2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8L turbo from North America


VW knows something is wrong


Transmission shifts hard between 1st & 2nd gear at 35000.

At 74000, we were told we need to replace the transmission.

General Comments:

Fun to drive, but when it is in the shop, it's not fun to pay for.

Transmission going out after 74000 is ridiculous.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th August, 2010

2002 Volkswagen Jetta from North America




I've had pretty much all the problems others have listed on this site: windows falling into the door (twice!), wheel bearings, battery issues (when not driving car frequently though), catalytic converter broken -- does anyone know if warranty / recall will still cover this? I am just getting to fixing mine because the state my car is registered in (Florida) does not require inspection and I am looking to sell the car in NY/NJ.

I also had the moonroof / sunroof drains clog and flood the car, accessories break inside easily (though they look nice) and twice had the mirror cap fly off the car going 80 miles an hour on the highway... very dangerous and annoying.

I would say overall this car is more style than substance, though it has been OK over the years, as I have not taken the best care of it, partially due to the fact that every little thing seemed to cost me big bucks to fix.

My experience with the VW dealers has varied (It's been all over from Florida to California to Jersey to NY). On dealer did my 60K service, for which I paid some astronomical amount ($1,000), only several days later to have the car flood from clogged sunroof ducts. When I brought it in for another $500 fix and asked why they didn't check the ducts at the service, their excuse was that's not covered under the service package. Give me a break.

We are now getting rid of the car and buying a Subaru Forester (more room and more reliable). I still love the look of VW, but I'm not sure I'd buy another one -- maybe lease, but not purchase, because my experience has been a bottomless pit of fixes and expensive little issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th June, 2010

6th Jun 2010, 05:17

The clogged sun roof drains are easy to take care of. Get about 5 ft. of 10 Gauge electrical wire and run it through each side. Don't use air as it might blow the line inside off the drain. VW dealers will soak you, pun intended, for this. I actually had one suggest that they would have to take apart the interior to find the leak and would have to charge me by the hour, and this was under warranty. I knew what was going on, but was just using the question as an integrity test. Most VW dealers fail miserably.

The rest of what you report is just part of the standard VW design. Although the mirror thing is a new one on me.

2002 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


Good time


The serpentine belt, the ignition coils and basic brake oil and tire change. That's all.

General Comments:

This car is a lot of fun for me. I beat on it every so often, and this car has been running great since I first got it. The only problem was a transmission leak. I fixed that, and the car runs and shifts much better, and has plenty of power still; feels brand new to me still.. Guess I got lucky.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th June, 2010

2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 gasoline from North America


Poor man's BMW


Trim around door pulls and window switches peeled away.

Large metal spring fell off front seats.

Radio volume knob has lost some shape (seems to have melted a bit).

Fabric on rear door panel coming loose.

Paint faded on roof.

General Comments:

My 2002 Jetta has been mechanically flawless. The first 3 years of ownership I was very conscious about having regular service done on the vehicle. However, other than oil changes, I haven't had any services done in the last 2 years. Despite that, I have had no mechanical issues with the car.

I purchased the car in 2004 and the transmission has always made "winding" sound at certain speeds, but I have had no problems with it.

Although, VW interiors have an upscale look and feel, they need to improve the materials used on the door pulls and radio. I have noticed that even on the current generation Jetta, the black peels off of the radio preset buttons.

I have considered other vehicles, like Mazda 3s and Civic Si, but their interiors have a noticeably downmarket feel to the VW. On the VW, the colors and textures are richer in appearance; the feel of things like the door panels and sun visors are a class ahead of other compact cars. To me the difference is a $22-24k Civic or Mazda 3 still has the interior of a $16k car. The Jetta is a poor man's BMW or Merc. Having driven a German car for the last 6 years, I don't think I could go back to a Japanese brand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2010

18th Apr 2010, 15:09

OK so we've established that German cars have interior that look better than Japanese cars, however, you also wrote:

"Although, VW interiors have an upscale look and feel, they need to improve the materials used on the door pulls and radio. I have noticed that even on the current generation Jetta, the black peels off of the radio preset buttons."

OK, so a good looking interior that falls apart vs. a blander looking interior that can last longer than a few years before chipping, cracking, and rattling. I think I'll take the blander, more durable interior. What use is a "good looking" interior if it falls apart a few years down the road... It'll look worse than the "bland" interiors of the Japanese cars!!

28th Apr 2010, 08:30

I would say the interior issues I've had are minor, and any other car could have minor interior issues over time. My car has 125k miles on it, and for a couple of years I was driving 40k miles/year. The car has never let me down and I've enjoyed owning it.

I think my point about the pricing is valid. The Jetta feels like a $20k car, not a $15k car with $5k worth of options.

BTW, I drove Honda/Acuras for 10 years and loved them, and never thought I would own another brand. However, my experience with my Jetta makes me want to purchase another VW.