manufacturer's bulletin. After that, the engine would emit a ticking noise under acceleration. Tried to get dealer to fix, but after 4 visits they were still unable to identify the problem. It was very annoying as the ticking noise could be heard whenever the car accelerated.

General Comments:

The car handles very well and has good performance.

Engine has good power.

I also like the feel of the steering.

However, there were too many problems for a brand new car.

I used to be a VW fan, but this experience changed my mind and I will not buy another VW again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th October, 2004

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.6 from North America


An outstanding investment value for your MONEY!


Temperature Gauge runs hot when idle too long... which is expected.

Door handles wear out after 200K...again, so would I.

General Comments:

The car has 238K and has ORIGINAL ENGINE, MANUAL TRANSMISSION, and can you believe ORIGINAL CLUTCH.

General repairs included timing belts, brakes, exhaust, belts, hoses and cv joints thru the years. You know, the normal wear and tear items.

I really enjoy the gas mileage at 33 mpg avg. every fill up. Unbelievable!

I would love to buy a new car, but just can't part with this one until it dies or has a major repair come up.

Some general maintaining practices included adding Marvel Mystery Oil every 2 or 3 tanks and Pro-Long or DuraLube Oil additive in the oil every 60K. I think the Marvel Mystery oil is really a MYSTERY. Dad used it so I figured, why not use it too.

All and all, I am looking forward to 300K and will contact the Smithsonian Institute at that point!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2004

27th Jul 2005, 07:34

My 89 Jetta has over 362,000 km and it is still going strong. I brought it to the mechanic last week for a few minor repairs (timing belt, front brake pads... normal wear and tear) and he said it should be good for a long time yet. I love that car!

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL Wolfsburg 1.8L from North America


Reliable, but has a few annoying problems


Starter intermittently would not start. Replaced it and all was OK for a few years then same problem. Installed starter relay, which helped, but still doesn't start sometimes when hot.

Headliner - sagged due to glue drying out.

Door inner plastic water liners - glue failed and water leaked into interior carpet.

Side mirror - glue failed and fell off.

Seal between transmission and Final Drive failed - dealer replaced and failed again. Dealer replaced again and failed again. Caused gears to prematurely wear.

Speaker amplifiers in doors are heavy and bang around when shutting doors. This causes bad electrical connections.

General Comments:

It has been a very dependable car, in general.

Like the tightness of the handling.

Starter problem is annoying since replacing it is a hassle.

Seal failure should have been dealt with better by the Volkswagen Dealer.

The inner door liners failing, and the resulting water leaks were a pain.

Seems that Volkswagen had some problems with using bad adhesives during this period.

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

Review Date: 17th June, 2004