"Bought the car new in '96. The best thing I can say about the car is that it runs well after 264,000 miles. It still gets 30+ mpg regardless of how I drive it.
The electronic gadgets started dying off around 150K miles. No more cruise control, automatic cabin lights when the door is opened, or alarms when the lights are left on. However, the A/C still works and the heater can still roast me out of the car if set to high. With that many miles, most of the broken items are not worth fixing.
I've replaced the starter, fixed a couple water leaks, and performed general maintenance. That's about it. Nothing major has ever gone wrong... hope I didn't just jink it."
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."
"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."
"I own a 98' Jetta and I love the supreme handling and performance. The brakes are very good (even the rear drum type) and road grip is awsome. The A/C is very cold & Heat is very hot. A/C had to be replaced when car reached 9yrs. old. That still not bad. Power windows on left side stop working after 7yrs. Now over 162k miles with no other problems. It's the most reliable car on the road; it requires little to no maintenance and engine never burns oil. I recommend this car to evceryone who loves to drive!"
"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!"
Pros: "gas mileage, performance upgrades, parts are easy"
Cons: "no speedo to go over 140mph :)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"ive owned this car for 2 yrs now got it not running and electrical problems (sitting for yrs in the woods) cleaned it all up oil change replaced real box replaced clutch and put about 5gs into the motor and trans and this thing is fast. my speedo goes to 140 and it can pass that and my gps confirms it. i live in washington but travel to southern cal and back 1time a month and does great no problems at all i average 38mpg on premium fuel and couple mods and just cruising 70. if you swap to a 89 jetta tranny it helps alot if you wanna know what you need to do for the swap just ask"
"99 VR6 5-speed manual. THE WORST VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED!!! I had 4 alternators, 6 batteries, nearly EVERYTHING replaced (02 sensors twice, catalytic converter and STILL wouldn't pass smog). I was towed SO MANY TIMES that multiple tow companies in the area knew me by name. Visits to shop were never less than $800. MAJOR ELECTRICAL ISSUES. It was attractive and fun to drive but-DO NOT PURCHASE A VR6- the dealer told me they discontinued this after 1999!!!!!!!!!"
"I bought this Jetta used from the dealer, without knowing anything about the previous owner. I have owned it now for 5.5 years and put over 100k miles on it. It's about to turn 200k miles and is still running strong. I haven't had any major work done it, besides the timing belt - and I only just had that done for the first time last year. I have done most of the maintenance on it myself with the help of a Haynes manual. You can order spare parts on Ebay. The dealer is pricey for sure. It's really not that hard to work on it yourself. I am in the market for another Jetta once I drive this one into the ground. With love and maintenance, I'm hoping for another 100K!"
"Bought this car new and at 231,000 miles I can say without a doubt it's one of the best cars you can buy period. Planning to buy another one when this quits in another 10 or 15 years! If you're even slightly considering it, buy it. Immediately."
"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!"