This is my first car straight out of school. Bought it at 68000 miles and now it has got around 91000 miles (22K miles in 1 year!). I love my car - the stick shift is a joy to operate. Only issues are the power windows which a lot of people seem to experience. That is probably one serious bug - I dont what the engineers were smoking on when they designed that. So in case you are looking at a used jetta go for the GL version.Other than the power windows I have had to spend only on regular maintenance stuff (oil/fluid changes, 90K maintenance ). If you are looking for a first car and want something more fun than a civic - go for the Jetta!
Decent low end torque- smooth shifting 5 -speed,lots of trunk space, decent gas mileage (32 mpg highway without A/C goes down to about 25mpg city with A/C)
Someone at VW please do something about the power windows issue atleast for the new jettas!! (if it is not already ) been fixed)