I originally bought a new 2002 NEW Jetta Diesel Wagon, but in March, 2004, a lady ran a stop sign and totaled it <sigh>. So, I managed to find a nice, lightly used 2003 and have been driving it for 14 years. It's been a magnificent car! Now, I *do* run only synthetic oil in it (changed every 6,000 miles) and it's garaged, so those factors might make my experience better than some. It's never had to go back to the dealer. The only things that have gone wrong are the headliner is starting to sag a little, and the headlight covers "fogged" over (that was fixed for 10 bucks at O'Reilly's with an easy-to-use lens restorer). I get 36-40 mpg, but also drive the speed limit and don't dog it. My only regret is that VW no longer makes--or imports--the diesel anymore. I prefer diesels b/c the ethanol in gasoline isn't good for engines, and if the gov't mandates 15% ethanol, it will destroy a lot of them. (Ed Wallace @ insideautomotive dot com says that, if you buy your gas at some discount stations, you risk getting 15%.)
It's rediculous they made these cars in 1999 and can't make any thing to compare to them today. They put all the money into USB ports and navigation systems and skimp on frame and engine quality. New cars are highly tech junk. At least you'll be able to spotify, and tweet while you are waiting on AAA.....haha.
Great little economical car and after owning my 2003 TDI Jetta, I will never go back to a Gasser. It averages 25-35 in city and 35-50 on highway. However, the automatic transmissions almost always have problems after 100,000 miles. Other them that definitely 4 out of 5 stars
bought this car2007 with 74,000 miles on it. in ten years, we have now nearly 250,000 miles. what a great and reliable auto! runs like a well oiled machine with plenty of power and pick up when needed. all around great car with awesome mileage.