22nd Dec 2010, 14:34
My uncle also made the mistake of buying a 2003 Jetta.
Of course it was rated highly as a reliable car by Consumer Reports, but real life has proved otherwise.
The first problems were mostly with cheap interior components, like the plastic cupholders that cost $200 to replace, glovebox broken, power windows getting stuck, etc...
Later the check engine light came on, it started stalling, and getting poor gas mileage. It cost him a fortune to repair it at the dealership, and a few months later the check engine light was back on! My uncle still has it as he likes the style and handling, but the car has cost him the price of a Mercedes in maintenance, and it still gets poor fuel economy for some reason.
My parents have a 1998 Chevy Lumina that cost a fraction of the price, has none of these problems, and is still running strong at over 200k. Everything still works!
Anyone who thinks VW is better quality than domestic brands has been sadly misled by advertising, as my uncle was.
The "German Engineering" is not even on par with Korean automakers these days.
15th Mar 2011, 19:09
Wow. Okay... I think I've changed my mind. I started looking for one of the TDI VW's for fuel savings reasons, as I figured I could save nearly $150/mo by getting 45+mph (TDI) vs 25-26+mph currently. I have a '95 Mitsubishi 3000GT with 329,000 miles and counting. I do all my own maintenance, but that really is a timing belt 75,000 miles to 95,000 miles and oil 3,000 to 4,000 miles. In the summer I can still snag 28mpg now and then, but regularly see over 26mpg.
The automatic was rebuilt when the overdrive had gone out around 160,000 miles. I've replaced the water pump once... and that's about it. Oh, about 2,000 miles ago the overdrive started acting up, and I thought it would be another rebuild, so I looked and found an overdrive kit with all seals by an aftermarket company. I replaced all seals and overdrive discs, and found the problem in the process... which I'm SURE is what happened the first time. ONE seal really has all the pressure to keep the overdrive engaged. It was just the steel shell, and the rubber seal part was all but gone. 2,000 miles later and all is good, and now I have about 170,000 on the full rebuild, and don't have any worry about the rest of it failing for long, long time.
Sorry, it became 3000GT based comment... but I don't think after reading the lion's share of the other comments and problems, I can justify the $150/mo savings, even looking at it like $1800/year. Shoot, I was excited...