1999 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 from North America


A nightmare to own


Window regulator broken several times (this has caused me many nightmares)

A buzzing sound that is always there when you drive.

Broken glove compartment.

General Comments:

The worst care I have ever owned. Don't get this car unless it's free. TRUST ME!

3-4 weeks to get a service appointment even for urgent matters.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2003

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4-cylinder from North America


Nice exterior, but the fun stops there


"Studio cloth" seats stain and show wear and tear almost immediately!

Front and rear cup holders have broken and been replaced twice.

Glove compartment hinge broke, had to replace.

Interior/dashboard plastic peels when wet.

Car makes all kinds of rattles and knocking sounds when driving over bumps/rough road.

Replaced front wheel-bearing -- extremely expensive and Volkswagon would only cover 50% of cost (parts, NOT labor).

General Comments:

Car's design is great -- it's why I got it! However, Volkswagon has taken advantage of this and figures as long as it looks nice, why put quality parts inside? I am a cautious driver and a neat freak, but my car would make one think differently!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th September, 2003

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS from North America


A well-disguised money pit


The gas door malfunctioned and wouldn't close all the way.

The front driver side window fell into the door. Also, the rear driver side window will go up halfway first then go back down and then go all the way up.

Part of the fuel pump broke off and started leaking fuel.

The stitching on the driver seat is unraveling.

There is a loud whirring noise whenever I accelerate into a left turn.

A seal broke in the transmission allowing transmission fluid to mix with coolant and flood my transmission. (For those of you who noticed a hesitation when accelerating from a stop, go get your cars checked out asap! One day, I noticed my car was doing this, so I took it into a shop. They thought I might just have to change the transmission filter, but when they opened up my car, they found all this milky goo in the transmission. Now I have to get a brand new transmission.)

General Comments:

I really loved my car when I first got it. I thought it had a lot of great features for a great price. However, it has slowly been coming apart since I got it 4 years ago. I seriously don't think that a car only 4 years old should have had so many problems. Luckily, it's on a 5 year lease. I won't be purchasing it next year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd August, 2003

1999 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


I would definitely recommend and old body style (up to '99) Jetta TDI


This is an old body style for the record.

I Bought it from a Volkswagen dealer here in southern Ontario, Canada. I have had it for a full year now, put on approximately 80,000km's.

I did all the belts, oil and filter, air filter and fuel filter since I didn't know where it had been. I didn't do the water pump, which I was told by the dealer is recommended when doing the timing belt, since I figured it was a money grab.

Almost 5,000km's later, the water pump developed a leak. Took apart the old one and discovered it has a mechanical shaft seal, not a rubber lip seal. I figure it is recommended to change when doing the timing belt since mechanical shaft seals, once worn in, are more susceptible to leaks after a change in angular pressure, such as is found when installing a new belt and applying more tension than the previous one had. Needlessly to say, I put in a new water pump ($150CDN) and it has been fine since.

At approximatley 170,000km's, the check engine light came on and stayed on. The dealer was the only one that could pull the codes, so I was told, since the Volkswagen software wasn't purchased by many independent garages. They said it was a glow plug fault which needed new glow plugs to correct. All the plugs were done at the dealer and it has been fine since. Just to note, the thing still started fine, even in cold weather, before the repair was done.

The last thing that went wrong was a noisy driver's front wheel bearing. I did both bearings, both sides while I was at it.

Sorry, I lied. The only other thing I had to fix was the light bulb for the climate control knobs. It seemed to come and go for a couple of weeks until it wouldn't come on at all. I simply replaced the $1 bulb.

The only odd thing I find is the driver side headlight seems to go at about 15,000km's. I have also noticed that most other Jetta's with a bad headlight go on the same side.

General Comments:

I find this to be a very good, reliable, economical car to operate for high mileage drivers.

I believe I will always own a TDI for commuting, mind you I think next time it will be a Golf, since I think this Jetta is a crappy winter car. (even after putting on four new snows.)

I may have a distorted view of Jetta's by owning an old body style though, since it seems there are a lot of complaints out there with the current style.

Bottom line... I love this car and expect it to go 500,000km's, mostly highway driving though. If it doesn't, based on my experience with it and talk with others, I will be a little disappointed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2003

30th Oct 2003, 20:18

I have to agree. We have a '98 Jetta with a gas engine (not the TDI for all those who might not know the difference.) We've had NONE of the problems that most folks are carping about with the newer body style ('99.5 and later).

And for everyone else, it has nothing to do with the car being made in Mexico. Most all VW's except the Passat are made there. The reliability issues are probably more related to design than workmanship, as all VW's look fantastic when they are new.