1996 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 from North America


Sporty, but not worth the problems


There are many problems with the windows and door locks. Each window has fallen out of the track and into the door. The power locks no longer work and have to be opened manually. The truck is also on this system, so I can no longer get into my trunk.

The drivers seat tilts toward the door and is no longer comfortable.

The car does not have enough power when the Air Conditioning is on.

The strips on the outside of the doors peel off and must be glued on yearly.

The antifreeze overflow container leaks.

General Comments:

I would not recommend a Volkswagen to anyone. Everyone that I know who has owned them has had many problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th August, 2003

1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek 2.0 liter 4-cylinder from North America


Fun, cute, moderately-priced, reliable love machine


The ignition switch became hard to turn and removing the key would not turn off radio.

The oil dipstick casing cracked and snapped off.

One of the hoses in the cooling system developed a small hole and leaked slowly. This could have overheated my system, but I always check it now.

Automatic locks occasionally don't respond when it's really cold outside. This is probably due to ice getting in the lock, though.

Cruise control stopped working reliably.

General Comments:

I absolutely love my Jetta Trek! There is a camaraderie between Jetta owners - I often will get a honk, wave, or a smile from other people with the same model. It is truly fun to drive, Fahrvergnuegen!

Engine: This car has lots of pep and responds instantly when the gas pedal is pushed, even when going up the Rockies with the air conditioning running.

Shifting is smooth, although I wish I had the manual transmission because it is more fun.

I never let the car's engine warm up before I put it into drive and I never have had a trouble starting it.

Hint: To reduce wear on the transmission, push on the brake, pull the emergency brake, then release the brake after turning off the car. Reverse this procedure when you start the car.

Brakes and Handling: This baby stops on a dime and has the BEST turning radius of any car I have driven. It turns corners really well and holds the road really well.

AC/Heat: The air conditioning in this car is wonderful, but note that the button has to be pushed in for it to really be on. Otherwise, you just get the powerful fan blowing with no cool relief. I always make sure that I leave the fan running if I turn off the air conditioning; Sometimes it has a "wet" smell the next time you turn it on if you don't.

The heater in this car is also very good, especially on cold winter days in Colorado.

Interior: The seats are comfortable and have a really cute "sport" pattern on a black background. The interior is black, too, which can make it pretty hot in summertime. The fabric on the floor under the mats and in the trunk can be hard to clean fuzz and hairs out of, but a brush attachment on the vacuum usually does a decent job.

The door pockets in the rear are useless and small. The cup holders are equally puny, but they hold a cup of frozen custard perfectly!

The dashboard controls are easy to read and buttons are intuitive.

Trunk/Storage: The back seats fold down and you would be surprised how much stuff you can fit in the trunk and back seat of this great little car! The seats are easy for one person to fold down and up. My one complaint about the trunk is that it doesn't have a light.


I replaced the brake rotors and pads at ~50000 miles. I'm just about to get the timing belt changed at the recommended ~60000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2003

2nd Apr 2004, 13:15

My name is Tammy Saulnier. I have recently purchased a VW Trek and I LOVE IT!!! Although love does come with a few complaints. I too wish there would be a light in the trunk. The pocket on the back of my passenger side seat is too small. Overall, I don't believe I will ever purchase another make of vehicle again. It's VW all the way.