2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T from North America
Save your money, get a Honda/Acura. It's okay if you plan to buy again in 7 years
@ 30 miles & the 1st rain in Calif, I got in started the engine and I swear water dripped on my foot. I thought I was losing my mind & ignored it. I got 6 miles & the car stopped. Just cut off in the middle of the road. Luckily I wasn't on the freeway. Waited 10 minutes & drove back home, next day the car wouldn't start, the dealership (not the one purchased at) acted like it was no big deal, had my car back 5 days later. We're GREAT after that (figured it's a fluke, I got an AMAZING deal, and the car seemed great)
** important note: My dad's a BMW car salesman, so I service my car as the handbook says **
27k miles - (1) exterior rocker panel (silver stripe) comes off the front door (I thought it was vandalism)
30k miles - engine starts getting louder.
35k miles - interior center arm rest/storage plastic clip breaks.
37k miles - the entire center arm rest/storage cover falls off.
*** somewhere between here, the front passenger speaker goes out, and as it gets hot again, I start realizing the A/C isn't working. It's on, but only a very minor amount of cold air is coming out unless I turn it to 4, I got the filters changed, but still nothing. (didn't bother getting it fixed because it's rarely hot enough to need A/C).
40k miles - car starts sounding like a lawn mower; 2nd rocker panel flies off while on the freeway. (I thought someone hit me it was so loud)
43k miles - bring the car in for a 40k service & to find out what the noise is. I'm told by a fellow Jetta owner who works in the dealership as well as the service rep that it's "normal", Jettas tend to do that. All cars get louder over time & Jettas seem to be louder than others. Uggh, OK. The car seems to ride a little smoother after that service, even though its embarrassing if others are around during cold startup. (seriously, an old skool lawn mower)
47k miles - car overheats on the freeway. Hmm; I'm only 25 miles from home, but it's perfect because I take the car back to where I bought it. Take the car to the dealership ; thermostat went out, secondary air pump has a hole in it because IT'S PLASTIC AND NEXT TO THE ENGINE. Volkswagen is aware that this is a problem & as long as you're under 55k they'll replace it WITH ANOTHER PLASTIC PIECE for free. "So in 45k miles I'll be back?" "Yeah, pretty much. Maybe longer. They don't make these in metal unfortunately." Huh? "What about these rocker panels? I'm about to lose my 3rd one." "Yeah, those are notorious for coming off in areas with lots of rain. but we don't cover that & they're $100 a piece." "Huh?" Takes 5 days to repair my car, but it no longer sounds like a lawn mower.
54k miles - notice "leather interior" around the radio is badly worn. (why didn't they use black plastic like around the CD player & the rest of this silly car?
60k miles - trunk almost impossible to open. It's a workout. The what I think are hydraulic pumps that help you lift the 2 ton door have went out. Noticing the same thing is happening on the regular doors. VW emblem fell off the engine, is probably floating around in there somewhere.
** The coolant signal comes on during cold start whenever it's time for another major service??? **
Overall I enjoy the performance of the vehicle, it picks up well and can be fun to drive, it's a GAS GUZZLER if you accelerate too quickly (still not as bad as my Acura, although I'm wishing I would have gotten an Acura RSX instead).
Overall it looks good, but the plastic parts are ANNOYING.
I took the car to have the battery changed around 60k, because it's strapped down from the bottom; don't even try to change it unless you're a mechanic in the shop (I left the lights on. Booo. That was obviously a great battery) and the mechanic (a family friend) laughs at me and says, this one's on me; I'm familiar with these plastic Tonka toys, you'll be back soon. Hmmm. My dad says that's what I get for not getting a Honda or another Acura (same difference - his lot sells Honda's too)
Oh, I'm 5'11 and I wanted a sports car so people couldn't ask me for rides, but didn't want the high insurance cost, so this was my compromise.. if you get it. I'm in the back seat when I drive. Surprisingly the leather has held up pretty well (not as well as the back seat, which never gets sat on) but pretty well. I use leather cleaner & conditioner though.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 10th April, 2009