I picked up a used 2002 Jetta last fall. Since I drive a lot of miles a year, I wanted the good gas mileage of a diesel and none of the complexity of a hybrid. VW is the only game in town for a reasonably priced diesel car, and the Jetta was in my price range. The car delivers the good mileage that I expected. I average 42 mpg, and usually cruise around 80-85 mph. I have had no mechanical issues in the 20,000 miles I have driven it. My gripe with this car is the build quality, or lack thereof. The Monsoon stereo is junk. I have two blown speakers and the antenna died, therefore there is no AM reception. Also, there are more squeaks and shuffling sounds in this car than my '98 Pontiac Grand Prix had. Plus, the center console has pretty much fallen apart.
The great gas mileage, quiet highway ride, acceptable and predictable handling, and great brakes.
Put some money into the interior quality. The hinge and the latch on the arm rest console broke. The grippy material they used on the door pulls collects dirt like crazy, and scratches off too easy.
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