I bought one used from a private sale. It had 100 thousand miles on it when purchased. It had over 200K miles on it before we turned it in. The cost of the repairs were worth more than the car when we replaced it. The ride was very smooth, as you could ride the highway in third gear and not realize it. Only major repairs we needed to do was for brakes and muffler. This was the first Jetta I owned and made me a huge fan of Volkswagens. It made a great family car. Due to its size, was able to park in the school's parking lot very easily amongst all the minivans and SUVs.
Cold winter driving was my main concern with the diesel engine but with the electrically heated seats and it's good heater, this is the warmest car I've owned. The manual gear box makes better milage and shifts easy. Comfort on long trips over 1000 miles was an other concern I had: not to worry, the ride is not too rough and the good handling makes driving fun. Short trips have cut my mileage down but I've still averaged 47+ for the first 22,000 miles.
I had this car over 15 years. It was built great, but would have major mechanical problems when any problems happened. I had two A/C units dropped into this vehicle and one transmission job done. Overall, it got me to work and back and was very dependable.