2005 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Wagon 1.8 turbo from North America


Hugely fun, solid feeling car. But I don't trust its long term reliability


Misc interior trim falling off (minor).

Two weeks after purchase, the car powered itself down while at speed, forcing me to coast to the side of the road. Mysteriously, it did restart and the problem did not occur again.

Clutch pedal switch failed. Main symptom was failed cruise control. I'm convinced this contributed to poor engine performance as well (engine computer thought car was always in neutral?)

Windows freeze shut, window clips fail causing power windows to fail.

Sunroof drains failed, filling floor with a couple gallons of water. I now have a serious mold/mildew problem that makes the car extremely unpleasant to drive.

Some sensor in the sunroof mechanism keeps it from closing about 1 in 5 times, especially when cold.

General Comments:

I chose this car because:

1) The overall build quality of the car is so much more substantial than Japanese competitors. It is built like a mid size European car. Real door hinges, thicker sheet metal, hydraulic hood lifts, heavier duty components all around. Nothing about the car feels cheap.

2) Turbo, although not crazy fast, is not nearly anemic as the stock engine.

3) Handling is fantastic. I can't even begin to push the car's limits.

HOWEVER, I would advise potential VW buyers to proceed with caution:

1) VWs are "fussy" -- and that's putting it politely. The Japanese would never continue to market a car that floods with water unless you clean your sunroof drains every other week.

2) The Germans are unable to manufacture electronics or plastics. See above comment about engine computer shutting down the car. If you do any work whatsoever on the interior (like installing a stereo), you can expect to have to replace some interior trim pieces. The plastic is extremely brittle and seems designed for "one time use only".

3) Do yourself a favor and be an informed buyer. There are over 1000 service bulletins/recalls for my 2004 Jetta. There are ZERO for the Mazda 3.

4) This is mostly superstition, but try and buy a VW that was assembled in Germany. An interesting note to #3 above is that (I believe) the Mazda 3 is still built in Hiroshima, Japan.

There is so much I love about this car, but the mold currently growing in my carpet because VW can't figure out how to keep water out of the vehicle may be the last straw for me. This wouldn't happen to a Hyundai, for God's sake!

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

Review Date: 1st September, 2007

2nd Sep 2007, 21:48

Guess what - your Jetta is a wagon, which means it WAS built in Germany.

Try again.

4th Sep 2007, 06:15

Yeah, I'm aware that mine was made in Germany... Sadly, compared to other people with blown engines, exploding sunroofs, disposable clutches, etc. -- I still consider mine of "higher quality". :-/

Sad, huh?

19th Oct 2007, 11:28

I am glad I'm not the only one! Thank goodness my lease on my 04 1.8L is up in July! I got my Jetta with 6 miles on it for a HS graduation present. Mind you, I had only been driving less than 2 years, so I was still pretty new with the whole driving thing. I was going 80 on the hwy, and my car did a little "kick" and started going down to about 65. I seriously thought I was losing it, and everyone thought so too. It happened a total of 2 times. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one. But numerous things have happened to my baby:

- Driver heat seater recall and 1000 others I can't think of at the moment...not fun.

- My water level light comes on EVERY winter; dealer can't figure it out.

- Going 80 mph and dropping down to 65 mph.

- Horrible grinding sound (for the past 2 years) when I go into reverse. I have taken it in multiple times; each time they said I have 50% pad left on the rears.

- Armrest button (to close compartment) is broken.

- Trunk latches (behind back seat) are broken.

- Expensive oil changes!

All in all, I really do love my lil' Jetta, but it's time to move on to my CLK500. (I know it's German!)

3rd Sep 2009, 16:13

I see Volkswagens are still taking on the "Mystery Water". Thanks! I will not buy one now. My 1986 jetta did the same thing!!! Time to move to the "dark side" and get a Toyota/Honda/American.

2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.9L TDI from North America


Like the mileage/but disappointed in service


Engine oil leak. Replaced valve cover gasket.

Fuel pump recall.

Oil leak from fuel pump. Replaced.

Recall on brake light switch. Replaced.

Car recently surged forward when stopping to park, causing it to jump over a sidewalk and almost hit a building before stopping. Cracked oil pan. Replaced it and gasket, plus oil.

General Comments:

Gets 32 mpg city and 42 mpg hwy.

Easy to get around in and comfortable.

I would like to know if anyone else has had a sudden surge like I described above. It cost $500.00 to repair (including towing). A witness behind me saw my brake lights were on the whole time. How could this have happened? (Just happened 8/09/07)

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

Review Date: 10th August, 2007