1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS from North America


Far from perfect, but always dependable


The A/C just went out. Still blows air, it's just not cold anymore.

Neither the driver side or passenger side front door have key cores. They fell out a long time ago. They're just empty holes.

Because of the problem above, the alarm doesn't work. The alarm is wired to the key cores.

Transmission had to be replaced at about 70K miles. Couldn't be rebuilt - had to be replaced. Luckily, I purchased the extended warranty when I bought it ($1500 to cover the car until 100K miles or ten years, whichever came first) so the new tranny was covered and I only had to pay a $100 deductible. Otherwise, it would have cost me close to $4K.

The cigarette lighter releases like a rocket. It shoots out with such force that it sometimes falls under the passenger seat, and then it's hard to get (not to mention dangerous, because it's hot).

The plastic casing around the steering wheel broke and is now being held together with black electrical tape. The dealership wanted $112 to replace it, but tape is much cheaper and because the casing is black, no one can tell it's being held together with tape except for me.

From the day I bought it, cruise control hasn't worked. That's okay though, as I hardly drive on the freeway.

Also, the windsheild wiper has never worked on the "mist" setting. Now it only works on "high", the "low" setting broke a few years ago. It's okay though, as it doesn't rain too much here in L.A.

The windows get all steamed up during the winter months. The defroster doesn't work really well, and I always end up having to wipe the steam off with my hands just to see out the front window. I don't know why this happens. It's not humid here in California, but whenever I turn off the car and I've had the A/C on, the windows steam up.

The car sounds awful on the streets here in L.A. It's so creaky that it sounds like the whole thing is going to fall apart at any minute. But it hasn't yet.

General Comments:

Unlike so many other people that have posted on this site, I have had no problems with my power windows, except for having to replace the motor on one of the rear windows. But then again, 99% of the time, I'm the only one in the car, and I always have the A/C on instead of the windows down.

The sunroof is awesome. Never had a problem with it, and it adds so much to the overall enjoyment of driving in the car.

The trunk is huge!!! I'm talking massive. I love it. It's like a secret bonus, something that you just don't expect.

I've never had problems with the exterior side molding, and I live in L.A. where it's hot year round.

I've got to say, I know nothing about cars, and therefore I never really do anything to maintain my car, except for the twice yearly oil change. I never wax it, hardly wash it, never check the fluid levels, have opened the hood just a handful of times, and I really take the car for granted. But I've got to say, for as much as I neglect it, it's still dependable and has always started without any problems. Has never even stalled.

Overall, I guess I'm satisfied with the car. It doesn't have a lot of miles on it, just over 80K now, and it's already 9 years old. And except for the transmission, there's never really been a serious problem. Granted, if my extended warranty didn't cover the new tranny, and if I had to pay out of my own pocket, I might feel differently. So anyone thinking of buying a used Jetta (or any car for that matter), get the extended warranty. If nothing else, it'll bring you piece of mind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 litre from North America


Awesome car, Worth every Penny


On my 1997 Jetta, both DRIVER SIDE AND PASSENGER SIDE window regulators stopped working.. and I changed them with aftermarket ones which were really cheap just spent $200 including labor. Another issue with the car was its Cruise Control problem.. which I didn't fix, as I don't travel much..

This car is fast and very realiable in my case...

Most of the Jetta's have window regulator problems.. so get ready to fix those...

General Comments:

I love the car...

Its worth every penny I spent.. I enjoyed driving it.. it revved nice.. good gas mileage tooo.. On highway it gives 31 MPG and in city 22MPG.

Trunk has huge huge space...

U will not regret buying this as, this car is poor man's German machine... which rides amazing..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th November, 2006