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.
I purchased my 3-year old '02 Jetta Wagon with only 5,100 miles on it and in ten months I have put 20,000 miles on it and have had no problems. The car is very quick and agile (VR6) and fairly comfortable for my 6'3" frame. I've had no issues with the car other than the wipers sit lower on the windshield than the defrost vents. This causes them to freeze up in the winter. Also, the transmission is extremely choppy and never seems to know what gear it wants. Plus, the gearing is too short so my gas mileage is only around 23, which is not so good. All in all, it's a blast to drive and I plan on keeping it for quite a while.
The Monsoon stereo, power windows that have automatic down AND up, VR6 power and agile suspension make it fun to drive. Despite being a wagon, it looks pretty sharp with the 19" wheels.
It should have a smoother transmission with an overdrive or a taller top gear that would help improve gas mileage and prolong engine life. I'd also like heated wipers (I know...I'm dreaming here)
I've had a lot of problems with my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta, including the fact that it burns 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles and the manufacturer says that's within specs. I had an issue where the cruise control was broken and the alarm would go off in the middle of the night. I would unlock the car so the alarm wouldn't go off again, but the car would lock itself and then proceed to alarm again. There was an instance where the passenger's side door wouldn't open from the inside. The radio broke and had to be replaced and evidently it wasn't installed correctly to begin with. Shall I go on? I HATE this car! The only cool thing about it is the purple dashboard lights.
I like the purple and red indoor dashboard lights and the roomy interior.
I've had the car 3 years now without any trouble, our second VW (we also have a Beetle). The cargo capacity is terrific, the handling is smooth, the mileage is very good. Overall a great car for the price. One note: VWs do burn oil so I check the level about every 6 weeks or so.
Power Moonroof, front cup holders, ability to close windows and moonroof with key in the door after engine is off, cargo capacity, split seat, side airbags/overall safety features.
This car is smaller in leg room than the Passat. If you are tall and need the leg room, best to pay up. Location of front cup holder is not ideal - it blocks access/view to the radio.
Before I bought this car I had a Toyota Camry that I bought new. It was 4 years old when I purchased this VW and I never had to take it to the dealership once. I didn't even change the oil and I never had the slightest problem. Since I bought the VW I am at the dealership nearly monthly for one thing or another. It's way too much hassle and inexcusable to have so many problems on such a new car. I will say my husband bought a VW GTI the same day I bought my Jetta that he loves and hasn't had nearly as many problems as I have (but still has had problems). We also bought a 2003 Jetta for our babysitter in 2003 and she hasn't had nearly as many problems as I have, but still more than she should.
Fun to drive, when it's not having problems
Move the cup holder, it totally blocks the radio when you use it. Change the defrost on the side mirrrors to auto turn off after a period - easy to forget and burn out since "on" is the middle of the dial, where you naturally want to leave it. Change seat fabric - may as well be velcro for lint.