I have put approximately 97,000 miles on this car, and the major complaint I have is having the clutch replaced three times in the six years I have owned the car. I have used aftermarket parts, so perhaps that is why the clutch has been replaced. The Jettas don't have the ugly and bland styling of Japanese cars, but I would say they are not quite as reliable, although parts (after market) are as cheap. The gas milage is great, it starts even on the coldest of MN winters. I keep it well maintained, and use synthetic motor oil. If you go to a regular parts store, and not a dealer, the parts are not that expensive. The ignition coil, for example, was $60.00 at Napa.
Great handling, fun to drive, good gas milage. Styling not as unimaginative as Japanese.