A great car with a lot of problems
The First thing to go wrong was that my rear drivers side seat was popped out of the hinge. When you tried to fold the seats down the left side of the seat would pop up. I told the service writer at my first oil change and they fixed it, no problem.
The Second thing to go wrong with the car was that after about 17,500 miles the rear break started making a screeching noise. I called the dealership and told the service writer about the noise, and he told me that 'Some Break Noise is Normal, Mam.' He was very condicending and treated me as if I knew nothing. After going around and around with him for a while I told him 'Sir, I'm sorry, I've driven this car for 17,000 miles, I think I know what the brakes are supposed to sound like. This is not normal.' When I took the car in, I took one of the Techs for a drive and they heard the noise, when they got the car into the shop they found that it had ZERO break pad left. They fixed it under warranty and have done so since.
Then the drivers side tail light went out after about 18,000 miles.
The next thing to go wrong was that the rear cup holder stopped popping out like it was supposed to.
The next issue wasn't for about 6 months. I took my car in for the 20,000 mile maintenence before leaving for a study abroad program for 6 months. 1,000 miles were put on my car by the time I got home by my parents. The break wear light came on after I'd been home for about 2 weeks. When I called the Dealerships Service Dept, they told me the 'best' they could do would be to see me the next Thursday (this was on a Monday). They couldn't tell me how much break pad was left, or weather I should drive the car at all. Which is understandable really. I took the car in a week early, because it was no good to me sitting in my driveway. I live at the top of a steep hill and cannot afford to go up and down it with bad breaks. When I took the car into be serviced (since it'd been 6 months), the dealership told me that I needed new breaks and that while the rear breaks were under warranty still, the front brakes would be $400.
I was very frustrated by the fact that there was zero warning about the brakes needing to be replaced. There wasnt any comment on the service write up, and no one said anything to me. Not even a "you know, your breaks are getting pretty worn out, you may need to replace them next time." There was zero warning about the need of new breaks, and we let that reflect in the 'satisfaction servey' that followed several days after we got the car in.
Barely a week after the brakes getting replaced, the alarm started going off randomly. It got to the point where we had to unplug the battery. I called VW and told them this, and they told me that they couldn't see me for two weeks. Again I took the car in and left it there, so that 'they could get to it when they had time.' The switch was going to cost 200 dollers to be replaced, but we fought it. The car was just barely out of warranty and had just been in there why on earth would it need this now? Its not like the trunk is used on a daily basis. The dealership paid for it, and now every one there knows our name and is very nice to us.
I received a recall notice in the mail and had that done. After getting that service done the car ran very nicely... for a week. The gas mileage was up and the pep was back in the car. It is still better than previously, but not the best.
Now, I'm about 30 miles away from 30,000 and there are all sorts of break issues. The front drivers side break disk has two grooves showing in it. The front passenger side break disk is showing a similar developing groove, and the rear breaks make a kind of grinding noise. Almost like the noise that the brakes make right after I wash the car, but a lot louder.
Overall the car is great. It handles very well, and feels super secure. I've driven other cars (from aerostars, to dorangos) and this car has the tightest feeling and quickest responsce.
When the car works, it works beautifully; However, I'm a college student and if I didn't have parents who were willing to help me out with repairs, the cost would be crippling. My family purchased this car for me because they thought it would be reliable and safe. However, while it is fairly economic in gas, and is one of the safest cars, it is not reliable. It seems every six months I have to get some major thing done to it.
I would buy a car from VW again, but I would do more careful research. I really love my Jetta, it just kills me that it's such a pain.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd July, 2002