1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL from North America


Best car I've owned


Nothing, I swear.

General Comments:

This car was (it was totaled in an accident) incredible.

I changed a headlight bulb and that's it. It never had a tune-up and it still ran like a new car. The brakes finally needed replacing at 100,000. Timing belt was changed, as recommended, at 60,000.

My mechanic used to joke that I had the only good one ever made. Well, I know a few other folks who had 'good ones" too.

34-36 miles highway and ran fine on the cheap stuff.

Fun to drive, very comfortable, great handling and super reliable.

Plenty quick for a basic four banger too.

Got out of 45mph. head on/T-bone collision without a scratch. Interior of car was untouched.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2007

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 from North America


Beautiful German Sports Sedan


Seat wear.

Dulling paint.

Valve clicking.

DOOR MOLDING falls off as it does on almost every MK-III Jetta I've seen.

General Comments:

The car is scary fast for a 90's Sports Sedan.

Suspension is firm, but still comfortible.

The handling is tight and fairly predictable with practice.

Gearing is perfect putting you right above sixty at the end of second gear and right under one hundred at the end of third gear.

Properly adjusted clutch and shift linkage makes the car very smooth and fun to shift.

Interior is very well styled with leather accents. The steering wheel is leather wrapped as well as the gear selector and boot.

Exterior is very sporty with a high truck and rear spoiler. The rear fogged tail lights and the front fog lights. Seven spoked and five bolt, open-style wheel lugs gives the car a tuner look.

The controls are all in reachable and fool proof locations. Except maybe the sun roof controlls which are a little distracting.

Best place to drive this car is in windy mountain roads, where you'll really feel the torque of this almost straight six.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th July, 2007

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 liter 4 cylinder from North America


Cheap, reliable, no-frills transportation


Body side trim (rubber molding) falls off.

Rear exhaust muffler rusted out around 70000 miles, I don't fault the car for that.

Starter motor failed at 75000 miles, seems a little soon.

Throttle body needed cleaning at 70000 miles, was throwing the check engine light. At same time, I replaced a crankcase breather hose that had split, very cheap from VW dealer!

AC drain is clogged, sometimes water drips into front passenger foot well, and car has a mildew-like stink when I've run the AC and then turn it off, but leave fan on. I have yet to tackle this problem.

Sounds like a ball joint is going, and clutch or 2nd synchro is wearing because some 1 - 2 shifts crunch if I shift too fast.

General Comments:

Has been excellent basic transportation, virtually trouble-free to this point. I do most all of the maintenance myself. It appears to have been kept in good shape by the previous owner.

Air conditioning is COLD, heat is HOT, enough to take off your eyebrows. Never had just hot heat in a car before (not complaining).

Spark plugs are a bit painful to replace, other things have been easy (brake rotors, pads, starter, bulbs, etc).

No problems with power windows or other electrics. Cruise control works fine, sunroof is great, trunk is big, fuel economy decent. The ride is a bit ox-cart compared to my larger family sedan.

Note that disconnecting the battery for some time may lose all the data in the car's computer, and your idle settings will be gone. Took me at least a week of driving to get back to where I had a steady, consistent idle. Mechanics can save and restore the settings with a tool, I found out later.

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

Review Date: 30th May, 2007

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX from North America


Never want to give it up - ever!


Wheel bearings - both front wheels on different occasions.

Ignition coil.

Mass air sensor.

Window regulator (only one!).

AC leak.

General Comments:

I've had a Jetta GLX since 1997 (bought it new), and still love it after almost 10 years. It handles great, gets great mileage for a 6 cylinder, 10 year old car (about 27 mpg combined, mostly city). Being rather a skinny car, it is easy to parallel park (I live in a city). Until a few years ago, people were still asking me if it was new. I think because you could still smell the leather.

I've had a lot of the same repairs as others describe here, but nothing unexpected for a car that old. Ignition coil replaced - only once so far. Mass air sensor - that's an expensive bugger! Window regulator only once, but it didn't cost as much as others say to replace. Other minor and routine things as well. Batteries, brakes, belts, tires, plugs and wires, etc.

I'm comfortable with spending $1000 per year on repairs and maintenance rather than buying a new car. It's far cheaper, and I may not ever find a car I enjoy as much as this one (that I could actually afford). Plus, it will be my last stick ever, because my wife refuses to drive a stick.

When the trim first started getting loose, I glued it on with a silicone glue called GOOP that you can find in any hardware store. Best $4 I ever spent. Never had a trim problem after that. I think I have the only Jetta on the road with all the original trim.

My Jetta only has 94K miles, and is almost always parked inside, so it has that advantage, I'll admit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2007