I have owned this 2003 VW Jetta, since 2006, bought w/23788 miles. It now has 196483 miles, still on its original clutch, its fifth set of tires. The first set went via burning rubber on launches for the first 20k of my ownership. If any portion of this car has a problem it would be caused by my abuse. I've only replaced the timing belt twice, and its still good as new. Interior is still as new except driver side entrance bolster. The engine has only gotten better and the transmission easier to shift. This car is miles of smiles for the dollar, and should be tops on your list. 31 mpg on long drives, 25-27.3 in town avg. Keep tire pressures all around at 4 lbs under max, for best handling!
Once broken in the transmission is the smoothest in the business, the blue and red dash lights, and that all the buttons on doors and dash vents light up too! Denim like fabric, deep bolsters, tie downs in the trunk. The Monsoon sound system rocks, makes your hair move, with subwoofer deep bass, from just two rear door speakers, 1 per door. Hold the open knob for roof, after it has opened, in open position to fully open sunroof.
Fun to drive. Too expensive to own! Breaks often, all unusual problems, always over $1K to repair. Engine design is terrible! Water pump broke at 32K miles/4yrs. 2/3 of transmission needed replaced at 100K from the plastic hydraulics reservoir bursting. Plastic parts throughout engine are designed to last <10 years. An engine fuse didn't burst when shorted causing a small engine fire. Plastic parts break when removing to get to broken parts. Metal fuel lines bolted over plastic coolant parts with no line flex make DIY very difficult. Most parts can only be obtained through dealers. Aftermarket parts cause check engine light to be constantly on, only solution is dealer parts @>2-3x cost. ETC.
Fun to drive. Comfortable interior. Fast but not overly fast, yet feels fast when driving. Tight turn radius. I just wish the reliability wasn't so horrible. Even with the pros, it was the most costly and worst car I have ever owned. I should have gotten rid of it years ago, and wish I never bought it to begin with. And it doesn't retain its value at all, for obvious reasons. The car was practically a waste of money!!!
Replace plastic engine parts with metal or high quality heavy duty rubber. Add sufficient flexibility to all lines to allow for 2 inches or so of movement for repairs. Do not bolt metal brackets for fuel lines over plastic coolant system components when connecting to the engine block. Add extra space in the engine compartment to allow space for tools for repairs. Properly train your engineers to be mindful of accessibility for repairs! Those who designed this engine have obviously never performed a car repair themselves! Labor costs are always very high - takes extra hours. VW should stop ripping everyone off on the part costs (ex. over $150 for a $7 plastic air hose only sold at dealers).
This car was my pride and joy until some jerk ran a stop light and put her out of commission. Sad day, indeed. I'd warn anyone against buying used. Can only assume every other moron out there drove the crap out of this car like I did. I mean, if the speedo says 160, shouldn't you make sure it's legit?
Triptronic. Without a doubt. All the fun of a manual shift, but on demand. And the style is hoppin'.
The lack of an armrest got old fast. And the protective coating on interior finishes rubbed off in less than a year. Lastly, the grill is brittle. Hit a bird -- a freaking bird! -- and it cracked.
I love this car!It saved my life! I will always trust this car. I flipped my jetta 6 times going over 100 miles an hour and was ejected from the car because I wasnt wearing my seatbelt. I pretty much walked away. I only have a broken arm and cracked my back from the ejection. No cuts or anything. The window air bags protected me from glass and other objects. I would have uploaded the picture to prove it but theres no up load for pictures. Anyway, if you're going to get a car get a VW. The best car ever:) promise!