Contemplating buying 2008 Jetta -- Opinions?

Messages
804
Location
BerksCounty/Pa.
Looking to replace my 2006 Camry XLE that was totaled last month. Private seller near my area has a 2008 Jetta 2.5L 5cyl 5spd manual for sale. Its white with a perfect body, no dings or scratches with 78,502 original miles. He bought the car new & says the miles are mostly highway. Asking $8000.00 but im gonna offer him $7200.00 cash to start. Think this is a good deal? Any current owners or past owners of this model? All feedback -- good or bad welcome!!
 
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Messages
468
Location
new Jersey
I'm not sure if that car has a timing belt or chain ?If it has a belt it needs to be changed now . The 2.5 engine is easy on oil so is not likely to be sludged but it's worth having it checked anyway . Other than that it's a nice car .
 
Messages
17,298
Location
OH
If you want something slower, smaller and less economical than a V-6 Camry or Accord that also has a well-earned rep for spotty reliability, then why not? OTOH, you won't touch an '08 Camry or Accord with the miles or the condition of this VW for this kind of money. VWs do have nice interiors and usually are nice drivers, although VW has fixed both with their current US market cars.
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: hypervish
Talk about a downgrade.
For sure it is akin to buying a Corolla instead of a Camry.
 
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3,888
Location
southern mo
Shops hate them and cannot work on them a fair amount of the time they are expensive to work on and aren't super reliable in simple terms NO!!
 

thorromig

Thread starter
Messages
804
Location
BerksCounty/Pa.
So far sounds like not such a good idea!! Let the looking/shopping commence then for the next used vehicle. Since this clash for clunkers ordeal went down years ago. Good used car prices have skyrocketed!! shocked
 
Messages
1,845
Location
SW Ontario Canada
VW is a fun to drive, passionate choice. The 2.5 is reliable and has a chain not a belt for timing. I've owned my 2004 Passat from day 1 and it remains a solid fun to drive car that has proven to be more reliable than the Honda Accord it replaced. I will say that VW is not for everyone, they are not for the owner that considers maintenance optional, or wants to cut corners. If you like the car, like how it drives, go ahead.
 
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3,321
Location
Richmond, VA
Some VW models are fine, others are hunks of junk on 4 tires. Do your research and don't let others sway your opinion. I have always found good reliable Fords/Chevys for much better prices than their Honda/Toyo conterparts. A good deal is a good deal, but you have to know what to look for. And as far as driving comfort and all of that, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 
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2,072
Location
South Central PA (Fulton Co)
Here's my take. I own a 2008 2.5 with the 5 speed, it's been known to be the most reliable combo. Mine is the SE model with the leatherette, heated mirrors, seats, and washer nozzles, along with the upgraded 10 speaker audio system with satellite. 2008 (or 07) upgraded the engine from 150hp to 170hp, also VW updated the chain (in 07?) from the problem prone 05.5-06 chain stretching. Knock on wood, my car with 60,500ish miles has been rock solid. Only items replaced so far are normal wear items such as a battery, filters, wiper blades, etc. Vacuum pumps are prone to leaking (alas, mine is seeping) on the 2.5 models. Don't let them sell you a new pump though, all you need is a new seal. Since it's a manual its fairly easy to access. There are guys that have over 200K on their 2.5 without much done, and some have done a good bit. Luck of the draw. It is an excellent driving car, it excels on the highway. I netted 33-34mpg on our trip to Maryland and back. It is really fun to drive, especially with the 5 speed. Don't expect to win any races, but the 5 cylinder has good power. Its torque is down low, so it exhaust itself at around 5K. That said most will agree the 2008 and above are solid cars. Now, VW is not for everybody. They are quirky cars indeed; it takes some getting used to. I would take it on a good 1/2 hour drive atleast to feel it out.
 
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2,919
Location
Southeast
A VW Jetta even makes a Ford look reliable. Run, don't walk back to a 2008 - 2011 Camry XLE 4 cylinder. My 2010 and 2011 Camrys regularly get 32-35 MPG on extended drives. Oil changes and tires are the only expenses I've had in the combined 140,000 miles I've put on the pair.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
A few things that will be different in the Jetta from the Camry: -The Jetta will have a much nicer interior -The Jetta will have much better driving dynamics (nice firm ride, good shifter and clutch, good steering). -The Jetta may not be as reliable, although it's being way overblown in this thread. VW has made improvements since the late 90s/early 2000s when they were really unreliable. The 2.5 and 5-speed are pretty much bulletproof, minus the timing chain issue and vacuum pump mentioned above. But the timing chain problem seems to only appear in early MK5 models, so it shouldn't be an issue in a 2008. We have a 2010 Jetta (the last year of the MK5) and it has been problem free except for the door latches. One has failed already and another is starting to fail If reliability is your number one, be-all-end-all concern, then VW is not probably for you. If you want something with better driving dynamics and a good quality interior, then VW is worth a look.
 
Messages
7,514
Location
FL, USA
VW reliability..or UN-reliability is being overblown in this thread. The 2.5 is a reliable motor, and has a timing chain which is nice. AFAIK the manuals are problem free. It may not be as reliable as a Toyota or Honda but with those low miles its worth a serious look. If everything checked out and is in great shape, offer what you mentioned. My boss has a Jetta (completely different drivetrain though) and has had no issues in 150K miles. His is the 1.9 TDI with the DSG, a far more UN-reliable combo IMO.
 
Messages
2,105
Location
Easton, PA
Man do the trolls come out of the woodwork with VW's... Our 2007 Rabbit had neigh an issue in our ownership but maintaining a car does that. Lest we not forget the sludge monster V6 in Camry's of yore or the glass automatic of Accords. Every car has it's issues...drive what YOU want to drive not what BITOG tells you too.
 
Messages
206
Location
San Clemente, CA
Price: You didn't list the options. If this is the base model, price wise I think it's on the high side by $1k. I would check autotrader.com listings and edmunds.com for appraisal. If he has complete service records, I would be flexible. I would say that the 2.5L 5-banger is the most solid gas motor VW made in recent years. It's also a simpler engine to maintain, relative to its turbocharged siblings. The weakness most often talked about on VwVortex.com is the timing chain, which masochistic VW engineers decided to place between the motor and the transmission. So when the time comes, the motor has to be dropped to service the chain... or one can just replace the motor with a younger one like most folks do. It's cheaper. The chain was improved in 2007 or 2008... you have to check at VWvortex. This 5-cylinder engine sounds different from the rest of VW's power-plants; it's raspy. Some love it while others hate it. Driving dynamics of this generation VWs is pretty good compared to Toyotas of similar years. The suspension is essentially a milder version of the Golf. You won't have the power of a V6 but it's more fun to drive. Throw in a good set of tires and Koni FSD dampers and you'll raise the fun factor a couple notches higher. As for longevity, I think Click-n-Clack summed it up best... "If a VW has gone 70k miles and has no mechanical problems, it will be solid." This has something to do with the inconsistent QC with parts production and assembly. And as with any German car, unless you can turn a wrench, you should make sure there's quality service around... dealer or independent. Although they're improving, VW dealers are still inconsistent when compared to their Japanese counterparts. BTW, I'm also looking for a 2.5L but in a 2012-13 Beetle... the last year for this motor.
 
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Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: SilverC6
A VW Jetta even makes a Ford look reliable. Run, don't walk back to a 2008 - 2011 Camry XLE 4 cylinder. My 2010 and 2011 Camrys regularly get 32-35 MPG on extended drives. Oil changes and tires are the only expenses I've had in the combined 140,000 miles I've put on the pair.
Is that supposed to be good? With such low miles I'd be seriously choked if problems were showing up. 100000 miles today is basically new
 
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