1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


Great fuel economy!


The stock Goodyear tires were replaced after 20,000 kms.

The reverse gear broke at 25,000kms.

Brake shoes and rotors were changed at 35,000 kms.

Battery changed at 55,000 kms.

Clutch and turbocharger changed at 65,000 kms.

Re-glued side moldings about 6 times.

The electronics seem to have been playing tricks on me for the past 5,000 km's.

General Comments:

The 1997 Jetta is a nice looking car, and the diesel engine is very fuel efficient.

However, I have had far too many problems to want to buy another VW below the year 2000 mark.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2003

6th Nov 2004, 07:54

If your door molding had to be glued 6 times maybe you are using the wrong glue? I took mine to an autobody shop who used some special autobody epoxy. They have stayed on!

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GT from North America


Watch out at 80,000 miles!


Side Moldings fell off when 3 years old.

Mid and back Muffler replaced at 84,000 miles.

Battery died at 83,000 miles.

Both Windshield wiper nozzles failed and rapid turn signal (short) at 82,000 miles.

Rear cup holder broke at 4 years old.

General Comments:

I can't count how many Jettas I have seen with side moldings that fell off. When I called to complain about the obviously inferior glue, Volkswagon said they wouldn't pay for new mouldings. So I was out 200 bucks for new ones (one side only!)

A decent car until about 80,000 miles. Then everything starts to fall apart.

When battery died car alarm started going off and it took ten minutes of blaring horn until I figured out to put key in door lock to turn off. People should be warned about that... it's rather embarrassing to be in parking lot and have this happen.

Also would not buy again because we have kids now and the car seats are very hard to install properly -- it's a tight fit and they have no leg room..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2003

28th Sep 2003, 20:02

I have a '98 Jetta GT (See my review).

Door moldings are a problem on 93-98 Jettas. The door moldings can be fixed in 30 minutes for $10. You go to Pep boys and buy some 3M tape adhesive for auto trim for $5 a roll. Clean all the old adhesive off the door and the molding with rubbing alcohol. Dry for 5 minutes and apply new tape adhesive and stick the moldings back on. If you buy a replacement molding, you'll get one that's been on the shelf forever, the adhesive will be weak and it will fall off again. (Not to mention the price!)

Our Jetta needed a battery after 4 years which is normal.

I replaced the rear mufflers this year after 5 years.

I fixed the moldings on all the doors.

It needs new shocks in the rear. Other than that for $15,800 brand new it still looks great. It has almost 70,000 miles on it and runs like new.

18th Jun 2004, 10:45

I have a 97 Jetta GT and my side moulding fell of also. I went to a local junk yard, paid 10 dollars and put on a new one. 200 dollars you paid?! You got taken advantage of. Battery replacement after some 80000 miles is not odd at all... ask any driver, you will never hear of someone at 150,000 miles with the original battery. My cup holder was broken when I got the car...again, I went to the junk yard and 10 bucks fixed the problem.

It sounds to me like you have had NO problems at all with the car! If a broken cup holder and side moulding is all you have to worry about, that should be a good thing. Your car has done many miles... things breaking and needing TLC is no different to any other car... complain when it stops running all together for no reason, or things break after 1,000 miles, otherwise love your VW and enjoy every min. of it. I do.