2001 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


I love my Jetta!


I have been extremely fortunate with this car.

Mass Airflow sensor at 70,000

Timing Belt and water pump at 95,000

Expansion Valve at 110,000

Sway Bar Bushings at 120,000

Rear Brakes at 135,000

Coolant flange and hose leak, and clutch, hydraulics, and dual mass flywheel replacement at 143,000.

General Comments:

I absolutely love my Jetta, and I would buy another one tomorrow. This car is fun to drive, handles beautifully in inclement weather, and is durable. At 143,000 miles, I am just now having to start put money into this car. And, the dealership has been wonderful about it. I drive a great deal for work, and I am at the dealership every couple of months for my oil changes. They know me by name, and are always courteous. When I had the coolant leak a couple of weeks ago, they unfortunately did not have one of the parts in. So, without hesitation, they gave me a rental car at no charge. I am now experiencing some problems with the clutch and hydraulics in the transmission. I really cannot complain though, as this is the first major repair I have made on this car. Take car of your Jetta, and it will take care of you :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2007

2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDi 1.9 from North America


It's beautifully built and the interior and engine are a hunk of junk


When I picked up the car, I was told, under 'full disclosure' that the turbo had been sticking and they'd repaired it. They asked me to sign to say that I'd been told.

The day I picked up the car, the check engine light came on. I took it the sales place and got a lecture on glow plugs. My husband is a mechanic, I know about the glow plugs. One was replaced and I was sent on my way.

The next day (Christmas Eve) the light came back on. Rather than go through another 'stupid woman' lecture, we marked it up to a bad experience and replaced the plugs, wires and relay ourselves.

Initially, I noticed some hesitation in the transmission (it would rev like mad them jump to the next gear, or I'd lose power all together, or it would slip from gear to gear) and some idiosyncrasies, but put it down to my inexperience with the car.

About four months after purchase, I had to replace the windshield. About six months after purchase, I had to do breaks all around. About nine months after purchase, the AC went (it was August).

During this time the engine light has pretty much been a constant, giving us varying codes from Transmission to Turbo faults. About five months ago, it was joined by the ABS light.

Last month my husband and son were going camping and took my car as it's better on fuel. The turbo blew two hours in to their journey. We had it towed back to his shop and then to a VW specialist in town. He said he'd never seen a turbo blow so badly. He also mentioned that this type of turbo can't actually be serviced or repaired - it's a sealed unit and has to be replaced. So much for the sales place servicing it. At a courtesy cost (mechanics sticking together) it cost me $1200.

At the same time, he tells me that I need a transmission service. Once that was done, he only charged me for the parts as he said he didn't think it had fixed the problem. He advised driving it and see how it went. The light came back on the next day and we scanned it again to be told that we did, indeed, need a new transmission.

General Comments:

I'm just at the beginning of this quest for sanity. I really like this car, and I want it to be fixed. I've still got two years to pay for it and if I try to sell I'll lose a pile of money. Not to mention that no-one will buy it with the check engine light on.

I contacted the dealer and they're meant to be getting back to me. I contacted VW Canada and they said that there's nothing they can do as it's out of warranty. I pointed out that for a transmission and turbo to go at only 151,000kms was totally unacceptable. They said they were sorry for all the trouble I'd had.

In my lunch hour today I'm going to buy the Lemonaid book and find out just how to be the squeaky wheel I have to be to get some recompense. I bought this car because I thought they had a good reputation - I wish I'd seen these sites first. I wanted a good car with good fuel economy and one that would last a long time.

I think it's disgusting that VW is so blase about their product. I think that people need to know that these cars are a piece of junk and if you buy one expect to have to put a whole pile of money in to it. I think if you make something cheaply then sell it for a lot of money, you should be prepared to fix it when things go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2007

14th May 2009, 21:18

Personally I love the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and being a diesel mechanic there is one golden rule, which is that if you've just got back from a long trip with high speeds where your turbocharger had been used a lot to haul or pass people, you need to let the car idle for about 5 minutes to let your turbo cool down, because if you cut the flow of lubrication to the turbo by turning off, your turbo will still be turning at about 260 000 rpm and the ball bearings in the turbo will literally weld to the cast iron casing, but I also hope I will not have transmission problems LOL.