1998 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Review: Inspired car with fatal flaw

1998 Volkswagen Jetta - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

104 Total Reviews

TDi Sedan (1.9L 4-cyl. Turbodiesel 5-speed Manual)

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Inspired car with fatal flaw
By JohnTDI on


1998 Volkswagen Jetta TDi 4dr Sedan


Bought the car brand new, May 98, & I've had a love/hate relationship w/ it ever since. The car is a blast to drive...great acceleration & amazing fuel efficiency. Car's efficiency has ruined me for all other cars. Frustrations: radio replaced twice, key ignition sticks in start position, replaced fuel injection manifold, replaced 2 glow plugs, all 4 side moldings peeled off, hard starting in WARM weather (recent problem). Problems have been covered by the 100k mile warranty, but what happens when it runs out? Car will cost more to maintain after 100K miles than it did to make payments on it. Bought it for fun, economy, & reliability. Ended up with 1 of 3.

Best Features

Fuel economy unmatched & fun to drive! Surprising pickup & passing power at stoplights & on highway, handling is resposive, & suspension gives a firm command of the road. Handles curves & pot-holes with equal grace. Most people who ride in it are surprised it's a deisel!

Worst Features

Build quality & dealer service, a 6-spd transmission, useful cup holders, & bigger turbo (1.9L TDI in Europe = 150 hp). Teach VW techs how to speak "deisel"-tech tried to convince me that glow plug = spark plug & took 3 wks to diagnose & replace fuel inj manifold-cost $3000.
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