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."
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
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.
$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...