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1997 Volkswagen Jetta

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.2
Out of 10

Based on 297 Ratings for the 1996 - 1999 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    7.6/10
  • Reliability
    7.7/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.8/10
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208k Miles and still going

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 208,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "EVERYTHING"

Cons: "Can be costly to repair, but worth it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm glad I never said, "I'll drive this car until it dies" because it refuses to. It has 208k miles and still looks wonderful on the in and outside. I live in RI and winters here can be brutal. While other cars are spinning out, I'm just going along and feeling safe as all heck. The power steering went and even driving it with manual steering (automatic), this car drives better than newer models of other cars. Transmission is STILL doing well, 3RPMS sometimes, but no complaints. Everyone tells me I am insane for only driving VW's (I REFUSE to own another brand) but if you keep up on maintenance and always have a little safety net for repairs, and have a great repair man, you're fine."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

economical, dependable great car

By on Thursday, October 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 210,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "40 to 45 mpg forever has never let me down"

Cons: "not designed for a large person"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have always been happy with this car. Proud to drive it. I have loaded the trunk to the max, laid the back seats down and gotten amazingly big items in it. Have only had to replace the glow plugs, and do the brakes and shocks. that old jetta has been insanely reliable!"

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

TDi is the only way to go

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 260,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "MPG, reliable, inexpensive parts, easy to repair"

Cons: "carbon build up in the intake sucks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a 1998 VW Jetta TDi, I have owned this car since 2000. With general maintenance and replacing wear parts at the correct intervals, I have had no issues, car looks great, drives great and I average 50MPG. Just an example, I thought after 240k, I should replace the clutch (which worked fine), after inspecting the clutch the only thing that really needed to be replaced was the throwout bearing, the clutch still had plenty of material left (replaced anyway had already bought it). Keep up with the general maintenance and replace parts that are designed to wear out at the recommended time/ mileage intervals, this car should run great for a long time to come and stay reliable. You definitely need to be handy and do the work yourself, if you can, they are not very difficult to work on, invest in a detailed shop manual. The first thread is correct, if you have to take it to a shop, it will be very expensive as with any car. The parts themselves are very cheap, even spending a bit more for quality German parts will be very economical. Not too many cars hold up as well, in my opinion, as the VW. Already in the market to purchase another TDi, giving this one to my son."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best/ most reliable for your buck

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "reliable, good gas mileage"

Cons: "no power seats, no cd player"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I have had this car since 2008 and it has been very good. It isn't flashy and it certainly isn't anything fancy. However, it has good gas mileage and it is reliable. I have driven it through mountains, blizzards, etc. I would recommend the Jetta to anyone looking for a reliable car at a reasonable price."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

pretty good

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fast, gets peoples attention if they know cars"

Cons: "once something goes bad everything follows"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Pretty good car overall for racing around but once one thing goes bad don't expect to be able to feed the family"

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Fun car to drive.

By on Thursday, March 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Cheap, the VR6 holds its value, very fun to drive"

Cons: "Electrical issues, small cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car back when it had 67k miles on it (which is great for car of this vintage!) and right off the bat I had a few issues; firstly the rear power windows broke after about a month and so did one of the locks as well as the child lock got stuck on one of the doors. Despite all of that this car is a blast to drive. The VR6 engine has such a unique sound to it and is really torquey. The Bose sound system sounds incredible and the suspension is really comfortable, besides a few electric problems this car is mechanically perfect and the engine is built to last and arguably one of the best engines VW has ever made! I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind spending money every now and again on the power windows going but it is such a blast to drive!"

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

This car will not die, I love it.

By on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 266,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Rugged, keeps moving, zippy, fun."

Cons: "Interior began to fall apart in 4 years."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"White 1999 Jetta S-III Wolfs - Bought new, told by the dealer to to drive it silly. My wife and I have been for zipping around in it for 15 years and 266,000 miles. This engine is a champ. To contrast - Bought a 2007 Mini Coop S in 2012 with 40,000. Looked after it tip-top till it reached 62,000 when the engine head failed, apparently mini engines last about 60-80 k before they fail, real bad engineering. So, I'm super grateful for the old Jet. Buying the well rated 2014 Jetta very soon. Can't wait."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

3-Season Car

By on Friday, February 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 205,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great mileage, manual, handles well, comfortable"

Cons: "LEAKS, major repairs after 100000, bearings"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"When my 1996 Jetta was done I purchased this car from a single owner with 94,000 miles on it. I bought it in 2008 for $500 and I put a new clutch in it along with some other minor work (plugs, etc.). I thought it would last about a year...I am still driving it (it is now 2014). I had to replace the clutch in 2013, along with bearings, and some other fairly minor but consistently needed repairs. Overall, I have spent about about $3500 on the car total (including purchase price). There is a leak somewhere, no one can find it, meaning if it rains the back seats are SOAKED along with the trunk, which was identical to the issues with my 96 Jetta. The sunroof leaks so we taped it shut. I live in the hot part of Cali so the detailed sides melted off years ago and the paint is consistent with the terrible paint of the late 90's. It may not look nice, but it is soooooo comfortable and a dream to drive. It is now too expensive to keep fixing so I have to let it go...probably the best car I have ever had. Deer have ran into my car and my infant and I were safe. Gas mileage rules. WORTH BUYING if you need a cheap car. However!!!! My car is now on its 3rd clutch and 3rd round of bearings!!!!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Nice old school styling, good reliable car.

By on Monday, January 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Well engineered, nice feel. 2.0 has plenty of power for everyday driving and gets great mileage."

Reliabe, Nice Looking and Confrotable

By on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "super fun to drive, reliable, great mileage & cute"

Cons: "little things breake"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am the original owner and I love it! It is super reliable. The only down side it that I broke the vent and then the sun roof went out, later the cup holder broke, but as far as being reliable, this car is awesome! Never brakes down. I am reaching 230K and only once I had to change the clutch/transmission. No major jobs needed aside form that. I hate to get rid of it, because it's so confortable and plush inside."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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