I've had my 1998 Volkswagen Jetta for eight years now with 175,000 miles and have been very pleased. I've had the ususal Jetta problems with the ignition, water hose, window regulator, minor electrical and body moldings. The parts manager at the dealership gave me a great tip on the moldings. Buy the pop-in plastic moldings from the '95 model. They look fine and you will never have to replace them again. I use the seat adjustment levers for my cupholders which hold big cups. I have changed the oil / filter every 5,000 miles, the air filter every 35,000 miles, and hope to keep the car for 250,000 miles. The V6 engine has been very reliable with no engine repairs whatsoever.
Good acceleration and handling, very reliable engine, pretty good gas mileage 23/28 compared to other V6's and I like the instrumentation.
I recommend buying the pop-in body moldings and better electrical quality for the interior (dash and power windows).