1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4 cylinder from North America


A decent starter car, reliable long-term, but expensive to repair and loses functionality of options


Every single person I know who has owned this "old" body style Jetta has found that multiple consistent problems--and I was no exception.

The door molding on both the driver's and passenger's side on the front falls off on its own. These are glued on over top of venting holes--each time the door is closed, a slight bit of air pressure exits through these holes and pushes on the molding from the backside, slowly loosening the grip of the glue. I would recommend going to an autorepair shop before you notice loosening, and ask them to remove the molding and replace it with autobody double-sided tape. If you wait too long, you will likely lose the molding while driving and it can be expensive to replace--and it no longer comes in matching colors so you would have to have an autobody shop paint it. Also, the longer it stays off, the more rust damage is posisble by the water that may enter your door through the now exposed holes. I don't remember the last time I saw a Jetta of this body style with all of its moldings still intact.

Also, this Jetta is known for having electrical problems. I intentionally got a car without power windows after hearing a friend could no longer use hers on her Jetta. Unfortunately, the doors are powered and are unreliable at best, non-functional frequently.

General Comments:

Don't purchase if you want a smooth quiet ride--it was not built for that.

I also found the lumbar support in the seats to be very uncomfortable and ill-fitting of my back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th July, 2003

16th Jul 2005, 17:25

Would anyone know where the door moldings can be purchased?

I lost the molding off of the front passenger side. I've scoured the internet and have found nothing, even E-bay.

I'm looking to sell my 1997 Jetta GT soon and would like to replace the molding to help retain some value.

Any help would be appreciated.

1997 Volkswagen Jetta 201 from North America


Can somebody help me, I'm broke


Well first of all 2001 I had to have a transmission put in it. Lucky for me the Jetta was still under warranty. Warranty has expired since July 2002.

I have had two sets of brakes put on. Two headlights put in it.

Diagnostic work done. The Jetta just stopped in the middle of the street.

Ignition coil replaced.

Replaced engine control module.

Repaired wiring for ignition coil.

This year, 2003, transmission leaking, had to get gaskets put on. Warranty on transmission expired 2002.

Breather V/C gasket.

Dipstick tube.

1 serpentine belt.

P/S Belt.

Coolant flange on side of cylinder head.

General Comments:

When I wake in the morning and go out, I am a little paranoid of starting this car. I never know what is going to happen next. And the sad part is that I still pay a car note. I wish I would have goteen an old bomb. The last car I had was a Chevy, before that a Honda. I got rid of the Chevy for the Jetta. I got rid of the Honda for the Chevy. I wish I still had my 1994 Honda with 100,000 miles. Still was going, no problems. The only thing was it had dents and the driver's seat was broke. Right about now I would take it back in a heart beat. At least it was paid for and it gave me no problems. Boy what a big DUMMY I was.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2003

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 from North America


A modern BMW 2002


Had to replace the radiator, and starter, which both were covered under an extended warranty package. Out of pocket was $200 for service. Had to rent a car for the radiator- $100.00.

General Comments:

This car looks more sporty than it is, the GLS-Package is great, car noisy with roof-rack on, so leave it off.

Like seat adjustments (newer models are better). No problems with electrical- windows, A/C.

Didn't do scheduled maintenance at 60k because I was unemployed, 15k later, engine service light comes on, having that checked out.

Good acceleration, comfortable, dependable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2003