1997 Volkswagen Jetta Jazz 2.0 from North America


Biggest Waste of Money and Time


We needed to replace the exhaust system, mass airflow cylinder (3 times), tires (they were horrendous), wiring harness had to be replaced in the driver side door, cruise worked and now it doesn't for some reason (even with the wiring harness fixed), struts need replacing, oxygen sensor has gone about 5 times in 2 years, bad check engine light switch (replaced twice), side moldings have fallen off (we glued back on), and now the engine won't start even though there is power still in the cabin (no clicking or turning over of the engine).

General Comments:

It is really fun to drive, but now we're selling it because we just bought a brand spanking new car (not another Volkswagon God please no). We're just wondering if it is the ignition switch causing the no starting deal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th April, 2005

17th Sep 2005, 23:04

I would have to agree with the first set of comments. I'm sorry, but I have had the many of the same problems have the exact same car and it is a real pain to work on. Everything is hidden tightly so you can't even work on simple things such as the thermostat. God forbid you have to replace one, good luck! Even with experience and skill working on many cars, this one was a huge challenge, both time consuming and frustrating. I would never invest in another Volkswagen.

12th Aug 2006, 19:51

It's probably that your starter needs to be replaced,

1997 Volkswagen Jetta Trek 2 liter from North America


Great performance with bad electrical issues


I replaced the starter twice since I bought it in 1999.

I replaced the ignition switch in 2004 because the headlights and windshield wipers occasionally stopped working.

Inside door locking/unlocking switch hasn't worked well since I bought the car.

Fog lights are no longer functioning.

I replaced the cruise control.

I had to fix the locks, which stopped working properly and led to difficulties starting the car.

If I open the trunk and the doors are locked, the alarm goes off.

Cosmetically, the door molding started to come off on both sides, so I glued them back on.

I've had major paint problems. My car's red paint started to oxidize. I waxed it, and it looked fine, but then the oxidation reappeared about two weeks later. The dealer said it was probably repainted in the factory. It was past the warranty, and VW wouldn't cover a new paint job. (I didn't by the car from a dealer.) I've noticed other similar paint problems on other red Jettas.

General Comments:

This is my second VW. Performance-wise, I love it. I changed the suspension and bought a new exhaust, and my 4-cylinder Jetta drives really well with these modifications.

Electronically, the vehicle is a mess. I've been really frustrated with the locking problems, and VW refuses to disarm the alarm, which I think may be part of the problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2005

3rd Mar 2008, 20:26

You should check the wires in the door jam, they may be broken and causing your alarm to be a bother.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


Nice, comfortable and reliable automobile


Wiper transmission broke. Easy and cheap fix - $20 and I did it myself. Nothing major has gone wrong. I've only done the regular maintenance.

General Comments:

I love it. It is comfortable and pretty reliable.

It has plenty of power and torque considering the fact it's a diesel. 100 mph are not a problem.

Handles excellent, too.

Very good car for the money (I bought it for $2000 in 2004)

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

Review Date: 12th March, 2005

20th Apr 2005, 16:47

Find it hard to believe person bought it for only $2000.

28th Oct 2006, 17:29

I'll second the doubts about $2000 purchase price. Diesel price's are absurd right now, but they were still pretty healthy in 2004. However, if they can make buys like that I'll take 10 ;)

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 from North America


The Jetta, Perfection in every curve


Some electrical problems. Vehicle speed sensor (it was a recall item, replaced free).

I have had to repair normal wear and tear items such as tires, brakes ect.

Routine tune-ups. Nothing that you would not have to repair with any other car.

General Comments:

Volkswagens are costly to repair, however, any nice car is. If you cannot afford to drive in style, a Volkswagen is not for you.

I have owned 1994 GL III, 1989 GL, 2004 GL and 1997 GLX Jetta, in that order. By far my favorite is my 1997; it is very stylish, and came with every available option (power everything, sunroof, leather, cruise, the list is exhaustive). Even with the V6, I have very good gas mileage, 35 MPG.

I agree with the reviews about finding a good mechanic. It has taken me 9 years to find one that knows about Volkswagens and is honest (he is not a dealer mechanic). Try your small "mom and pop" shop, they are usually the most knowledgeable, and honest. I have driven VW's for so long, that I pretty much do all my repairs.

It is a drag that most parts do take 3-4 days to arrive, but if you are a VW enthusiast, it is all part of owning a classy car. BMW and Audi have the same wait time for parts. If you want to have nice things in life, sometimes you have to wait.

Volkswagens that have major problems are the ones that were not taken care of properly to begin with. Just like any car, they will have problems if they are neglected. All cars have routine tune ups for a reason.

I can honestly say, that my Jetta is my anti depressant. I just have to get in it and drive!

If you are still anti VW, just check out ANY other manufacture review, they will ALL have negative ones. No manufacture is perfect, but hey, you might as well drive in style!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2005

14th Apr 2006, 18:15

Vw sucks. my 96 jetta has not been neglected at all and it is giving me nothing, but hell!

23rd May 2006, 16:16

With the speed sensor problem... could you possibly email me some information on that? My Jetta has the same problem and if I can get it fixed I can avoid a rather costly speeding ticket.