I bought this car new from the VW dealership in 2004. I drove it for 120,000 miles and then gave it to my college aged son who has put another 130,000 miles on it. I loved the car and he still loves the car. The car has always been quick and it still runs just as well now with over 250k miles as it did when I drove it off the lot new. We have always used Pennzoil full synthetic oil and have changed it at about 7-9k intervals. At around 200k we changed the timing belt. This has been a really good car. I keep telling my son to put back some $$ for another car as this one is getting some miles on it. I've been telling him that for 3 years now. He doesn't want to trade it, it just is too good of a car, still.
Bought this used with about 160k miles about two years ago as a gas saver / daily driver. I was honestly looking for a used Honda Civic / Acura Integra but against my better judgment and the fact that it is almost impossible to find a used (1999-2006) Honda Civic, Integra, RSX that hasn't been abused and molested, a couple VW enthusiast friends talked me into buying an Mk4 1.8t Jetta with a 5 speed manual Trans. It wasn't without distress, I've had German cars in the past and it has never been a good experience. But, with a lot of research and reading, browsing and talking I came to this conclusion: The 2004-2005 AWD 1.8 turbo with the 5/6 speed manual Trans. and a couple of the original equipment parts changed out makes for a Very Solid Vehicle! So.. After a couple of months searching for the perfect set up on a 04-05 GLS / GLI Jetta, I bought a 2004 GLS and went to work immediately. I changed; The Timing Belt, water pump (Metal turbines), cam sensor, fuel pump and filter, Vacuum lines, Coolant Flush with the correct Coolant fill... and lots more. And now, I have a very dependable, very reliable, fast and Extremely Fun to Drive Mk4. This is one car I think I will hold onto, Its rare that you find a car like this, one that you cant wait to get into... I used to own a 98 Integra GSR, I loved that car, I ended up selling it and buying a 02 Mercedes C230 kompressor (Complete Junk) that GSR was one of those cars and I regretted selling it from day one. But not this time, I will keep and drive this Jetta till the Wheels fall off. Of course, there are those issues a lot of people write about on here, and it is absolutely true, the Arm rest is flimsy, Glove box latch is cheap, Window switches, Radio switches fall off, Head liner is cheap and will slowly fall But all of this is no more than a $20-$40 fix, nothing you cant find on ebay or amazon. It will have nothing to do with whether my car starts in the morning or if its going to drive off from the stop light. This has been an Incredible Car for me.
I bought my 04 Jetta gls 1.8t used with 92k miles on it. Test driving the car was AWESOME! It was fast, steering was very responsive, and the leather interior and front seats were very comfy! There is almost NO ROOM in the back seat.. good luck fitting anybody of above average height or weight back there. The day after purchase I got my first CEL... Failed ignition coil. Immediately went back to the dealership where after a little haggling they replaced it for free. Three days later, ANOTHER CEL!! ANOTHER IGNITION COIL.. After contacting the dealership again they told me the vehicle had an open recall on it's coils.. they replaced all four coils and threw in a car wash.. Now running like an absolute champ and I feel like a champ knowing the headaches are behind me.. for now!
If you are interested in this car, make sure it has been properly maintained and has had all of it's recalls taken care of. If it has.. BUY IT!!
I bought my '04 Jetta TDI as a commuter car and to keep the miles off my F250. Purchased it with 136,000 off Craigslist from original owner who had documentation of all routine maintenance from dealership in Milwaukee. Since purchase I'm currently at 222,000 miles.
Since my purchase I've had some minor issues. Heater blower motor. Did the work myself with YouTube. Took a half hour and I believe $30. Front wheel bearing a few thousand miles ago. Awesome local mechanic did the bearing and full brake job and a pesty new thermostat for $400. Approx 500 miles ago I blew an intercooler hose connection putting the car into limp mode. I brought the car to Jim's Bug Center in Waukesha. For $250 he replaced the hose along with a few other worn hoses he located and a pulley bearing that would squeak when turning at slow speeds. The doozy was I opted for the dreaded timing belt replacement which was $750. Car drives almost as good as my wife's 2012 Jetta TDI still. Needless to say I'm a happy TDI owner.
My parents got me my 2004 Jetta when I was 18. The the car got me through four years of college and is still going strong. Got it in 2010 with 48K miles, five years later it's at 140K and still going strong. I've had no mechanical problems with the car (aside from one that the dealer fixed) and with a 40 minute commute this was all I could ask for. The car was not perfect by any means (see below) but for a commuter looking for decent MPG, mechanical reliability, and a "cute" look, the Jetta is a great choice.
Comfy and easy to clean leather seats; mechanical reliability, solid build that ensures safety-The car is solid and handles very well especially compared to competitors like Mazda3 and Ford Focus that feel like a tin can when you close the door. In addition, it has no rust apart from some small spots on the hood. The paint still shines (mine is a metallic grey) like its brand new. Will be tough to part with this car but it's almost time!
As many others mentioned the interior is cheaply made and the transmission is laggy. Transmission problems seem to be "standard" in all VWs. Not responsive even when shifting from R to D and vise versa. At almost 140K I get virtually no response when I put the petal to the floor but what do you expect? Interior is junk and everything DOES fall apart (center console no longer stays closed, one speaker is broken and plastic covers cracked, headliner peeling off, etc). Also lots of quirky electrical problems affecting the interior lights + headlights. Hydraulics in trunk don't work.