1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 1.8 litre 16v 4 cylinder from North America


A somewhat expensive car, with nice seats and some punch


My alternator went at 280000Km, which isn't too bad for a stock factory alternator.

My muffler went, so I fixed that with flow-master.

Had engine swap at 270000Km, for another 1.8 Litre 16V 4 cylinder with only 12000Km on it.

Clutch worn to nothing at 276000Km, but for factory clutch, I would think that is expected.

Emergency brake doesn't work, but I can fix that.

Bad tinting??

General Comments:

I like this car... a lot, I like it a lot.

This thing waffled my little 1992 Civic owned by a grandma with 70000 KM on it.

My car is lowered roughly 3 inches and I have never been so amazed by a car's handling.

I have beaten a 5.0 litre mustang with this car. My plans for it are to get a K&M Air Filter and a supercharger. I am gonna suck the life out of this car.

Car is Nitrous Oxide ready (unlike some stock Civic I saw tearing around with Nitrous Oxide) I have the proper pistons, and basic engine components, all I need is the tank, so far I have been afraid to touch it...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2002

28th Dec 2006, 12:47

I'd leave the car as it is because I think the life is already about sucked out of it now, don't expect more.

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 1.8L 16v from North America


A speedy commuter car


When I bought the car, the valve cover gasket was blown, there was a coolant leak, the clutch was worn out, the brakes were also worn out, there was a huge hole in the resonator section of the exhaust, AND... the sunroof leaked.

General Comments:

This car is AWESOME! I've never driven anything quite like it before. It has the perfect amount of power, and it handles like a dream. Operating costs are low too. The 16v engine is very efficient and provides that extra punch when you need to pass someone on the highway. I wish the previous owner had cared for it like I do...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2002

1989 Volkswagen Jetta Flair 2.0L from North America


Wouldn't give it to my worst enemy


This car has many problems with the engine, transmission, interior and exterior.

Engines troubles were as such.

Head gaskets and Valve covers went at 192000km's, The starter, battery, and alternator went all at once at 200000km's.

At 210000km's the transmission went on it, and could not be fixed.

The interior was worn and faded and almost all the buttons on the console were falling off.

The exterior of the vehicle was rusting badly and would not stop.

General Comments:

This car is really bad and coming from a former Volkswagen enthusiast that says a lot.

This car is unreliable, ugly, and looks like it's rusting away just sitting in your driveway.

The engine is underpowered, and a bus has a better turning circle.

I don't recommend this car for anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th July, 2002

5th Jul 2002, 17:32

I think you are being a little harsh on this car. After almost 200,000km it's to be expected that any car is going to have some sort of mechanical problems.

5th Jul 2002, 19:35

Wait a minute! You bought a 1989 car with well over 120,000 miles on the clock, and when things starting going wrong, you blame the manufacturer? (a) the car has 120,000 plus miles, (b) it is 13 years old, and (c) who knows how well the previous owner (s) maintained it. Volkswagens are not paragons of reliability and durability, but your condemnation of the marque goes too far.

5th Jul 2002, 22:47

You purchased this car with 189,000 Km. What did you expect?

Head and v c gasket gone at 210,000 Km... not bad at all!

Your comments would be more reliable if you had owned the car since new. As it is you don't know what kind of care and maintenance the previous owner / owners had done to this vehicle.

Valdemar Cunha, Oakville, Ontario, Canada - vcunha@canada.com

24th Feb 2005, 13:08

Listen pal, I own an 89' Jetta turbo diesel. My car has never let me down. It has 372,000 km on it. Its my first Volkswagen and I have complete faith in it, and if it ever did leave me stranded on the road side, or started to rust badly, that because it's an old car. Almost 16 years old. Like yours it has its personality quarks, but I love it and I for one think that your car has done pretty good to have as much mileage as it has. I for one would definitely buy another Jetta.

P.S. If you want a solid Jetta buy a turbo diesel. They don't die!

16th Jan 2008, 20:59

How old and how many miles? New cars are 20k and not perfect. The turning radius on these are very tight, one of the best in the industry.