Preventative maintnance from dealership does NOT prevent big problems
written on 07-29-2011
The 2006 Jetta is certainly fun and comfortable to drive, but is just a big plastic peice of junk. Let's first start with the plastic bottom plate (covering the entire undercarrige of the engine). The only function I can see for this part is to deter you from changing you own oil (containing about 16 star screws).. This car has had all oil changes and inspections by dealer ON TIME.. At 63,000 miles, check engine light came on and a visit to the dealership came back with a $2000+ engine coolant system repair. $1030 for the fans and an additional $1000 for all wires, connectors, and sensors, $340 for CV boot (reportedly cracked and leaking) on front axil.
I read many of the reviews on here, and I thought that some were spot on , yet others were just people that were angry or biased, yet they did not seem to understand the car well. I am not saying that every problem experienced by others were completely false. This car does have some common issues, but all cars do. I figured that I would give my own thoughts in an objective manner. I bought a used neglected 2006 jetta 2.5, and the car turned out to be a great buy. The car had 68,000 thousands miles on it, and it had a few dents big and large scratches; so I was able to get it at a huge discount that was way below blue book value, because no one else wanted her. I found out the car was losing oil, and it had a nasty rear main seal leak. I honestly thought that all hope was last, because I was not going to spend thousands of dollars to get it fixed. As a last hope, I tried STP oil stop leak, and it actually worked. The car has 100,000 miles on it now, and it still runs great. I cannot believe how well this car runs after the abuse from previous owners. I recommend that you find a good mechanic that knows Volkswagens, and I would avoid the dealer at all costs. You just have to shop around. I also recommend to not skimp on scheduled maintenance. German cars break down too. I know a lot of people that will buy VW, because they think German cars are more reliable, then they neglect the car and have problems. Make sure that you understand this car, and the type of oil that it uses before you buy it. If you are the kind of person that plans on neglecting this car, then do not buy it. If you take care of this car, then it will take care of you by offering great fuel economy. It is not special and it still needs maintenance like all others cars. My other vehicle was a range rover, and I bought this car as my gas efficient beater. I was worried that the jetta would be too small on the inside, but it is quite roomy. The car drives very quite and smooth at high speeds. You can comfortably drive long distances in this car and not even feel uncomfortable. After all, it was built for the autobahn. The main advantage of this car, is that it balances performance with fuel quality. I am not saying that it is a sport sedan, but it is not dull and lifeless like the ford focus or some of the other competitors. The leather seats and the interior are also very nice for the price of the car. The car also handled well in the snow, and I am the kind of person that is afraid to drive in the winter without all wheel drive. The main negative with this car is the poor quality paint. The paint scratches very easily, and even when it is washed gently. I am honestly afraid to wash the car because of this issue. This complaint is seen in other reviews as well. Other euro cars that I owned did not scratch as easily. The secondary issue with this car is with the lights burning out earlier than expected. Sometimes, I think this is related to road conditions, but other times I think this has to do with the design of the bulb holder. It seems that it holds the one bulb in tight, but it allows the other one to jiggle a little bit. My tertiary compliant is with the looks of the car. I am not saying that it looks bad, it is just somewhat plain and boring. The jetta drives nice and has decent performance, so it should have some nice looks to boot. It seems that the competition is aware of this, yet VW seems completely aloof. Come on VW, make make the jetta look at little meaner and cooler. After all, sex sells right?
This car is incredible. A true sleeper, the turbo motor responds well to simple mods (intake, downpipe, tune) but has plenty of power stock. The 6-spd is one of the best I've rowed thru. The interior just oozes luxury like a high-end Audi. The steering feel (and the wheel) is phenomenal. Brakes are great. The handling is the best- fling this family sedan into a corner and it will throw the apex into a headlock, it's incredible. Comes standard with all the luxury options but you can't option extra like phone Bluetooth, pwr seats, etc. Still an awesome deal and a true sleeper!
I am staggered by the negative reviews, because that in no way been my experience. With 90,000 miles and counting, I have only had to replace two light bulbs and a brake master cylinder – that's everything since I bought the car in 2005.5. The highway MPGs are consistently above 35-36 without any effort. The car is incredibly comfortable and handles very well for a FWD car. I frequently take it up to the mountain for snow activities without traction tires or chains, and it takes is like a champ – trucks look stunned when I pass them effortlessly. Incredibly safe, reliable, and cheap to own and run – I'll certainly buy another one (I have my eye on a TDI SportWagen).
I bought my Jetta new when I was 24 with the intent to keep it a minimum of 10 years/200,000 miles. I almost bought a manual loaded Mazda 3, boy I am glad I didn't do that. It now has almost 201,000 miles on it and I have mixed feelings. The headlights burn out far too often, the rear brakes get locked up after getting new pads/rotors EVERY time because dealers and non dealer shops have no idea how the Germans designed the brake system in the 06-11 Jetta lol! New brake lines every time will solve the issue usually. Squeaks and rattles come and go randomly, the AM radio gets terrible reception (in Vegas anyway) and there is some road noise and engine noise, both of which I like actually. The inline 5 cylinder engine sounds great to me especially around 4-5,000rpm which I visit quite often. Gas mileage is a decent 24-26/mpg combined. I usually see about 30.5 on the freeway and right at 22-23 in city. The manual transmission allows this. Speaking of my manual, I've only replaced the clutch one time at a dealer(never again as it cost way too much!). Normal fixes during my car's life include the water pump replaced once, fuel pump once, cooling fans once, radio system once due to wear on the dials, and a few other small things. If you're lucky enough to live in a city with a good VW non-dealer mechanic you'll save lots of $$ as the dealer prices for ALL work is just ABSURD!!!! Overall I have loved my vehicle. It's not perfect but I plan to keep it at least 5 more years unless repairs cost me more than 1,500-2,000 a year as a new car payment would then become logical. My headliner is still attached, my car still tracks straight, it's not a Mazda 3, and it still starts the first time every time. This is due to absolutely 100% strict maintenance being done, all oil changes, filter changes, lubes and tunes done at manufacturer recommended intervals. It's been a little pricey but well worth it. My interior is in like new condition except for some tears in the pleather seat that I got while moving (a pic frame stabbed my seat ?) and my stearing wheel is super corroded for some reason. I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy my Jetta!