1997 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission VR6 Manual
Previous carChevrolet Nova

Summary:

As soon as he makes the last payment, it is for sale!

Faults:

My son bought his VR6 less than two years ago.

6 weeks after he got it, the crankshaft sensor went out, and left him stranded 30 miles out of town. I made the repair, which was easy if you know what you are looking for.

During the test drive, I discovered that the right front was pulling real bad, then it started making a screeching noise, which turned out to be a wheel bearing. It was a total pain to repair, since the bearing race is two piece, which means the part stays on the hub when it falls out on the ground after you get the axle shaft out. It takes a hydraulic press to get the bearing out of the spindle, which means there goes the alignment. Because the bearing race spun on the hub, it had to be replaced too.

Now here is the kicker, I am having to do this all over again, with less than 30,000 miles on it since the last repair.

General Comments:

The car is faster than a scalded dawg.

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

Review Date: 19th March, 2012

20th Mar 2012, 06:15

No offence intended, but if I drove a car that did that during the test drive, I would've handed the keys back and said 'no thanks'.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 kilometres
Most recent distance138000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Reliable, just what I needed

Faults:

Rust.

Exhaust holes.

Struts.

Door mouldings peeling.

General Comments:

Great car all around.

Not quick, but nobody buys a 115 HP car expecting agility.

Handles like a go cart, I love it.

Enormous trunk, decent size interior.

Bad MPG (22 city)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2011

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired122000 miles
Most recent distance215000 miles
Previous carDodge Grand Caravan

Summary:

Best car I have ever owned

Faults:

Besides the usual maintenance items, i.e. brakes exhaust, tires, the car has been great. I have had three what I would call problems that were not expected.

First was the ignition switch, cheap repair, $25.

The coil pack, which was expensive since I did get stuck with the car and had to have it towed and a mechanic fix it, being I was a way from home. That was $400. I found out later on this was a common problem for these years. If I had known, I would have replaced it.

Check engine light came on, but a cleaning of the intake system and a computer rest solved that. $4 for the can of cleaner.

I did the timing belt when bought, the clutch was already replaced by the previous owner.

General Comments:

I average 35mpg with a manual transmission. I have done other work to the car like struts, ball joints and items I would consider maintenance. Not sure what anyone would expect with over 215k miles, things wear out. No engine work, transmission, or CV joints at that mileage is fantastic. I also find the 2.0 Jetta very easy to work on.

Before I bought it, I test drove the Civic, Prelude, and other cars in its class, which all seemed to drive like go-carts. The Jetta at least feels like a car. Not going to win any races, but I didn't buy it for that.

Paid $3200, about $2000 to up keep, which includes 2 of sets tires, brakes, oil changes and $250 of that was for the windshield, after a few rocks from trucks in the interstate.

For that low up-keep over 4 years and 100K miles driven, Can't beat it with a stick!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2011

1997 Volkswagen Jetta 1.9 turbo diesel from North America

Year of manufacture1997
Engine and transmission 1.9 turbo diesel
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.4 / 10
Distance when acquired221000 kilometres
Most recent distance295000 kilometres

Summary:

Good on fuel

Faults:

Crank pulley, cam pulley and shaft pulley, all came off. Rebuilt head twice. Easy fix now. Most owners don"t know about Titanium Weld All. My pulleys are welded now. This is 200 times better than JB Weld. The only way to take pulleys off is to apply heat. Live and learn.

General Comments:

The car is great on fuel, over 55 mpg Canadian.

Handles good, with great heat in winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2011

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance150000 miles
Previous carNissan Maxima

Summary:

An economic 4 cylinder with the punch of a 6 cylinder

Faults:

Timing belt snapped from sitting by previous owner. 120,000 miles (ironically the day we bought it).

Exhaust - 149,000.

General electric problems. Power locks randomly will lock the car. No more auto-unlock from the outside via key (have to use interior unlock).

Seat belt alarm continues after the seat belt is engaged (the seat belt headlight indicator tone is downright annoying).

General Comments:

We felt some buyer's remorse when the timing belt broke the day we bought it, although that's strictly because the car was still for 9 months, but we're very glad we have it now.

For a 2.0 four cylinder, the car has very good pickup. It responds quickly, especially for a 14 year old car, but it still manages 40 mpg. We have taken it to Florida twice, and it handled the trip very well with no problems.

The GT trim is a very nice trim, with the spoiler, fog lights (which are extremely helpful), and the sporty little touches in the car. The car has a classic German design that makes me want a 1997 more than a new one. Plus, there is an endless amount of customizations you can add to make the car your own.

Reliability has never been an issue for us. The car is comfy, affordable, and very reliable. It was well worth the purchase, and I would buy another one any day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2010

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 119 reviews