1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.4 from North America


Not terrible, but far from perfect


Passenger-side turn indicator lights at 30K miles.

Rear-passenger side brake lights at around 30K miles.

Passenger-side window motor at 33K miles

New rear brake pads at 33K miles

O2 Sensor replaced (not covered under the recall at 38K miles)

New tires at 41K mile, which were supposed to be rated for 50K miles (Good Years).

Floor mats worn out so long ago, I don't even remember, especially the "buckles."

General Comments:

VWs in generally seems to be reliable and most owners are very satisfied. If you ask me, I'm very marginal about the satisfaction of this vehicle. VWs have a certain niche in the market that champions style and trendiness over reliability. My car worked marvelously for the past two years. It's the third and fourth year is when things started to go wrong. No major things, just little annoyances that start to amass into larger and larger hit on the bank account - brakes, O2 sensors, tires, window motors, stick auto-locks that won't lock on the first attempt, and so on.

One notorious gripe? Maintenance and repair costs. Dealerships will always over-charge you, but VW authorized dealers seemed to be on the level of BMW and Mercedes in repair costs. I'm no auto-repair expert, but $300 to replace a O2 sensor and another $375 for rear brake pads? No thanks. I'll take it to someone else.

In the enjoyment area, the car is certainly fun to drive with the most enjoyment during the warmer months. Nothing beats a great road trip with the sunroof open, radio blasting and, ahem, obeying the speed limit. The GLX has much better response and feel than the GLS, obviously.

If you have your heart set on purchasing a Jetta, go for the V6 in either the GLS and GLX, you'll be glad to spend the extra money. Of course the V6 has more HPs and can give you better response and acceleration during critical times, such as merging onto a freeway. Don't forget the sunroof.

Good Luck to ya.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

3rd Apr 2003, 22:54

I must agree. I have a 2001 Wolfsburg Jetta (1.8T) and I love to drive it. I've driven about 34K miles in the 21 months that I've had it. I'm about to change my rear brake pads as well. I'm also replacing my Good years this weekend. Going with Michelin (they have a promotion, free Palm Zire). I've had to take it in for a bunch of minor things as well.

Anyways, the car is beautiful and I love it. I agree that dealers change a fortune for next to nothing, but I don't want to let people who mostly work on old Hondas handle my car.

27th Nov 2007, 03:56

$300 for an O2 sensor? I had two out of warranty O2 sensor repairs on mine, but they were only $70 or 80 at the dealer service. Annoying, but doable. Had to replace the OEM Goodyears early, but switched to Michelins which were much better. I didn't like the Goodyears very well anyway so didn't complain when they had to go. Had my brake pads done by a local non-VW certified mechanic (only non-dealer service it ever had) for something like 150...

1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America


Nightmare of a broken down hunk of junk.


The day we got this car the instrument cluster went out. They told us that they may have to label this car "true mileage unknown" (or TMU). In reality the dealer didn't have a clue.

Two days after we got the car back from the shop the first time the sunroof went out.

Over a period of 6 months, both front power windows went out.

The radio went out.

All speakers went out.

Now, at only 39,000 miles the air-conditioning compressor and fan have both gone out. The repair estimate has been near $2,300.

General Comments:

This car has had more gone wrong with it than any car I have ever owned. In under 40,000 miles I have had it in the shop for roughly 2 weeks. In the first week I owned it, it was in the shop four out of seven days. To make it better, the parts are extremely expensive. There is a very good reason Volkswagen only offered a 2 year 20,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty on the 1999.5 Jetta, and it is because the car self destructs shortly after it drives off the lot (in some cases before that). The only career I have ever been ashamed of is the one where I used to sell Volkswagens to unsuspecting victims. I strongly warn all of my friends to cross the street instead of walking by a Volkswagen dealership.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th January, 2003