Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

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1998 Volkswagen Jetta
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1998 Volkswagen Jetta

Pros

  • Classic good looks. Great road manners. Optional side airbags. Remarkable powertrain warranty. Free scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles.

Cons

  • Slightly underpowered. Cramped rear seat.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Volkswagen's sedan version of the Golf, the Jetta, has always been one of our favorite four-doors. Like most cars conceived in Germany, the Jetta has an uncanny ability to keep the driver in touch with every undulation and irregularity in the road without sacrificing comfort. It has a roomy cabin, logically laid-out controls and displays and zippy performance.

GL, GLS, Trek and GT offer enough oomph to keep most drivers satisfied when equipped with a five-speed transmission. The optional automatic saps what little power the Jetta has to offer, and we don't recommend it. Most drivers who want a Jetta will be of the persuasion that eschews the autobox in favor of rowing their own gears anyway because, let's face it, why buy a VW if you don't enjoy driving?

Driving enjoyment is what the top-of-the-line GLX is all about. Sporting a powerful and compact V6 engine, thick alloy wheels and lowered sport suspension, the GLX is a poor man's BMW 328i. If you have a need for speed, this is the Jetta to buy, but prepare to endure a sore backside. The granite-like side bolsters of the seat cushion are excruciatingly uncomfortable.

This year, modifications are kept to a minimum because an all-new Jetta is due in showrooms for 1999. New wheel covers, fresh paint colors and convenience items are designed to persuade buyers to buy the 1998. A Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) model arrived early in the model year, providing outstanding fuel economy in return for an inconsequential loss in power. Regular four-banger Jettas are a blast once they're moving. Sharp steering response, a taut chassis and a superb driving position combine to make you forget about the wimpy 2.0-liter, 115-horsepower engine under the hood.

Reliability has been a problem with Volkswagens in the past. Current Jettas come with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty that backs up the powertrain, while free roadside assistance and scheduled maintenance are provided for the first two years or 24,000 miles of ownership.

Not that you couldn't afford to fix it once in a while. The sporty midlevel GT (loaded with antilock brakes, power sunroof, premium sound, air conditioning, cruise control and side airbags) doesn't crack the $19,000 barrier. Prices like these make the Jetta very competitive with the Dodge Stratus, Ford Contour and Honda Accord. The top-level GLX undercuts premium V6-powered German sedans by thousands of dollars, without sacrificing performance, features or that Teutonic feel. Sign us up.

1998 Highlights

The TDI has finally arrived. New wheel covers and colors are offered, while remote keyless entry makes it easier to lock and unlock the Jetta. GLX models have new one-touch up power windows with pinch protection.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Volkswagen Jetta.

I love my Jetta!
amnotafish,03/09/2002
After two years in this car I'm still in love with it. I drive this car hard and fast and it keeps up with everyone. It hugs the road and feels much safer than other cars I've driven. I get a lot of complments as well- especially from Jetta owners '99-'02. If something (god forbid) were to happen to this car I would have to find another. The '98's are far superior to the newer VW models and kicks my friend's Civic to the curb!
a big bottomless hole in my wallet
okayt,01/24/2012
I bought this car 2 years ago. The muffler fell off twice in 1 week right after I got it along with the siding (back on w/ double-sided tape) & the spoiler. Had to fix the ignition switch, buy a new radio/cd player. Several sets of new tires. Blinker/brake light problems which only worked for a year & stopped working again. The 2 back windows are being held up with pcs of wood. The power locks don't work from the inside (they'll lock me in). AC adaptor doesn't work & I was told they couldn't fix it. The glove compartment handle snapped off. & now it's back in the shop for some unknown reason. If it's more than a couple hundred I'm buying a new car & never buying a Dub again
Mk3 jetta / alot Of miles Per gallón
John Gianni,10/11/2015
I got this Car for 800$ and put On it Around 2300$ But is a great invesment. Paint , socks,breaks, radiator,hoses ,housing hose, Water pump,timing belt,custom rims & tires michelline/ rims and tires same size like original recomend , front windshield,interior small parts , and clips, Many i got On eBay , junk yards ,México, vw parts - this Car is very economical To use San Diego To los Ángeles Around Trip 25$ On gas I fix it With my friends Looks Good - restored was The best desicion 1998 jetta manual Gl No words To describe is a old car But give me All i Need We have 5 cars and VW jetta MK3 family We love it !!
I love this car
Midori Alexandros,03/27/2008
It has been a great- car. We have had to do a lot of mechanical repairs to the car, who ever sold it did not do them and that was probably why they sold it in the first place. We have done timing belt/tensioner, both drive axles, breaks, struts, engine mounts, and turn signal switch, spark plugs, plug wires, and had the engine detailed. The car has been excellent with no mishaps.
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 1998 Volkswagen Jetta
Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

The Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta is offered in the following submodels: Jetta Sedan, Jetta Diesel. Available styles include GT 4dr Sedan, GLS 4dr Sedan, Wolfsburg 4dr Sedan, K2 4dr Sedan, GL 4dr Sedan, TDi 4dr Sedan, and GLX VR6 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Volkswagen Jettas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Volkswagen Jetta for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Volkswagen Jetta.

Can't find a used 1998 Volkswagen Jettas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,288.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,934.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 3 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $8,369.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,876.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Jetta lease specials