Used 2000 Volkswagen Jetta Review
While the Jetta isn't quite the bargain it used to be, its sleek looks, spirited demeanor and quality interior materials make it one of our favorite small sedans.
The Jetta, Volkswagen's sedan version of the Golf, has always been one of our favorites. Like many cars conceived in Germany, the Jetta possesses an uncanny ability to keep the driver in touch with every undulation and irregularity on the road without sacrificing comfort. The fourth-generation of VW's best-selling Jetta rolled off the line with a completely new wrapper for 1999; this year, buyers will see minor equipment changes.
Jetta's entry-level GL model comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 115 horsepower and makes 122 foot-pounds of torque at 2,600 rpm for quick off-the-line acceleration. The GL also has standard side airbags, a cassette stereo, ABS and heated remote mirrors. The next step up the Jetta ladder is the GLS trim level, which can be ordered with an optional V6 powertrain, and offers more standard goodies like cruise control, power windows and mirrors, and a center armrest. The big news for 2000 is the availability of a turbocharged 1.8-liter four in GLS trim. Known as the 1.8T, this engine makes 150 horsepower and feels spunky throughout the rpm range -- better yet, it costs less than the V6. Additionally, a Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine is optional on the GL and GLS models. When mated to a manual transmission, the TDI will achieve approximately 49 mpg.
The top-of-the-line Jetta GLX gets you that buttery-smooth, 174-horsepower VR6 engine standard and provides nifty equipment like rain-sensor wipers, automatic climate control, leather seats, self-dimming rearview mirrors and wood trim.
For 2000, Jetta buyers will receive cars with a brake-wear indicator, a sliding sun-visor extension, and an optional (dealer-installed) dashboard CD player. The cold-weather package, eight-speaker stereo system and 16-inch alloy wheels (VR6 only), which are standard on the GLX, are now optional on the GLS model. The car's exterior is sleek and curvaceous, with big bumpers and wheel arches that house 15-inch wheels. Built with high-tech bonding agents and laser-welding techniques, the Jetta is structurally rigid, which makes for crisp handling and better control.
The Jetta has always been a driver's car, providing an enjoyable experience with a modified MacPherson front-suspension strut concept that has more positive caster and a perfected strut layout for improved directional stability. An enhanced track-correcting torsion-beam rear axle, larger stabilizer bars and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are also standard.
Due to its popularity and subsequent price increases, the Jetta is not quite the bargain it used to be. Still, Volkswagen's bread-and-butter sedan competes well with contenders like the Dodge Stratus, Ford Contour and Honda Accord, and the top-level GLX model undercuts other V6-powered German and Japanese sedans by thousands. Plus, with the introduction of the 1.8T engine to the lineup, you can essentially build yourself an entry-level Audi A4 surrogate. Sign us up.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.