I just bought my 1999 VW Jetta, private sale, and it only had 97K on the vehicle. I reconditioned it this weekend and I honestly can't believe this car is 16 years old. It drove well on the ride around the block, so I just knew it had potential to be one of these cars that you hear about making it to 300K. So I have taken the maintenance schedule in stages, because I am not under any illusions that things won't need to be replaced, BUT it will still be cheaper than making a car payment and paying full coverage insurance and maintenance costs.
Now before people start doubting me, I ran that Auto check report and that is what made my mind up. It was clean. No accidents, water damage, nothing. The vehicle itself was clean, except for needing a new paint job, solar wear. No rips or tears to the interior. All routine maintenance was kept up on. I love the potential of this car and I had asked the seller if the car had a name...nope, never gave her one. Since my Jetta is Black, named her JoanJetta...after the tuneups and winterizing, dressing her in new tires and replaced one hub cap and a new battery...I am letting you all know it's worth it.
All I can see is that a lot of the features I love about this year of production is not in the newer models. Great trunk space, and just the general feel of the vehicle. This is a used vehicle that you don't feel ashamed to drive. It makes you want to take it as far as it can go. With a new car, some makes and models make you wonder if it will still be running by the time you pay off the bank note. Maybe this will only happen once in my life that I happen to find that 'miracle car' VW needs to come out with extended maintenance recommendations for the ultra long life cars...because they are truly amazing.
Basically constant problems. For some reason the braking system has never worked correctly, even under moderate pedal pressure the brakes pulse as though the ABS is engaged. Replaced main brake booster, front disks, and brake pads.
The fenders rusted through and this is apparently a known issue for the diesel version as it has additional insulation to dampen noise. Unfortunately, the insulation also happens to suck up moisture and road salt.
Around 80k miles the MAP sensor went out and just about part related to the braking system was replaced, again.
just over 100k miles the turbo started leaking oil and this gummed up the MAP sensor, EGR valve, intake, and connecting lines.
The seats are very comfortable.
The engine and brakes are just not reliable.
From researching online - many people have issues with the front fenders rusting through, MAP issues, and vacuum hoses. Yet no recalls?
I purchased this car new. I've had many of the same cosmetic problems as others, ie.. broken window regulator (twice, driver side), broken glove box, broken armrest cover, cup holder. I've had multiple teenage drivers, it's been in the body shop more than once. Mechanically it's a wonder! It is now 13 years old with over 275,000 mi on it and it is still on the original engine and transmission (automatic). The only major maintenance has been replacing the timing belt three times I think and a coolant pump. I've had to replace the blower fan and am now having problems with the A/C control but hey, it's 13 yo. If they can get the cosmetic things fixed it would be perfect. Getting
22 - 25 mpg.
They really need to address the quality of the interior parts such as the cup holder, glove box, etc.
Although it had some issues, like needing the ignition system replaced (Around $400 DIY), I love this car. I've been getting good gas milage and adequate performance. Mine has just over 160,000 miles on it, though the previous owner mistreated it. If you don't want to do any DIY car repair, I would not recommend this car. Otherwise, go for it. I use mine to get to and from school every day along with the occasional road trip and have never had any reliability issues with it. If you do get one, get yourself a good service manual and a metric socket set. I have the GLX 2.8L VR6 engine with the five speed manual transmission.
Fun to drive
Good gas mileage for engine size
Adequate supply of aftermarket parts
Clean up the rat's nest of wiring behind the fuse box
Improve light output from headlights
Make euro style light switch standard
I have owned 2 Jettas 1999 and a 1995. One Got into an accident and had a little over 175,000 miles and the other is still running till this day at 206,000. Jettas are great reliable cars. If somone has a complaint about jetta's they either got the very few bad ones out of the bunch or the previous owner just mistreated it before it came to you. My aunt has one that is over 250,000 miles and running. If these cars are well maintained they run like champs for a very very long time.