Live in LA, bought w/110K on it for $3K. Now, 1-1/2year later, it has 120k. Had a 528i at the time of purchase, but Jetta is a lot easier to park along the curb. Handling is very nice ("poor man's bimmer"), although I miss the RWD. Turns on a dime. The acceleration is good enough to leave 90% of cars behind from a stop (just keep RPM around 3-4k). It lacks in creature comforts (no CC, leather, glove box, power seats or windows) and it has rattles, noisy on the freeway. However, the lack of power features makes it VERY dependable (with routine maintenance). Sold my bimmer b/c of electrical issues, but Jetta GL is so reliable I'm afraid to buy another car! A great deal for the money!
Turning radius, fuel economy, acceleration, reliability. It sure beats 95 civics and corollas for interior quality, peppiness and road feel! And for the price, the only better bargain is 95 525i, if you don't mind the added dimensions.
Freeway noise levels, acceleration. Glove box. Trunk is large but I wish they made a wagon in 95. Sadly, will probably sell it soon for a nice turbo wagon.