2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T from North America


It is an awesome car!


Transmission went out three times.

Could not keep the alignment straight on car, even though never wrecked.

General Comments:

I love my car. It handles great and is fun to drive. The turbo gives it the extra speed that it needs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2005

2004 Volkswagen Jetta TDI turbo diesel from North America


This is the best car I've ever driven anywhere close to this price range


A very minor door rattle was fixed on the first oil change visit. The cause was reported to be the driver door panel not fully popped into position. Small problem. Simple fix.

At 22000 miles the diesel glow light came on while driving. The owner's manual indicated that this signaled a problem requiring a service check. The dealer quickly corrected the problem, reportedly due to a faulty brake system sensor.

General Comments:

I make frequent business trips by air, renting cars at my destinations. This allows me to try out all the makes of cars rented by Hertz, Avis, Dollar, etc. I therefore know their strengths and weaknesses in terms of performance, ergonomics, styling, fit-and-finish, etc. What a relief it is to pick up my Jetta at the airport for the 160 mile drive home. This car puts the others to shame.

Mine is a turbo-diesel, and I easily break 50 MPG on my highway trips. The first 10,000 miles of city/highway driving worked out to 44 MPG, comparable to the more costly, complex hybrids. And I don't have to wonder what a new bank of batteries will cost me in a few years. The diesel is a proven technology.

For a relatively small car, seating and comfort are impressive. Even my 6'-4" teenage son finds sufficient leg and head room (except in the rear seats, which are admittedly cramped.) He drives an older BMW 3 series, but is happy to take the Jetta anytime.

Reliability? I had one unnecessary trip to the dealer, for a failed break sensor at 22000 miles or so. That and a tiny door noise fixed during an oil change service visit are the ONLY problems I've experienced.

Apparently VW had a problem prior to the 2004 model year with over-use of plastic parts. Maybe those materials were suitable for the relatively mild German climate, and the VW engineers were slow to recognize that they had a problem in hotter and colder areas like the USA and Canada. Based on my experience thus far, they have successfully weeded out the defective parts. Now it's close to perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2005

2004 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from North America


Jetta TDI is a very sound vehicle


The trunk latch button on the inside of the driver door does not release the trunk lid mechanism. It makes a sound like it is working, but never does. We just use the remote key button to open the trunk.

The engine light comes on randomly for no apparent reason.

VW emblem in center of steering wheel reflects sun glare into eyes as does the passenger side seatbelt chrome when no passenger is using it.

Plastic grille is not very sturdy - It broke when I hit a tumbleweed on the interstate.

General Comments:

We have put 33,000 miles on it in one year without a hitch.

The TDI is difficult to start in cold weather.

Pick-up is excellent.

Braking is excellent.

Handling is excellent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2005

19th May 2005, 11:15

33,000 miles without a hitch? Did you already forget about the check engine light coming on and off randomly or the trunk lever not working or the VW front grille breaking?

23rd May 2005, 16:21

I purchased a 2000 Jetta TDI last week with 115,000. I like the performance and handling and of course I believe I will like the gas mileage. I have read the comments about glove compartment latches and glare and other comments related to concerns about what I consider minor inconveniences. The glove box sounds like it could become annoying, but I have driven a GMC Sonoma for a number of years and I could go on about these same type of problems. Perhaps we should all buy Toyota's and be happy we don't have these annoyances, but then again I thought driving was suppose to be enjoyable. By the way I test drove a Toyota Prius and still bought the TDI.