The Jetta is no longer an economy car; however, its powerful engine lineup, near-ideal balance between ride and handling and high-quality cabin materials make it one of our top recommendations to small sedan and wagon buyers.
by TSmith on Jan 11, 2010 Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I have owned my Jetta Wagon for 8 years now and have 115k miles on it. This has been a good car. I tend to drive cars into the ground and have completed this mission with several Toyotas... so I know good cars. I have had a few problems with the plastic handles on the glove box and arm rest. They have been replaced. The door seal tends to freeze the door shut when left over night in very cold weather. Other than these small problems this has been a carefree car. I know two other people that own this same wagon and they have had the same luck with their cars that I have with mine. Consumer Reports did a very poor job of reviewing this car. I would recommend this car.
by nadmonk on Oct 18, 2007 Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car after owning 3 Accords in a row I was a little leery considering some of the reliability stories you hear of VW. This car has been great, even with the 2.0 4cyl it is fun to drive, the mileage exceeds their claim. The exterior styling isn't for everyone, but I like it. The Monsoon stereo is great. I have had no mech or elec problems. The only issues are that the air vents seem to get damaged easily and the seat cloth holds lint like mad. The cup holders are a pain, but I think that's a German thing as even BMWs have subpar holders. Just be sure to use a closed top lid unless you want to spend a weekend cleaning coffee out of the stereo like I did from the prev owner.
For 2002, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine receives 30 extra horsepower for a total of 180, which you can couple to a five-speed automatic with Tiptronic -- the 1.8T is now available for both sedans and wagons. In the spring of 2002, the Jetta GLX sedan's optional 12-valve 174-hp VR6 is replaced by a new 24-valve unit providing 200 ponies. A six-speed manual gearbox and the aforementioned five-speed automanual become available with the new VR6. Later on, the GLI sedan will appear -- it includes the new VR6, the six-speed and stability control without all the expensive GLX trimmings and replaces the manual-shift GLX. Other changes include the availability of the 1.9-liter turbodiesel engine for GL and GLS wagons. The base GL trim level is new to the wagon in 2002 -- previously, you had to step right up to the GLS model. A CD player is now standard on all GLS and GLX models, and all-new Volkswagen vehicles come with an improved four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, up from two years/24,000 miles. Volkswagen also offers a fully transferable limited powertrain warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles. An on/off switch for auto-dimming rearview mirrors, a cruise control indicator light, a trunk escape handle for sedans and a new exterior color (Reflex Silver replaces Silver Arrow) complete the changes.