1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0L from North America


Overall, a very dependable car


Cruise Control stop working around 80K.

Battery replaced at 60K.

Front passenger power window lift replaced two weeks ago $300 bucks.

General Comments:

With the exception of the battery dying (after 4 years, which is normal), this car has worked every time I've turned the key which is most important. Aside from the minor stuff like the door moldings (which I fixed by spending all of $3.00 for glue), the non-functioning cruise control, and the power window lift, I have had no problems with this car. The battery is the only component under the hood that has been replaced (still has originial transmission, starter, etc.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2003

1997 Volkswagen Jetta Trek 2.0L from North America


A poor man's BMW


Vital screw came loose in transmission around 100 miles.

Stock tires wore out too quickly. Due to defective brand.

Driver's window makes grinding noise when it is rolled up.

Brake pads worn and replaced around 92000 miles.

Windshield wiper switch broke due to wiring malfunction. (Apparently, this is a recall issue.)

General Comments:

I purchased my Trek to replace my 1989 Honda Accord, which was stolen and stripped (later found with nothing on it or in it). I debated on whether or not to purchase another Honda since the Accord LX-i was very fun to drive. But my family is 30+ year Volkswagen owners and swears by them, plus the fact that my first car was a 1979 Rabbit. So I gave in and got the Trek version (mostly for the new bike).

The car was inexpensive (in VW standards) and stylish. It came with a rear spoiler, sunroof, fog lights, auto locks, auto windows, sport wheels, sport seats, the Trek bike and roof rack. Aside from the "package" items, the car is fun to drive!

Even though it's only a 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter, the car really picks up and goes. Gas mileage is better than expected. Having owned the car for six years, I swear it gets better all the time. Last time I checked, I was getting 35 miles per gallon (highway of course). And I've topped out at 110 miles per hour with no effort (that's as high as my adrenaline would let me go).

The seats are comfortable, the cabin is roomy, the trunk is large (much larger than the Honda), shifting is smooth, and if I close my eyes I could swear I'm driving German luxury without the sticker shock.

I've had no disappointments with the car except for the tires. I was made aware that defective tires were used that year, and I didn't realize I had a tire warranty. Also, the cup holders were a poor design.

At 107,000 miles, I'm ready to put on 107,000 more!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2003

29th Jul 2009, 23:16

Always with the cup holders!

5th Aug 2010, 14:34

I can agree with you 100%. I had a 98 Corolla that just died on me. It had 234,000 miles and ran great, but my overhead cam cracked.

I recently bought the 97 Jetta Trek, and it is great. I got mine with 106,000 miles. The pickup is amazing and the suspension is great; hugs the road perfectly... I love it.

23rd Nov 2010, 10:16

I couldn't agree more, the cup holders are horrible, but that's the only thing I could ever complain about.

I bought my 97 Jetta trek II with a little more miles, 160,000 but it's still running great at almost 200,000 and the most that's went wrong is the back left exterior door strip came off (with a little help).

This is the best car I've ever owned. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a family get up and go machine.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL from North America


Hight cost lemon with major problems


Just about everything major went wrong with this lemon.

Bought at 18,000 miles, problems started at 23,000.

Transmission starting getting louder and louder. Gears are not kicking in or switching. The car jumps when the gears finally do change. I took the car to the dealership twice while still under warranty, and no one saw any problems. I was dismissed with a $500 tune up. Transmission problems continued getting worse.

Next, the engine lights started going off like it was the 4th of July. I took it to the dealership, under warranty and of course, they couldn't see any problem. The lights intermittently go off and on, still. If you want the engine light turned off after it's turned itself on, you have to go to a friendly Volkswagen dealer, who will do it for you for $75. I finally took the Jetta lemon to a mechanic who said there may be a major problem with the engine.

At 50,000 miles the AC had some major issue and it cost me $400 to fix it.

At 55,000 miles right front wheel bearing needed changing, $280.

At 56,000 miles I need to change shocks.

I emailed the friendly customer service Volkswagen manufacturer to complain about this car. They were quick to return my call, only to say that they are sorry, but they can't do anything. Not even a $5 coupon for oil change! I figure they must be flooded with phone calls and can't afford $5 for every customer.

General Comments:

Don't ever buy a Volkswagen! I have friends who have some major problems with their newer models just like I had with the 1997 jetta. Dealerships will dismiss your major and numerous problems, and the manufacturer will tell you that you're stuck with it.

Volkswagen! Good luck with your business, you'll need it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2003

8th Dec 2003, 19:39

As you can tell by all the negative VW reviews on this site, you're not alone! Check out TIME magazine dated Dec. 8, 2003. There's a story about VW and how their quality and customer satisfaction is on a downward spiral. I knew it was just a matter of time before someone "blew the whistle"!