2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


Cute, fun, unreliable, high maintenance, expensive to operate


Drivers Side window dropped into the door. Repaired on Warranty.

AM FM Radio has never gotten good reception and is now almost unusable.

Plastic cover on passenger side seat belt fell off. Repaired on Warranty.

Center Console latch broke. Out of warranty.

Vehicle has become sluggish and has only half the power it used to have.

Check Engine light came on immediately following a dealer routine service.

Check Engine light is on again.

General Comments:

I purchased the TDI primarily for fuel savings. The savings on fuel hasn't began to keep up with the maintenance and repair bills. I found this review site while preparing for my next visit to the Service Department. The check engine light is back on and the vehicle has become so sluggish on acceleration that it is becoming a hazard.

There are many things I like about my TDI, however, the high costs of routine service, maintenance, repairs and parts are discouraging. I bought this car for economy. I don't think I can afford to keep it running. My wife loves the car and doesn't want to sell it. I would be more prone to keep the car if VW would own up to all of the evident, common, factory defects and fix them all under recall or extended warranties.

What really makes me feel bad is that I convinced my Uncle and my Father to purchase a TDI. My uncle tells me he has been into the shop and forked over a lot of money for repairs. My Dad's TDI is almost new so the two repairs he has needed have been covered under warranty. I am encouraging my father to sell his before the warranty expires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th April, 2004

6th Apr 2004, 14:33

A followup on my initial comments, regarding dealer repairs to unresolved issues.

The dealer diagnosed a problem with the Mass Airflow Sensor which he replaced, at no cost to me, under the extended warranty. My TDI is now running like new.

The dealer also found a problem with one or more glow plugs and recommended an upgrade replacement of the glow plug system. Cost for installing the upgrade would be $525.00.

Dealer was honest and good to deal with, however, the cost of upgrading the glow plug system was prohibitive so I opted to keep driving the vehicle with the check engine light on, until the item becomes covered in an extended warranty or until I decide to sell the TDI. In my opinion, if VW had to develop an upgraded glow plug system for the TDI, it must be apparent to VW that the original components were not adequate.

I contacted the VW Warranty number and asked that VW place the glow plug system on an extended warranty, based on the obvious problems and failures with the existing system. The VW representative was courteous and helpful and indicated that the issue was not currently on an extended warranty, but if enough people called to report the problem, it could be listed as an extended warranty in the future.

I encourage anyone who has experienced a glow plug malfunction to report it to VW.

2001 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T 1.8 turbo from North America


This car is FUN to drive


Turbo Pressure Valve blew at 20K. Dealer fixed free of charge.

Window broke (common problem). Dealer fixed free of charge.

Broke off mirror adjustment knob. Yet to fix.

Rear brakes gone at 40K. $385 to replace. Ouch.

General Comments:

Great acceleration and handling.

Dealer has been great. Get a "personal" relationship with either the mechanic or service manager. Service manager gave me a lot of helpful hints such as... ignore the engine light. Usually indicates software problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2004

7th Jul 2004, 06:06

In regards to the "ignore the engine light" comment, I would caution you to not simply dismiss the indicator. My engine light went off and it turns out that 2 valves (effecting the performance according to the service manager) needed to be replaced. Otherwise FANTASTIC car!!