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.


1989 Volkswagen Jetta GTi 8v 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Better than the Golf GTi


In 9 years, very little.

The sump went porous after about 4 years.

I have had problems with the rear callipers seizing if the car is idle for a while. Both have been replaced.

Front wheel bearings don't last long again, both have been replaced twice and the passenger side is humming again.

On the whole, very reliable.

General Comments:

Fast car if the revs are kept up and better handling than the Golf GTi.

Engine still seems to be loosening up and it doesn't use a drop of oil.

I do all my own servicing and repairs, relatively easy car to work on.

I don't think I will part with this car as I thoroughly enjoy driving it even compared to my wife's 1999 Golf GT TDI which is also an excellent car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th December, 2000

9th Jan 2001, 18:47

I had a Jetta GTI 8V for 3 years. It had 136,000 miles on it when I bought it. The general rule that I have heard is that the 1.8 8v engine only comes into its own at around 90,000 miles.

The rear brake calipers are an inherant problem as the handbrake mechanism works on a rotating cam system. This cam wears out and tends to lock the rear brakes on - sadly, expensive to remedy.

I sold my Jetta to a friend when it had 187,000 miles. The only major thing done was a set of hydraulic tappets.

My friend sold it on to his brother with 197,000 miles - not bad for a petrol engine - clever Germans!!!

1989 Volkswagen Jetta GTi 16V 1.8 16V from UK and Ireland


Various things have gone wrong, most notably clutch and gearbox. Front tyres disappear in 4,000 miles.

General Comments:

Great car, but for 4 star only (Bosch K-Jet fuel injection).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 1999

17th Jan 2001, 08:12

Who cares about 4-star? You buy these cars because they are immensely fun to drive and still retain the luxury of a 4-door.

My G-Reg has done over 100k and feels brand new. Other than general servicing, it's only needed shocks and springs, which go a little loose after about 80k. Simply fitting 40mm lower Boge springs (original manufacturer, they even come with a VW/Audi stamp) and standard new shocks transforms the car into a go-kart. Feels like a Mk1 Golf, goes like a Mk2 16v - and ALL your mates can come too.