I bought mine with 130k on the clock and I now have 180k. I have driven the snot out of this car and it just keeps coming back for more. I redline it, corner it hard, shift hard, brake hard, etc. and it loves it. The Recaro seats are great, the motor's powerband is fun and it is quite economical despite the way that I drive it. A/C has not worked since I bought it. Heater core also went out. Headliner sagged so I cut it out. I average 26 - 29 mpg (calculated by hand). The MFA registers 32 mpg.
Seats, motor, handling, classic looks.
Make it rear while drive and I'll hang on to it forever.
I got this car three years ago and it won't die. I've put a lot of work into it but it has all been worth it. I've replaced the starter, suspension, tires, radiator, heater core and coolant resevoir. But I love this car and will replace any part until the thing refuses to ever start again.
Since this was my first car, I am a little biased toward the Jetta. I will try to base my review on my feelings during the early years of ownership when I was in college. The car was FUN - GREAT TO DRIVE. I had the 5sp manual. It had great torque for a 1.8L engine. Fuel economy averaged 24mpg/29mpg. I drove my car hard from day one like a young mad man. I bought it with ~97k miles and donated it with ~183k miles on Dec 2005. I was sad to let her go. The engine was bulletproof. I was hard on wear and tear parts such as brakes and suspension because I drove hard. Considering the hard life up to 150k miles the car was reliable. Previous owner took car of all of the early bugs.
Large trunk to overload the car. Great engine. Manual 5 speed. Reverse was next to 1st gear. The A/C was great (cold). German engineering. Dashboard design for a 1990. I learned a lot about cars on this car.
I had no cruise control. Find a good mechanic that can take care of you and the car. 2 door little car is a bad idea. Stick with 4 doors if it is not a vette. Thermostat switch went out so radiator valve was always wide open making for a cool heater when driving, but warm when idle.
The 1990 Volkswagen Jetta is fast and well built! I have outperformed BMWs and others on the road with this car! It handles really well and since I dropped it and added Toyos, the car stays on the road without any problems at high speed.
The manual transmission is awesome!
The interior could have been more luxurious and not so plastic looking.
The 1990 Volkswagen Jetta is a very well designed car. Its very practical and reliable. There's few modern gadgets that are prone to breaking and leaving you stranded. This car has very few electrical components compared to a new vehicle, so it is very inexpensive to maintain-no electric mirrors, door locks, windows to break-down. The spark plugs, oil, fuel and air filers are very simple to change yourself and the parts are inexpensive. The trunk is very large and tall for a smaller car, offering high utility. The seats and covers are very high quality and provide considerable adjustment and firm comfort compared to similar class US or Japanese cars. The downside is the poor quality paint - assembled Mexico. The German paint is three times better.
The seats, side visability, great brakes, and large trunk.
Add more padding in the center of the rear seat. Also, it needs a larger glove box.