I bought my '04 Jetta TDI as a commuter car and to keep the miles off my F250. Purchased it with 136,000 off Craigslist from original owner who had documentation of all routine maintenance from dealership in Milwaukee. Since purchase I'm currently at 222,000 miles. Since my purchase I've had some minor issues. Heater blower motor. Did the work myself with YouTube. Took a half hour and I believe $30. Front wheel bearing a few thousand miles ago. Awesome local mechanic did the bearing and full brake job and a pesty new thermostat for $400. Approx 500 miles ago I blew an intercooler hose connection putting the car into limp mode. I brought the car to Jim's Bug Center in Waukesha. For $250 he replaced the hose along with a few other worn hoses he located and a pulley bearing that would squeak when turning at slow speeds. The doozy was I opted for the dreaded timing belt replacement which was $750. Car drives almost as good as my wife's 2012 Jetta TDI still. Needless to say I'm a happy TDI owner.
This vehicle can be summed up in two words- fuel mileage. Nothing in it's class even comes close. If one is looking for rubber burning performance, I suggest a look somewhere else. On the highway, this car delivers with a quiet, communicative ride. Interior room is adequate, but six-footers need not apply for a position in the back seat. Build quality is what we have come to expect from VW. No tinny doors on this one. The leather cleans up nicely after a good day at the beach. Overall, we are very satisfied with this current model and would recommend the experience to those looking for a stylish ride, adequate get up and go, and exceptional fuel economy.
Fun to drive and love the fuel efficiency. Still get about 45 MPG and about 550 to 600 mi range. Suspected potential problems when I bought it so purchased extensive 100k warrantly and was money well spent. Was looking specifically for a high MPG desiel for business travel. Engine died about 40k due to main electrical panel, several O2 sensors, coolant getting into exhaust due to some gasket leaking. Check engine light has been on since 95k but not an issue as far as I know. All covered under warranty. So far no signficant problems after 100k. 125k on it now. Leaks (drips) a little bit of engine oil, armrest console latch broken but otherwise in great shape. Would take it anywhere!
I bought this car new in 2004. In the 9.5 years I have owned this car it has bean, overall, fantastic. I have kept up regular service. The major problems I have had are: a sensor, front wheel bearing, rear wheel bearing, the heater blower motor, and a the heater resistors...replaced a few times. The heater repairs I did myself so cost was just the parts. Considering I have had this car this long and have almost 260k on it, this is small potatoes. Overall this has been the most reliable car I have owned. It was not built in Mexico but rather came out of the Wolfsburg plant and that is why, in my opinion it has been such a great car. I have had no engine or tranny probs at all.
I live in the hilly contryside of the Oregon coast and my TDI Jetta is a pleasure to own and drive. It is reliable and gets 45-48 mpg on my daily 90 mile commute. It has plenty of pick up and low-end torque and handles great through hills and in wet and light snow. I have never had a problem with it in two years and 50,000 miles of ownership.