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.

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Reliable, quick, but bad on fuel economy


Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

When I bought the car it had full service history up until a thousand miles back, all VW dealer serviced, this may be why there is nothing wrong whatsoever.

Only problem is it's way to easy for thieves to break into, the only flaw in the engineering of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2002

1989 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8 litre from North America


An absolute waste of money and an embarrassment to own



My shocks are all crap.

I have been through 2 alternators.

Clutch is slipping.

Brakes went.

Emergency brake snapped while parked on a hill.

Muffler grew more holes than swiss cheese. Had to be replaced.

All piping from the Cat back has fallen off while driving and produced a firework show for everybody. Twice. Been "fixed" twice.

Interior lights blew out. License plate bulbs burnt out.

Plastic side moulding falling off.

Seats worn badly. Seat-belt and seats all squeak when sat in or moved.

Rear passenger door handle broke off.

Rust bubbles everywhere, all of a sudden.

Too many to list. Way too many.

General Comments:

I truly hate this car. It looks so ugly. The shape of it disgusts me. I have no clue what I was on when I bought it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th January, 2002

12th May 2002, 10:14

My 1989 German-built Jetta has been working well, for a 13 year-old car. The cosmetics are my fault, it hasn't been garaged in it's life! In the northeast US, they salt the roads in winter and have impossibly narrow parking. I don't have any body rust yet, despite the dents. The first major repair was in 1994 for a ball joint after spinning out on the interstate. In 1996 a seized compressor on the A/C was repaired. The latest major repairs were for a broken clutch cable (2000) and a blower fan (2001).

I've been really satisfied with this car, but I'm now emotionally attached. I've been looking at the new VW's, but they're overpriced for the features.