My girlfriend bought this car when she received an inheritance. She used to have a 90's Jetta that reached over 300k, and her family has always been loyal to VW, so it was her first choice.
The car was great for the first few years, but now that it is reaching the 100000 km mark, it has been plagued with reliability problems.
Recent work includes:
Brakes replaced at 95000 k.
Drivers power window motor at 92000 k.
Air conditioning failed at 91000 k.
Water pump failure at 90000 k.
Passenger power window motor at 84000 k.
Ball joints and CV joints at 83000 k.
Turbo needed replacement at 80000 k.
Battery replaced at 80000 k.
Driver's power window motor at 79000 k.
Stock stereo unit failed at 72000 k.
That's all I can remember. Anyways, there were other problems as well; many times it would not start as well.
AVOID VW DEALERS AT ALL COST! Everything is super expensive, they overcharge and upsell at every opportunity.
Parts are already ridiculously overpriced for this car, let alone dealer's prices. Try to find a decent private VW mechanic, although even they are very expensive.
Working on this car yourself is nearly impossible, as the engine bay is too cramped, and filled with useless, cheap plastic fittings and covers.
This car is quite unreliable; my girlfriend borrows my car way too often because hers is in the shop, I would not recommend it to anyone looking for reliability.
This is a good looking car, and a joy to drive with the turbo.
It handles really well for a front wheel drive car, visibility is good, turning radius is good, and acceleration is great.
I actually enjoy driving it from time to time; my girlfriend and I will exchange cars for the day.
Leather interior is very nice to look at, but not very comfortable at all. Very hard, no support, feels like sitting on a bus seat.
Interior controls are well laid out, as the shifter, console, and cup holders are.
Power window motors are a big problem. Replaced 3 so far, and they are astronomically expensive.
Every repair/part/maintenance on this car is ridiculously expensive. I do not recommend this car for anyone on a budget, single parents, students, etc. It is a money pit.
My personal car is a 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic, and even with the fuel consumption of the V-8 engine, my car is much, much cheaper to own and operate, not to mention much more reliable, comfortable and luxurious.
The brake pads for my Caprice cost 1/4 less than the Jetta brake pads do; that is just ridiculous.
Also with the Jetta, some mechanics refuse to work on it outright, and those who do, want top dollar hourly rates.
I understand it is a foreign car, however it's no BMW, I don't understand why everything is so darn expensive for this car.
The turbo works great, very responsive, however when it failed it cost over $2000 to replace.
My girlfriend really likes her car, however the maintenance has proven a bit expensive for our budget. Sure, we can afford it, but I believe our money could be spent in a better way.
We were thinking of selling it at some point, however we could barely recover the money we put in repairs if we did, so we are keeping it for now in the hopes it will make it to 200k without major repairs, which I honestly do not believe it will.
I will never buy a VW again, and I doubt my girlfriend will either.
Personally I prefer to buy American anyways, to support our economy and autoworkers, and I have always had great luck with my American cars. To each their own however, I get made fun of sometimes for driving my 86 Caprice, a big American land yacht from a bygone era, however I will bet money that the 86 Caprice will outlive the 2005 Jetta, even if it is 20 years older; that is pretty ridiculous.
In conclusion, I will say that the Jetta is a fun car to own and drive, however I would not recommend it unless you have a very deep wallet.
Hope this helps someone :)