1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 from North America


It's a solid car all around!


The front right wheel bearing at 35,000 and 89,000 (both are from pothole hits that blew the tire out and cracked the rim)

The right rear wheel bearing began humming loudly at 50,000.

The manifold gasket began to leak at 55,000.

Car began to hesitate and had lopey idle at around 84,000. I replaced all vacuum hoses which cured it.

Starter motor died at 75,000 which was replaced with a new one. That one died at 95,000, but it was the solenoid which rotted, not the motor. They are integrated as one unit so I had to buy it all again.

The right rear turn-signal lamp lens developed a crack so the bulbs blew everytime it rained. Bought one online for $50 and replaced.

Spark plug cables frazzled out at 60,000 miles. Of course only VW had them and they were $120! For a four cylinder mind you! I could get a set of wires for my 5.0 Liter, 8-cylinder Mustang for $40.

The exhaust system is a joke. The original one rotted away by 40,000 miles. I had an accident at 70,000 which necessitated its replacement from the catalytic converters back. The newer exhaust system has now rotted and the rear muffler dropped off on to the New Jersey Turnpike at 80,000. How appropriate.

The radiator developed a small leak at 85,000. However, it was the the area for the A/C, not coolant so I just lost air conditioning. A little dab of solder on the hole and a recharge of the A/C system fixed that problem.

Check Engine light went on at 35,000. Two fruitless trips to two different VW dealerships yielded only question marks and large holes in my bank account. They are worthless. The car ran great so I just yanked the Check Engine Light bulb in the dash.

The plastic cover for the seat adjustment wheel broke off at 80,000.

The front left strut tower mount needed replacement at 54,000.

The alternator stopped doing its job at 45,000 miles. The original battery held on until 58,000 miles.

General Comments:

Despite the long laundry list of work done on the car I really love it. Aside from when the starter died it just always, always starts.

The engine can best be described as sprightly and in brutal cold or heat it just runs and runs. During which, the radiator temperature gauge stays pegged right in the middle.

The trunk is cavernous! Once I had the car loaded with books totalling around 900 pounds between the trunk and back seat. It still handled very well!

A great driving car, it does everything well, nothing great.

Nice turning radius makes parallel parking simple.

I've driven for 15 hour clips and have no problem with the comfort and support of the seat.

It's a joy to drive, a keeper. I might get another car, but I think I'll keep this one as a daily driver.

I like the looks it's fairly stylish and cleans up very well after a long road trip.

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

Review Date: 28th October, 2004

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX from North America


Fun and Reliable!


Pass side moldings fell off (again).

Replaced O2 sensors several times.

Replaced clutch at 110,000 miles.

Replaced transmission at 210,000 miles.

Fog lights replaced twice.

Regulators replaced on each window at least once.

General Comments:

Overall, this little car is excellent!Yes, I have had some issues with my Jetta. Every car will have it's problems, but all I have to do is routine maintenance and my Jetta takes care of me and the 50,000 miles I put on it each year.

**To other '97 Jetta owners: Having to re-glue the moldings is really nothing to complain about**

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2004

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 from North America


Great car with electronic problems


Check engine light goes on every now and then.

Siding is falling off.

Door lock button fell off.

Front passenger side window broke. Left tire was making grinding noises at about 115000 miles.

General Comments:

This car seems to have a lot of cosmetic problems. The engine has given me no trouble at all for such high mileage.

The VW dealer mechanics and workers are very rude, and don't seem like they even try to fix anything, but charge you an arm and a leg. Like $70 to fix a distributer wire...4 times in less than a year.

The car is quick and gets excellent gallons per mile.

Some of the wheels lug nuts become loose and make a terrible grinding noise.

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

Review Date: 4th September, 2004

6th Jul 2006, 20:42

At 93500 miles the AC blower stopped working. If I turn the fan on, #1 AC light comes on, but if it is on, #2 light goes off. It's not good during hot summer days.