1990 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8L 8v Digifant from North America


An incredible car for the money!


- The first summer that I owned the car, the heater core went. However, VWC (Volkswagen Canada) paid for the repair in full :-)

- The Starter failed about 2 years ago, however it isn't a difficult repair to do, just time consuming.

- Occasional fluid leaks, but nothing major.

General Comments:

This car kicks @$$! It is an incredible car to drive in the winter, and it handles like a BMW. The higher cost of service is outweighed by the outstanding performance. The RV-Code engine uses Digifant Electronic Engine Management, which is excellent for this car. Many idiot mechanics cannot diagnose Digifant, simply because it is somewhat different than a Ford or GM EMS, however it isn't impossible to work with. Note: Replace the blue coolant temperature senser that comes off the head... when it fails, the car fails as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 2002

1990 Volkswagen Jetta GL Wolfsburg Edition 1.8L SOHC from North America


A good, reliable daily driver


All things that went wrong were maintenance related.

General Comments:

This car is great on gas and handles well.

The 1.8L motor is perfectly adequate.

The trim is tasteful, but relatively cheap. Although if you look at other comparable cars in 1991, like the Honda Civic or Toyota Tercel, it is comfortable.

The parts availability is great. Volkswagen has used the same base motor since the '70s. Very many parts are interchangeable between years.

There is not much I don't like about this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2002

1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 1.8 Gasoline from Norway


Timeless German four doors sedan


Shock absorbers have gone at 220000 km.

Shifted all wheel bearings at 189000 km.

Dashboard lighting began to flicker at 210000.

General Comments:

This car was well cared for by the previous owner and has given me no problem whatsoever, except what described above.

Handling is good (courtesy of Yokoama's A509 195/50-15) and steering rock solid.

I say a 33 mpg (15 km/L) mileage is not shabby for a twelve years old 1.8L.

Just passed European Union's compulsory Periodic Technical Control without any special work being done on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2002

1990 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8 digi from North America


Nice car for a driver that can accept its flaws


The car came with a tired starter when I got it. I replaced it, but the new one died 4 months later. Might be the starters fault.

The power-steering rack died a months after I bought it. Expensive to fix at 600 can$.

A bolt that hold the frame, the wheel assembly and the body together broke off requiring a very expensive repair in a body shop, though this is a vrey rare problem that can happen on any car.

The hydrolic system for the brakes has been problematic since day one for me, but I put up with it.

A lot of regular maintenance stuff (timing belt, pads, hoses...)

General Comments:

This car is not the fastest, not the most comfortable, not the most reliable and certainly not the cheapest to keep running, but I love it. It's peppy around town, and a real screamer on the highway. And I have nothing but good things to say about that engine. 234km, still pulls very hard, with good fuel economy, little noise and starts instantly when turned over! Compression and oil pressure still within factory specs too. I change my oil, filters and belts regularly and it has yet to require any serious attention, which is respectable considering I can drive hard sometimes.

I have a brospeed muffler and a K&N intake and my car sounds really throaty at full throttle, which I find addictive! The handling is very balanced, there is some body lean but the car feels light and steering is precise and communicative.

Comfort is so-so. The car is noisy and the suspension is on the hard side, but the seats are very supportive, so long drives aren't tiresome. Heated seats are a blessing in winter too when you live in Canada, same with an engine that warms up real quick. My car came loaded with cruise control, electric doors and mirrors, and headrests in the back.

Overall I would recommend this car to people who really love driving and who are mechanically inclined, or have friends who are. Otherwise you may find the cost outweights the fun of driving it. So far it has put a smile on the face of everyone who had driven it, and for that reason alone I'll be sad to see it go its age catches up to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2002