1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 Gasoline from North America
Overall, not a classic, but fun to drive, practical and spacious, and I hate to see it go
The tape player didn't work when I bought the car as a certified used vehicle. The warranty covered replacement and the new one has worked well except for some recent intermittent bad connections to the speakers.
My ignition key switch wore out at about 30,000 miles and had to be replaced. I now have a VW key for outside locks and a Seat key for the ignition!
A scraping sound in the steering column showed up in cold weather as soon as I bought the car. A spring clip was replaced under warranty with no more problems since.
The driver's seat was a little wobbly in the tracks at about 15,000 miles, but again a mounting bracket was replaced under warranty and has held up since then.
Door trim molding has to be re-taped every year and a half. Very annoying.
This Jetta does not like hub caps. I lost two driving on NY's Madison Ave. A third was stolen, replaced, and promptly lost on pot-holed roads again, and the other awaits its fate in my trunk.
I was having really bad engine tremors in wet weather around 85,000 miles. I replaced the ignition coil (relatively easy $80 fix). 6 months later, the problem returned, and so I replaced the plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, and everything runs smoothly again even in torrential downpours.
The Check Engine light was coming and going since about 80,000 miles, but now at 98,000 it's on for good.
The front muffler (resonator?) is expensive. Exhaust repairs are frequent if you drive salty roads.
The brakes have never had a nice solid bite as new Jettas do, requiring lots of pedal travel before real action is noticed.
I added a trunk-mounted 8 disc changer that works great with the factory radio. This makes the Jetta extra nice for road trips on top of the good driving position (I'm 6'5"), powerful A/C and heating, excellent visibility in all directions, smooth ride, and decent fuel economy (up to 34 mpg going about 75 mph on a fresh oil change).
The car is showing its age in small rust spots, fuzzy radio connection, burnt out dash light and thinning clutch. I also have a broken reverse gear from an unfortunate towing incident. Despite all this, I'd hate to give it up because the engine is still fantastic and fun to drive, it's roomy, and I've yet to find a steering so responsive and "connected" to the road. Not to mention the gargantuan trunk (larger than that year's BMW 735).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 10th August, 2007
25th Aug 2007, 20:33
Great review. Very accurate. I love my car and it's been worth every penny... bought it in 2004 for $6500 from a friend with low miles. Repaired ignition switch, door moulding, lost hub cap, repaired exhaust and my boyfriend complained about the brakes.
But overall, I spent maybe $1200 on car repairs in just a few years. It's still worth 4 k so 3 and a half years of hard use has cost $3,700 total. Bang for your buck. plus Car talk said the clutch is indestructible. I am cruel to my clutch, certainly, and it's still with me.