I owned my Jetta for almost 3 years.
It was initially fun, but as I put miles on the car the check engine light became a familiar occurrence.
Took it to independent mechanics to save a little on repairs but it seemed like I'd leave just to have another issue crop up.
Started taking it to the local dealer so of course I paid through the nose for repairs (like all German cars).
While not quite as expensive as my Mercedes to maintain, it still felt weird paying a premium for maintenance on a non-luxury badge.
There were the enjoyable times with the car, it was loaded with great features and it was quiet and quick.
But in the end, the bad outweighed the good.
Heated leather seats, enormous moon roof, low end torque thanks to the turbo.
Handled well enough for a FWD car.
Manual transmission was decent.
The ride on the highway was smooth, quiet and I'd find myself cruising at 85 feeling like it was closer to 60.
Cabin lighting at night was very cool looking.
Sound system was nice for stock - 8 speakers back in '01 was nice.
On average the check engine light would come on 4 times a year and every time meant a trip to the mechanic / dealer.
Sometimes the problem would be so significant the engine would hardly get me to the shop - sputtering and dying if the RPM's dropped below 1750.
Interior build quality - the plastics were coated with a soft-touch coating from the factory that peeled off even under gentle use (I baby my cars) and made the interior age prematurely.
The leather developed discoloration in frequent use areas as well.
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