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1997 Volkswagen Jetta

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.2
Out of 10

Based on 294 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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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."

6 people out of 8 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"

4 people out of 4 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!"

8 people out of 9 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."

3 people out of 4 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

Pretty awesome VW

By on Sunday, July 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 197,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas milage, dependability, looks, comfort, fun."

Cons: "buying parts, tranny reviews"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Ive only had this car for 3 months and i will never go to another car. Bought it for 1200 and its been reliable ever since. yeah i had to do some maintenance but it has 197,000 miles. changed oil cooler gasket, struts, and all filters."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Okay vehicle

By on Monday, March 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Cheap, not a bad drive, gets from a to b"

Cons: "Repair costs, cheap body"

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

"This was the first vehicle I have ever bought. It has lasted me quite a while and been great for the amount I paid for it. Now it is wearing down, and repair costs have been high. It's never been a great runner, but not bad."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

amazing cars!

By on Thursday, January 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,766

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fast, rides like its on rails, good on gas"

Cons: "cruse control :("

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

my 98 jetta with air lift air ride

"when vw made this car they really hit the nail on the head! i have owned a few of the mk3 cars and they are great! the vr6 engine is bullet proof, the leather interior feels amazing after a long day and when these cars are maintained they are the best cars to own! the ONLY downside is the cruse control witch is garbage in the mk3."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

my 98 jetta with air lift air ride

I LOVE MY VR6!!!

By on Friday, October 12, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 177,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun car, reliable, good looking, awesome car!"

Cons: "buying parts :/"

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

"there is nothing better than driving my 97 Jetta GLX! Ive had this thing forever and it has never failed me! ive driven it from colorado to south carolina and it has never slowed down! this car is truly one of the best cars ever made!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

my second jetta

By on Sunday, September 30, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "5 speed. Gas milage great."

Cons: "maintence."

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

cruisin to the car show

"well first off I had a wolfsburg jetta Mark 3, had electrical problems and returned it and found my car that I've had now for almost 2 years. All I can say is that this car is pretty much my friend. It hasnt let me down, always starts up first try and overall is just a great car. I get a lot of comments like what year and when I say a 1996, people almost look at me and dont belive me. With my Jetta just running over 104k the other day, I know that this car will last for a long long time. I bought mine from a one owner that had it for 16 or 17 years and took pretty good care of it. The body was repainted Tornado red, and I'm not sure what the original color was but I've also had people at car shows saying this is one of the best looking Tornado Red Jetta's they've ever seen. Also the only negitive thing I can think of for the car is some of the maintence can be spendy, but the positive to that too, is that the engine atleast the 2.0 4 cyl engine is quite easy to work on, and has a lot of space too. Overall fun to drive, expecailly when you have a 5 speed, and throw in some other mods, such as lowering springs or racing struts to take hard turns. Overall great car, fun to learn how to drive in!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My video 

cruisin to the car show

new muffler straightpipe from cat to DTM style muffler. its an 8v i swear.

Best college car ever.

By on Thursday, July 19, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, gas is ultra affordable, good lookin"

Cons: "Not enough cup holders for sure."

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

Just chillin.

"Great gas mileage, I've gotten as high as 42 on the interstate. It's small enough to park in compact spots, and looks great. Could be a little bit more comfy, but the seats in mine are pretty worn out. I've gotten a million compliments on how good it looks/sounds."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Just chillin.

Still a snarling little beast!

By on Thursday, July 05, 2012

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very fun to drive, tastefull style."

Cons: "little things go wrong."

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

"Bought my 97 Jetta GLX five years ago. Previous owner had spent good money to put on K"

Dependable German Engineering

By on Thursday, April 12, 2012

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Dependable"

Cons: "Cheap plastic parts"

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

"I bought this car as a broke college student, I paid cash so I got a good deal. There were a few cosmetic problems with the car but as soon as I turned it on for the test drive I fell in love. The engine was very smooth and two years later still functions very well. The only major issue that I have with this car is the cheap plastic parts. The driver's side pull handle (interior) has came off. When I was trying to repair another part of my car the plastic clips broke off creating another issue. The headliner is sagging. With all that said, I still love my car and defend it when anyone laughs... It runs better than many cars driving on the roads!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love my 1998 Jetta TDI!

By on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"This is my favorite of all of the Volkswagen's that I have ever owned, let alone of the other brands of vehicles."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

it was my first car its great

By on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,381

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "sun ruf, cd player clean and abrithing works"

Cons: "the tranmishion"

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

"its a great car it was my first car when i was in high school. now am in coollege. to be honest its having trobel in the tranmishion. it has a sun ruf, alot of the things ar manual and but not in bad conditons at all"

1 person out of 9 found this review helpful

good car

By on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"this car will start up every morning but if you dont know anything about any german cars than you gotta realize that they dont know how to wire anything corectly... horriple wireing everything electrical in my car is going out.. light sun roof blinkers.."

most dependable car on the road

By on Friday, March 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 207,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "amazing on gas, tough and very dependable."

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

"I LOVE my jetta. I have friends that are trying to trade me there jacked-up 4x4s for my little car lol. never going to happen."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Bought used

By on Monday, February 20, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, sporty, reliable, economical"

Cons: "no cruise control, no power windows"

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

"I bought this car used and was taken advantage of by the previous owner. But after much debate on whether to keep or sell this car, I decided to keep it"

It gets me where I'm going

By on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good Mileage, safe, drives fine."

Cons: "Stalling in heavy rain and large puddles"

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

"This car is a true trooper! Great mileage and a comfortable ride. With age it's lost some of it's looks and it doesn't like bad storms or large puddles (causes it to stall out). That seems to be common among this model in that year. But I've gotten rear-ended in it and the car only got a scratch while the Chevy that hit me got their front end destroyed. The brakes need to be bled but I think that happens with most cars. I would only recommend this car to someone who can fix their own car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

My best vehicle ever and I have gone threw 17

By on Sunday, January 22, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198,000

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: "Fun to drive, value stands above the rest!"

Cons: "I only have one Jetta!"

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

"Drives like it is on rails! Always has power when you need it, easily modifiable and super zippy when you do! Very dependable vehicle as long as you care about them!!! They will take you anywhere you want to go without complaining like alot of new cars do.... Get one its a blast!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

not bad

By on Thursday, January 19, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"awesome to upgrade and runs good wit all cylinders"

it has potential

By on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "good looking car in my opinion. vr6 models"

Cons: "very slow. assembled in mexico"

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

"I find this car to be comfortible with a pretty reasonable amount of cargo space. it lacks acceleration in the four cylinder models. vr6 models are more fun. has simple lines and overall good looks."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love my ride!

By on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 199,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Love driving it! Tons of space!"

Cons: "No cup holders, spilled lots of stuff in it!!"

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

"I love my 1998 Jetta! I haven't had any real issues with it other then when I let the transmission fluid run low and I sheared off 5th gear. Now that she's getting older (14), I'm having to replace some stuff, but thats normal on a car that has over 198000 miles! I drive this car every day and wouldn't think twice about taking it on a road trip! Very reliable and Good on gas!"

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