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Volkswagen Jetta 2005 and earlier



  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I can't afford to turn around and trade a car I just bought in for another new car. I will wait a year or two, and maybe trade for a Passat. I can deal with the drama for now, until I take it to the dealer and get it fixed anyway. It's not that much of a major problem for me.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I'll probably add the Jetta wagon to my Impala LS. My Impala LS has been great in almost one year of ownership. At 11K miles not a single problem yet and it feels as solid as the day I took it out from the showroom. Interior room, safety, performance and fun factor (Plus quality and reliability) make my Impala LS an absolute keeper.

    The Jetta 1.8T wagon will be yet another fun addition to the Impala. 2 very different cars but fun and special in their very own ways.
  • For our next car we pretty much decided the Civic EX was our choice. Sure, not the most exciting car in the world, but seems to have many rave reviews. There are all the awards as well. However, my wife has always loved Jettas. She had 2 of them in her high school and college years. So, since a Jetta GLS 2.0 with manual (her preferred tranny anyway) is only a little more than a grand more than the EX, we decided we would drive one first. After reading these posts this morning, I believe the test drive is out. All these posters with rattles and creaks is way too much for me. Test driving one car that was fine but buying another one that turns out to creak and rattle is a little unnerving. I admit I have not read all 3400+ posts, just about the last 30 or so to get the current feel on the car. But, to find out the concern over the Mexican made VWs over German and Brazilian made VW s--apparently not too long after another discussion about this took place--makes me nervous. I remember vocus from another thread, and it sounds like he is having problems with his. So, I'm sure a ton of folks here have no problems with their Jettas, and that's great, but I don't think I will risk it. Thanks for your frank comments, they were very helpful!
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I like the Passat but find it to be heavier off the line with the 1.8T engine. It is roomier than the Jetta variants for sure and it also comes with some cool gadgets. It is made in Germany which is another plus also.

    However the looks at times I like and at other times I find them to be more "Garish" and the wagon specially tends to look too "Soccer Momish" as where as the Jetta wagon looks very sporty, yet youthful and practical.

    Also I found the Passat seats (Whether they are covered in cloth or leather) to be very hard in comparison to the Jetta's. They feel like park benches, specially in the rear quarters.

    The Jetta wagon has less shoulder room (Front/back) and less leg room in the rear than the Passat wagon, but the rear seat in the Jetta wagon I found it to be much more comfortable but still firm.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Don't write off the VW's so fast, at least not yet. Why don't you test drive a new '02 VW Golf GLS (6 airbags, ABS standard) 5-door hatchback or a new '02 Jetta Wagon???

    Those little critters drive so much better than any new Civic in the market.

    Just give them a try even if you are already set on the Civic.

    Plus, the VW's provide better standard warranty coverage over the Hondas. VW's basic warranties are:

    4 year/50,000 miles basic bumper to bumper warranty and included roadside assistance.

    5 year/60,000 miles on powertrain (Engine and tranny)

    The Hondas only offer a shorter 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and no roadside assistance is included. Powertrain warranty coverage is also only 3 years and 36,000 miles which is not great. Hondas get pricey to repair once they are past their 4th year of service. Trust me I have had 8 of them.

    I think that you are just bailing out on the VW's without giving them a fair look. I was pretty much until recently very anti-VW myself, but my sister's 2002 VW Golf GL 5-door hatchback has changed my mind more on them.

    I think if you go the VW route, you still have nothing to loose and much to gain. Just food for taught...
  • Hello everyone,

    I'm looking at purchasing a Jetta in the next week or so - wondering what everyone thinks about the engines. Has anyone had any problems with the 1.8T overheating or anything like that?? Thanks

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Come on now, at least try the Jetta. I thought the same thing when I was car shopping in February of 2001. I didn't wanna even consider a Jetta because of the so-called problems I had heard about. I bought a 2001 Protege instead. I kept the Protege for 8 months, and the one day passed a VW dealership. I just had to drive the Jetta turbo, and was hooked when I did! I traded the Protege immediately and got the Jetta. Yeah, I am not happy about the rattles in my car. But they can be fixed. Hondas have recalls and stuff like that too. Also, my customer service experience (dealer and service) has been better at VW than any of the 5 cars I have owned in the past 5 years. I am telling you, try the Jetta before getting the Civic. Also, the TDI models have engines that will last 300,000 miles easily. Keep that in mind. (Also, the timing belts change at 80K now, not 40K.)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have a 2002 1.8T with 8000 miles on it since November of 2001. It has been perfect! It heats up right away in the morning, but never goes past 190 degrees on the dash temp. gauge (totally normal). I have run the car hard as hell, with AC on and heat up to 80 degrees with a load. No problem, the car takes it.
  • I smell the brakes/rubber sometimes after I stop but not the engine. I generally let my 1.8T idle for a minute if I've been thrashing around right before stopping. Generally, I begin to slow down a bit before getting home and then I just let the little 1.8T idle for 30 seconds or so. Regardless, no burning smell from the engine. From the tires once in awhile though.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Thanks for your response. I always let the car idle for 30-60 seconds before shutting it down for a long period of time, like overnight or at work. Especially when driving hard. But I have noticed that weird smell (not burning, but just a weird smell) after hard work.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    I definitely do not think it is a good idea to try to get someone to try a Jetta. The fact that someone would be questioning it means that, by definition, they are not VW drivers. They need Hondas and Toyotas first, then when they see that they have problems too, then and only then, should they join the VW club. I know - I learned that the hard way too. So have others. If you like the VW, and your heart and soul likes the VW, but your brain questions it, you have to go with your brain. Then, just trade the Honda or Toyota or Chevy in when it rattles or leaves you stranded, and join the dark side with us!! :) One person NOT buying a Jetta now doesn't hurt anything - they still can't make enough Jettas to satisfy the needs of the buyers. I have found that many people that shy away from VW's, no matter how many horror stories they have heard, or bogus advice they get, they eventually come to VW to "live a little"....;)

    On another note - can we step back and think about something? Four, maybe five people in this forum complain about rattles, that are fixable. Does that make the factory that built the car bad? Seriously? Blows my mind to hear such blatant generalizations sometimes. I mean I realize that some people are really consumed by the rattles, but you gotta know that their are hundreds of thousands of other Jettas built there, that don't have problems. Keep it in perspective is I guess what I mean.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Yep, I have smelled a smell before after driving hard. But then again, all my cars have had that...."mechanical" smell sometimes. Just stray some "Right Guard" on the engine when it gets stinky I guess :)

    Seriously, if there was a problem, you would know it. Engine lights galore would be lighting up. As we all know, VW's engine lights WORK VERY WELL :)
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I am already on the DARK SIDE...I own a Chevy and I am having a blast!!! LOL.

    The Jetta wagon is another nice proposition.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    ugh. that is a whole different topic. i think i see a lot of them in the forum "what is the worst car you have ever owned?" ;) joking there.

    jetta wagon is nice. rather have the C320 SportWagon though :)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I guess you can be the perfect example of someone who came to the "dark side" of VW and now like it. Before, you were complaining about them, but now you even talked like you would buy one. :) That's definitely funny.

    I was with you back in 2001, like I said. But I broke down and bought a 2002 Jetta because I wanted the car badly. So I just leaped and did it.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Well guys I am married so, even though we don't have kids yet, (But soon), practicality and safety comes at the top of my car shipping list. However this doesn't mean my car's can't still be fun, exhibit good performance handling etc.

    The Jetta wagon is a very good compromise in this sense. The practicality of the wagon design and the fun factor of a sporty sedan. I am also considering a BMW 325i Sportwagon as I would like to get into the RWD bandwagon. I am in South Florida and therefore traction issues due to snow, etc are not an issue here.

    If I can't get a good deal on the Bimmer I might consider the Jetta 1.8T Wagon. Of course, the Impala LS is a keeper :).
  • First of all there are more than enough Jettas to meet demand. You pay near invoice for one and VW has outstanding financing available to sell the cars.

    Secondly, a check engine light is generally related to emissions. Your engine may malfunction mechanically in sundry ways and no light will come on to inform you of impending disaster. To rely on a dashboard light is asking for trouble in the long run.

    Vocus' best bet is to contact his service department and ask them about his odorous engine. They may not be truthful but at least he's made the inquiry with supposedly knowledgeable people.
  • I'm sure we will still drive one first. It will be April or May before we buy anyway. But, I will be looking for the things mentioned here. It should be said, though, that I am NOT anti-VW. Like I said the first time, my wife has had two different Jettas before and we are very much in favor of VW. It's just that it seems like there are too many people complaining about their new Jettas around here. On the Elantra thread, 4 or 5 people can go on and on about how great their cars are and they are told they don't count because they are only 4 or 5 people--the rest of them are junk. On this thread, 4 or 5 people go on and on about problems and they don't count either because everyone else's are fine. Kind of funny to me. Also, I am not a "Honda" person--the Civic just wins all the awards and sells in numbers about three times greater than the Jetta--so I figure they must be pretty good cars. And that's what we are looking for--a pretty good car. Please keep updating your experiences as I would love to see how ownership is going for the next couple of months. Thanks.
  • One other thing. You may not be able to help me here as everyone on this thread seems to drive the 1.8T, but here goes. The invoice on the GLS 2.0 5M is about $16,862. TMV runs about $18,012. I had a dealer quote me over the internet $17,645. It seems to me I saw another dealer's ad about a week or so ago with the GLS from $16,995. Looking at the invoice, it must be like the one I inquired about. I told the salesman I was looking for more along the lines of 17 even. He has not responded back yet. What do you guys think? Thanks again.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    You are right. If all you want is a "pretty good car" - then the Civic is perfect for your family. Nothing WRONG with the Civics. Just nothing really RIGHT with them either. I had a 2001 EX that I couldn't wait to get rid of. It did perform well in a 30-35mph front end collision.

    The big difference between the Civic and Jetta is the "feel"....and standard feature content. The Jetta does have it's "cons".....but it also has more than enough "pros". The Civics just don't have anything. For a family though, the Civic might be just what you need.

    Good luck.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Since you are inclined to get the 2.0L engined car (Which by the way has lots of low end torque, exactly at the 2,600 RPM mark more so than the Civic engine), have you looked into the VW Golf GL/GLS 5-door hatchback?

    They are manufactured in Brazil and both are very nice, practical cars. They are Jettas with a better trunk.

    I haggled the price down on my sister's brand new 2002 Golf GL 5-door hatchback, equipped with the 2.0L engine, automatic, power locks, alarm, remote keyless entry, premium 8-speaker stereo cassette, ABS, Tilt/Telescopic steering wheel, Manual mirrors and crank windows for $16K even. We got it for almost $200 below invoice. It was an easy deal, it was the only new GL 5-door left in the lot!.

    The Golf GLS 5-door adds Power windows, power mirrors and cruise control and CD Player over the GL model. The GLS Luxury package in the Golf adds 15" Alloy wheels and moonroof.

    Leather is not available in the Golf. Only 2 grades of cloth interior.

    If you don't mind owning a hatchback and can live without leather, I highly recommend for you to take a good look at the VW Golf 5-door hatchback. You can save some $$$ over the more popular Jetta sedan.

    The Golf is more unique and therefore I like it better over the similar Jetta sedan which is a Golf with a separate trunk.

    Good luck.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The standard cloth in the Golf/Jetta GL models is better than the "Plusher" cloth in the GLS versions of both cars. Why? because the *nicer* GLS cloth tends to catch a lot of lint and looks like crap during regular use. I saw several new GLS Golf/Jetta with lint in their cloth seats. The standard GL cloth doesn't have this problem.

    If getting a GLS with cloth, then it would be a good idea to get a new set of seat covers.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    VW used to sell the Golf GLS 1.8T 5-door until last year. It is no longer available. If you want the 1.8T in the Golf you have to get the GTI 3-door model.

    Bad move VW.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was all ready to get a Golf 1.8T, but they stopped making them for 2002. That sucks! The dealer where I got my Jetta had a used Golf with 11K on it and the 1.8T, but I wanted the better new car warranty, so I got the 2002.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    ...what does that tell you? that the 5 door Golf Turbos did not sell. No market for them. The Golf is obviously not a better value, or better in any way, than a Jetta. If that were the case, the Gold would be VW's best seller, not the Jetta. They are leaving the hot-hatches to Hyundai and this new funky Civic Si I guess.

    How can a trunk be so bad anyway? You have an Impala. The farthest thing from a hatchback on the market today!

    I agree - Golfs are nice. But then again, I like all VW's :)
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The Golf's trunk is 18cuft in size. My Impala's trunk is 18 cuFt. The Jetta's trunk is what? may be 11 to 12cu ft?

    Sorry but the Golf is more practical.

    Americans have a general dislike of Hatchbacks since they often associate them with poor people's cars. However, hatchbacks are coming back due to the success in part of the Golf, Focus and other players in the field.

    Americans often favor sedans as they seem more luxurious and have a separate trunk, but they are also more impractical in comparison to a Hatchback or wagon.

    Ever been to Europe Justin?

    Hatchbacks rule over there and for a good reason. Go to Paris, London or Milan...the most popular hatchback is the VW Golf. The VW Bora (Jetta) are very few and far in between. Europeans are not completely sold to the idea of small sized sedans when hatchbacks often offer more cargo room and practicality.

    the Jetta/Bora is simply a Golf spin-off. Is the Golf with a separate trunk. The Golf is more unique here, hence I prefer it over the more mundane looks of the Jetta sedan.

    Trust me, the Europeans are MASTERS at making hatchbacks.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The VW Golf 1.8T 5-door did not sell well because VW marketed it poorly in North America. Given the availability of the Jetta 1.8T sedan, the Golf 5 door 1.8T was obscured by the Jetta and VW didn't do anything about it.

    they figured that the 1.8T would made better sense on the 3 door GTI, a dumb move in my opinion.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, the Golf came first then the Jetta way back when they were first introduced. The Rabbit turned into the Golf, which spawned the Jetta.

    And the Jetta's trunk is like 15 cu. ft. I think. I never have had a problem with it. I often thought about all the crap I could put in a hatchback though.. :)
  • He's chipped it, dropped it, and slammed 17s on that bugger. Fun, fast, great little car. We were t-boned at an intersection in that car. A truck hit us doing about 40. Any damage to us? Nope. The Golf platform (same as the Jetta's) is well engineered for crash worthiness and I can attest to the high marks it gets for safety.

    One reason I dislike hatchbacks/SUVs, etc, you can't put valuables out of sight. Sure many have those cheesey vinyl/leather covers but I'm not fond of those things when compared to a good old trunk.
  • I am impressed that a car at this price point (not necessarily the $25,000+ models) have standard 4 wheel anti-lock disc brakes and side and head curtin air bags. Even a $15,000 Golf GL has them. That is amazing.
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