2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


An extremely slow mistake


Timing chains.

Mass air sensor.

Intake stopping up due to diesel fuel.

Computer problems.

Glow plugs going out.

Air conditioner works on occasions.

Some interior lights not working.

Broken cup holders.

The list goes on and on.

General Comments:

The car looks great, but that is about the only thing positive thing I have to say about the 2001 Tdi Jetta.

The car ran great the first two years with no complaints at all. Everything went down hill after that.

First off, if you get this car to save money like I thought I was supposed to do, you will not be satisfied with it. Sure you get better gas mileage, but you end up spending more because of all the repairs and maintenance.

To get the timing chain replaced costs about $500 at the dealer. Even though a normal chain lasts about 100,000 miles, the vw dealership told me that in order to "always be covered under warranty, you have to replace the chain every 40,000 miles."

Do some research and you will see that the electronics and computer systems in vw cars are the worst part about them. My check engine light comes on constantly and my engine is always getting clogged from the trash in the diesel fuel.

In order to use my air conditioner, I have to get on the ground and reach up to the air conditioner and wiggle some wires for it to kick on.

The car has been running extremely slow (0 to 60 in about 20 seconds!) lately and the check engine light just came on. I got back from the dealer this morning to find out that the mass air sensor is broken and a glow plug is out. The price for repair is $600. I told them to put the broken parts back on my car and don't worry about fixing it.

I am on my way first thing in the morning to the Honda dealership to trade in on an accord.

Beware of the VWs!

The worst part about all of my problems and repairs is that so called "wonderful 100,000 mile warranty." Every single repair I have had to make on this car has not been covered under warranty. I think the warranty might cover the gas cap for 100,000 miles, but everything else ends at 12,000 to 24,000!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd June, 2003

29th Jun 2003, 21:25

Oh my. I could've written that review myself! I bought a 2001 Jetta TDI in May 2001. The car is a NIGHTMARE! My intake manifold is completely clogged with carbon, and I've been told that it could cost between $400-$2000 to rectify the problem. Sometimes I'm lucky to go 40 mph with the thing floored. I just replaced the cupholder to the tune of $130, the power windows broke, the check engine light flashes constantly, and I had defective brake calipers. I'm in the process of filing a complaint with the BBB, the attorney general, my congressman, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and VW. Some 100,000 warranty huh???

2nd Oct 2003, 11:24

I have had the same experience, but worse. The @@@@ engine fell out last month. The engine mounting with two bolts (10.5 strength sheared) and the engine fell down on the transmission. Then I had to replace the tires (third time on 68,000 miles), the battery went dead (no one sells these batteries ofcourse except the dealership), and then it overheated and stopped (twice). This happened all this month. I stopped going to the dealership because my dashboard is a Christmas tree with all the lights coming on and off. I took the car to my friend's garage who told me the last overheating is due to a silent broken water pump (after changing everything). The dealership said that there was a leak. I had to take the car in three times before they changed the air flow sensor, so I expect to struggle to get them to change the water pump. My advice is to change the lights on the dashboard to red chili lights and use it as a Christmas tree. Anyone for a 2000 Jetta?

2001 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.9L turbo diesel from North America


A fuel efficient vehicle that is a 'real car'


Driver front door window regulator failed. Fixed under warranty.

Passenger front door window regulator failed. Fixed under warranty.

Armrest compartment latch broke. Whole armrest replaced under warranty.

Small piece of plastic trim on inner sunroof fell off. Fixed by myself.

General Comments:

My Jetta TDI Diesel has been a generally enjoyable vehicle.

Aside from the small, little niggling problems with interior trim and window regulators, I have not had any problems with the powerplant or transmission or any major failures in 25k miles of mixed city/highway driving. In fact, I hope to drive my TDI for at least 200,000+ miles, as the Diesel engine has much more longevity than the average gasoline counterpart.

I previously owned a 1995 Toyota 4Runner, and it was useful in the fact that I had plenty of cargo space to haul equipment, but SUV's just aren't fuel efficient enough for me to justify owning one. Driving one was a drain on my finances, while being no more 'safe' than a regular mid-size sedan.

The initial cost of the Jetta with the TDI engine option was generally more expensive than it's Volkswagen 2.0L and 1.8T gas-powered brethren, but in the long run (if you plan to keep the car), the operating costs should be equal to or even less than owning a 'gas' car.

The economy is all due to the TDI engine. Diesel engines are generally 25-30% more fuel efficient, a gallon of Diesel has more energy versus a gallon of gasoline, and Diesel burns cleaner as far as greenhouse gasses go. The soot/particulate emissions that are inherent with Diesel are still a minor issue, but no more serious than the emissions from gas-powered cars.

You may think that because it is a Diesel, that this car will be loud, smoky or slower than a turtle. By no means is a TDI the fastest thing on the street (well, maybe if you modify a few things). That does not mean it takes 5 minutes to get up to highway speed. The TDI powerband is such that the engine delivers a great deal more torque at lower and mid RPMs, so much that it is truly a capable car whether passing on the highway or driving around town. It takes a slight adjustment in driving style, but after seeing the positive results in fuel economy, it's easy to become a convert.

While the car 'sounds' a little different and it might be a few dB louder at idle, by no means does it 'smoke' or belch soot (which is actually what you see coming out of city buses or big semi trucks, it's not smoke). Major US car makers did a lot of damage to the image of Diesel back in the '70s/'80's with their poorly designed/executed Diesel cars. It created a whole generation of drivers who thought of Diesels as loud, smoky, slow and hard to start. The modern TDI engine is leaps and bounds, even light years ahead of that old technology.

Other than the engine, the car has the usual nice features such as heated leather seats, heated side mirrors, cruise, CD, etc. and has very attractive 'German' styling inside and out. I have had some minor issues as stated above, and have encountered my fair share of interior noises, rattles, and squeaks. Nothing major, but still annoying.

I can honestly say that this car has been easy on the wallet. For me, Diesel fuel prices are generally a bit more than regular unleaded gas, but usually stay below the super premium price point. I don't have to fill up every week or couple of days. I can go 10 days to two weeks between fill ups. The oil changes, while a bit more expensive than standard gas/3,000 mile changes, for the TDI, my intervals are every 10,000 miles.

I think my car speaks for itself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2003