1996 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0L from North America


Reliable high-class sedan


A engine warning light came on saying that the engine misfired once, but the same problem never showed up again.

Exhaust pipe snapped from corrosion right before the muffler... Loud!

General Comments:

The car has great handling and has great cornering capability.

Engine performance isn't very impressive. My Old tempo had about the same acceleration.

The seats are comfortable, but not comfortable enough for a 13 hour drive.

It is reliable and hasn't let me down yet.

The up keep is a little expensive with requiring at least 91 octane gasoline all the time.

Engine oil requirements are fairly high. They say synthetic oils are highly recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2002

1996 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 gas from North America


The Mexican that Made this forgot to put the Lemon in the Tequilla and I've got it!


Water Pump Replaced.

Front Wheel Bearing and Hub.

Exhaust completely replaced.

Clip for Sun visor broke.

Trunk lock seized.

Interior Display Lighting and Exterior lights due too bad switch (fixed twice).

Coolant Sensor went bad which caused the car not to start after it had been running for awhile so if I went anywhere for a short trip, like the store, I had to leave the car running or I would be stranded until the engine cooled.

Automatic Shift Lighting out as well as in the dash.

Cigarette light out.

No light in trunk.

No glove box.

Ignition coil needs replacing due to cracks in the cover. Moisture would get in and cause arching which caused the car to fire improperly when cold or in damp weather. It also makes the car very hard to start in these conditions.

Rusting at bottom of doors.

Emergency Brake needed to be fixed.

Engine does not run very quite. High Revs on highway.

Jerky gear switching with automatic transmission, especially when cold.

Door mirror adjustments stink.

Check engine light comes on briefly for a minute or so when over 110-120KM on highway. Will shut off if I let off the gas for a second or two.

Rough idling and vibration sometimes.

Replaced Battery Once.

Car alarm stopped making the audible sound when it sets. I think it may have something to do with one of the switches on the doors/trunk/or hood not registering that it is closed.

Lack of movement for the tilt steering.

Strut mounts replaced.

Coil Spring replaced.

Once in a while the light goes out over the speedometer, but a good whack on the dash fixes it.

Small Cup holders especially for taller cups. I have to take out my ashtray to accommodate these.

I haven't had my door moldings come off yet, but I'm waiting. I'm just glad I don't have power windows or air-conditioning. I'm sure that I would have had problems with those too.

General Comments:

I like the fold-down seats and roomy trunk.

Seats are comfortable.

Stereo/Cassette/Speakers are not bad.

Power moon roof is nice.

Has lots of pep, good on gas, sporty styling... features that can be found on other cars without all the problems.

People have had mixed results with the Jetta III, but it all comes down to "BUYER BEWARE"!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th November, 2002

23rd Nov 2002, 09:48

The same problems here in Europe, a lot of VW models are build in the Mexico of Europe (Spain) and that reflects in the quality.

A couple of years ago, when you bought a VW, you knew you bought a solid car an you payed a little more for it than you would for other brands.

Now you still pay more, but the quality is very poor.

18th Feb 2003, 01:45

I had the same problem with the car not starting in cold weather. The dealer I bought it from are jerks. They replaced the battery and starter already cause that is what they told me it was. Now I know that it is the coil.

26th Jan 2004, 10:08

I found this page by accident, but figure I'll add my 2 cents anyway. I have a 1995 Jetta and am looking to be rid of it and its problems once and for all. I heard from a dealer/acquaintance (too late!) that it's from a "bad batch" and I believe it fully. I've had the starter replaced and am now looking at replacing another. Wheel bearings, brakes, water pump, constant radiator problems, door locks broken, emergency brake broken, radio broken, trim fell off about a year after I got it, and in some strange twist of events, I have to put air in the tires about once a week--and I'm on at least my fourth set of all-new tires (I stopped counting, it got so depressing). I really wanted to love this car, as it's the first I've ever bought brand new--and there are a lot of OK things about it--but it's really worn me down. I don't think I'd ever buy another Volkswagen, just based on this car alone.