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.
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.