Car Review: 1997 Volkswagen Jetta
May 18, 2009, 10:13 AM
I bought my 97 VW Jetta GLS used a little over a week ago from a mechanic. He had replaced the transmission (as I understand is a relatively common problem with these cars). I downgraded to this car from a 98 Acura Integra GSR. The first day, the check engine light came on. The second day, the distributor failed. The 3rd day, the sunroof stopped working (bad fuse...easy fix). The 4th day, the tail pipe fell off. When I have had the opportunity to drive the car, it runs good. The seats aren't all that comfortable and the car is a little "boxy" looking, inside and out. It's an "ok" car overall, but considering the relatively lower mileage (129k) for it's age, it should hold up a little better. It's clear now that previous owners did not care as much about maintenance as I do. My only advice to potential buyers is to get a reputable mechanic to check it out first...engine, exhaust, electrical parts. Push every button, more than once. This will likely be the last German car I buy, even though I am from German roots. I'll stick with Honda's and Acura's. The Japanese seem better at building quality cars, with exception to typical rust that seems to easily develop.