1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 liter from North America
Reliable and fun to drive
In cold weather it idles really high and always has; sometimes up to 4,000 rpm. I've messed with the idle speed, but it always seems to revert back to it's original state.
The automatic transmission has always been slow to shift. This has never created any mechanical problems.
The molding on the front doors have fallen off.
I've replaced the battery three times.
There's always been a bit of an exhaust rattle.
I love the car. I suppose my car was built on a good day at the Puebla plant. The car has virtually no rattles or squeaks and it's been a very reliable vehicle. the car uses minimal amounts of oil and starts and runs (aside from cold weather idle issues) like a new car in spite of the fact that I've driven it hard.
It handles very precisely and is always composed around corners though it doesn't handle quite as well as my old Mazda 626.
I've never experienced the types of problems so many Volkswagen owners on the internet claim to have. I've gotten "Honda-like" service out of this car, so to speak.
The main thing I'm disappointed in is the gas mileage is quite mediocre for a 4 cylinder car that isn't exactly high performance. I get about 24 MPG, although most of my driving is in town. I guess that has more to do with it than anything...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd February, 2003
1st Mar 2004, 11:13
Watch out for that shifting problem. I own a Jetta GL 97 and I am now replacing the entire transmission, as the pump went bad and ruined it. I thought maybe I drove my car hard (not letting it warm up before driving, shifting from reverse to drive before fully stopping) but was told my a dealer not factors for this issue. I complained several times to Volkswagen about shifting issues when I still had a warranty and they blamed it on the settings. They would reset the idle/timing, but the car would still hang at about 3000 rpm.