1990 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews - Page 5 of 8

1990 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L Carbuerated 4 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8L Carbuerated 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired210000 kilometres
Most recent distance225000 kilometres

Summary:

Excellent drivers car and idiot proof and reliable first car all in one!!!

Faults:

*Timing belt was replaced prematurely, the previous owners fault, as he didn't put the cover on properly and it rubbed the belt and wore it down.

*The fan-belt was also replaced as a result of the above.

*The door locks (Central locking) are EXTREMELY slow to operate.

*The interior trim is falling apart (Especially all the trim around the handbrake)

*Weird noises coming from the engine when I let off the clutch and slow down.

*the Right front indicator stopped working- has that fixed though.

*The aeriel got snapped off and the radio sometimes loses reception as a result.

Not bad for a 12 year old high-mileage car :D.

General Comments:

An awesome first car!!! Firstly the chassis is excellent- it makes for one hell of a drivers car, that works with the nice and hard springs, The engine is capable of serious performance- if you run it on 98 Octane (Rather cheap here in New Zealand) The car is beginning to feel its age- in terms of a few problems here and there- but overall it's a tough, idiot proof and reliable car.

It's also extremely comfortable- much more so than a Corolla or Civic of similar age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2003

1990 Volkswagen Jetta CL 1.8L 8v Digifant from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8L 8v Digifant Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 kilometres
Most recent distance131000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Good honest motoring with character

Faults:

Electric windows have a mind of their own and work sometimes.

Suspension strut top bushing failed checks at 124,000km.

Air-con has given up recently.

Replaced rocker cover gasket 126,000km.

General Comments:

It's not quiet, overpowered or super cheap to run, but it's got character and I like it. Handles very well and still looks good for its age.

Has maintained its condition really well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2003

1990 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8 Liter from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 Liter Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired110253 miles
Most recent distance113555 miles

Summary:

I great performance bargin

Faults:

After having the car for a week, I had had to replace the muffler, other than that, the car has been great.

General Comments:

I love the car, good engine, great gas mileage, and awesome handling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2003

1990 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8 from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.8 Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.2 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance128000 miles

Summary:

For the love of God and all that is sacred, do not buy a 1990 Jetta!

Faults:

Where do I begin. Upon buying this car used back in 1999 the AC was already out.

The suspension needed to be replaced with new springs and two tires needed replacement. This was expected being a 9 year old car, but things only got worse.

In the first winter the speedometer went dead. It only works when it's above 50 degrees outside.

The power steering went also went out.

The battery needed replacement.

The alternator also needed replacement.

The muffler has been replaced twice.

The car generally bogs down now at speeds above 40 mph. This is a dangerous condition especially when merging onto highways. I don't know what the problem is and the mechanics don't either. It can't make it up steep hills at all.

Just recently the light switch on the car went dead. This should never happen in a car. I could only use my brights for a week. I have a part time job at night so this was horrible.

My drivers side, side-mirror has fallen out and is being held in place with super glue.

Just two days ago my drivers side door handle snapped off. This is the second handle this has happened to. Only the front passenger door has no problems. The door handle design on this Jetta is so bad. I think the manufacturers must have been on crack to make the actual lever the size of a tooth pick. If you live anywhere where the weather freezes do not even think about getting this car.

Cold weather operations are also unreliable. I don't know how many times now the car has not started on a cold day even with a new battery.

There is another serious problem involving highway driving. If I take my Jetta on the highway for over a half an hour and turn the car off at a gas station or whatever it will not start. It takes at least another half an hour to sit before it will start. I have learned to keep the car running when getting something to eat or using the bathroom because if I shut it off I will be stuck for over a half an hour. The Volkswagen dealership does not know what to do about this.

General Comments:

If the car is working it handles pretty well.

For being a 12 year old car it still looks great. The factory paint is almost untouched and after a good wax it looks new.

I am a student and this is my first car. I will NEVER buy another Volkswagen product again. I know a used car will have some problems, but this is ridiculous. By calling this car a lemon, I am giving it a compliment. It's much much worse.

Is anybody looking to buy a Jetta? I have one for sale.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd November, 2002

13th Dec 2002, 14:31

You bought a 9 year old car with 110,000 miles on it, What did you think you were getting? I've had my '90 Jetta for 13 years now, works great and other than normal, occasional, problems its been good to me.

20th Dec 2002, 14:39

I've had my 1991 Jetta since summer of 99'. It currently runs well, but I feel like I've done way more than my share of repairs to it. In the three years I've owned it, I've replaced the radiator, alternator, two batteries, CV shafts, muffler, and lots of little stuff like door handles, mirrors etc. This will be the LAST volkswagon I will ever buy. If you're thinking of getting one, don't bother!

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 25 reviews