I purchased this car new in 1998 and have been religious about maintenance and fixing things before they become expensive problems. I've driven 160,000 miles with no major repairs and still enjoy driving this car. If you stay up on maintenance (yes - brakes, struts, engine, etc.), this car will reward you every day - it is a fun and responsive car to drive and blast through turns. There is a certain "structural integrity" to the Jetta that Hondas and Toyotas lack. It handles well, has a responsive engine for its size and is great to drive. Great on gas too - I get 31 mpg highway.
Solid ride, great handling, excellent brakes, responsive engine, great on gas.
Cup holder can't accommodate large size from Dunkin' (have to remove ash tray), otherwise I'm pretty happy.