1996 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.9 turbo diesel IDI from North America
This car can take abuse!
All four glow plugs blown when I bought it.
Brakes acted funny.
REFUSES to start in the cold unless the block heater is plugged in beforehand.
Both wheel cylinders were blown when I bought it.
Warped/cracked head? It's been overheated before (not by me).
For the last week or so I drove the car, the idle started acting weird whenever the timing advance was pushed in. Engine would hiccup.
A short in the dash would randomly make the wiper motor turn on and smoke would come from behind the steering wheel.
Shifter bushings were shot.
Rear axle bushings had to be replaced.
Now please let me explain before you go on thinking that these are horrible cars. This thing had the crap beaten out of it by it's last owner. I was told the clutch was new, the turbo was new, and the tires were new. That alone says something. Yet this car still runs. The speedometer was broken when I bought it, so it's true mileage is a mystery.
The things I've found that tend to go wrong on a lot of VW's are the shifter bushings and the seats becoming wobbly on their tracks. However, when treated right, Volkswagen's last forever. Everyone I've met who owns a VW says they would never go back to anything else. When I was car shopping for one, I came across more than one person who not only had a VW for sale, but a couple more in the driveway that were for everyday use.
The diesels, especially, are amazing. The fuel mileage is out of this world. My Jetta did great for that. The Jetta's in particular tend to be very front heavy, they nose-dive when you throw them into a corner, but they handle insanely well. The trunk space is unbelievable, all in all if it's one thing VW always has and always will have down pat, it's the use of space.
The Jetta's are fun to drive, comfortable, easy to work on, and they're one of the most solid cars out there. Mine had so much wrong with it, but I would still never go back to anything but a Volkswagen.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th September, 2008