1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 4cyc from North America


Just eighty thousand miles of FUN


Driver's side power window replaced 2x.

Back passenger power window (behind driver) needs replacement -- stopped working right after the warranty ran out.

Passenger side rubber trim melted off in during a regular summer day.

Up until this year (2005), the above was it--regular upkeep kept my Jetta running great.

Now: Timing belt recently changed--car stalls at stoplights during rain; motor lugs up hills when unloaded and used to be powerful enough to go up same hill in third gear.

Finally today the car simply will not start--moreover, the alarm went off after I tried to start is twice--while I was in the car!

General Comments:

Power window regulators cost 250 a pop --not counting labor!

EVERYONE who has owned a Jetta has complained about the shoddy power windows!

Still, VW does NOTHING!

Part costs are not in sync with the simple type of car a Jetta is--a plebe car, not a Beamer, after all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2005

6th Jul 2006, 21:25

I just bought my first VW yesterday. a 97 Jetta GLS. funny everything I read is the power windows, I have had my less than 24 hours and the pass. side rear window came off track. Hope it is not a regulator, but it does help that work in the auto glass industry and can get parts cheap and labor for free. I love the car so far and am impressed so far. I have loved the way the Jetta looks for years and finally bought one. It already has 130k miles on it, but it runs as if it were brand new. Hopefully will be a long run of myself owner VWs.

5th Oct 2006, 17:19

I have a '97 GLS and have gotten 138,000 miles out of it so far, it's a great car and a lot of fun to drive!

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT 2.0L from North America


Good engine, bad body!


The check engine light came on the day after I bought it

Odd noise comes from front wheels when you turn

Shocks are gone

Moon roof stopped working

CC doesn't work

CV Joint broke and wheel feel off

Body is rusting very badly

Windshield wipers don't work.

General Comments:

All and all this car is not bad. The engine is very good, but the body can't hold up. I would not buy this car if you can't afford to put money in it every other week. The parts are very expensive. I have paid more in repairs then what I bought the car for.

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

Review Date: 29th November, 2005

5th Dec 2005, 09:14

This sounds like a poorly maintained, abused car that should have gone to the junkyard, not your driveway. All the things you list should have been obvious during an initial inspection, by even a novice, on a 100k mile car. After all, it doesn't sound like you took this car home from the showroom.

FYI, the noise when turning were the CV joints on their last leg. And a broken CV joint will not cause a wheel to fall off. A bad tie rod, ball joint, wheel bearing or broken control arm will cause a wheel to break loose.

I would be the first to agree VWs aren't as good as they used to be, but you need to know what you are getting into with a 100k mile abused vehicle.

Take what you learned from owning this worn-out car and use the knowledge to spot cars to stay away from in the future.

6th May 2006, 21:47

I would have to agree. I have a 1997 Jetta GT that just broke down for the last time. Its got just over 110000 miles on it and I'm just sick of dealing with it. Its time to send it to the junk yard. I love VW, but when something goes wrong, everything starts to go wrong soon after.