VW Jetta question...

Messages
563
Location
Michigan
My sister(16) is looking at used Jettas, and since I will be doing most of the maintenance on it, I'd like your opinion on which years/engines to look for. Her budget is around $6k. I've heard good things about the N/A 2.0L engine, and bad things about the 1.8T. I'm really not sure, so that's why I'm asking for your help... Please and Thank You! [bowdown]
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Dallas, TX
Just one opinion - if she's limited on money, I'd steer her away from any used Jetta, regardless of price. The engines themselves dont seem to be the problem...it's aging electronics that really cost when they go south. I know they're cool cars, but not terribly reliable. A $6000 Jetta will likely be quite old and have a lot of miles. Be afraid.
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
I have a 1.8T engine and think the world of it. BUT if you don't the maintenance history on these engines, stay away from it. They are so hard on oil and many nitwits just put in the cheapest oil they can find and don't change it often enough. The 2.0L is much more tolerant of maintenance history than the 1.8T but is known for excessive oil consumption and it is slow (low HP). IMO, if $6k is the budget, steer her away from VW's completely. If she was a gear-head who wanted to buy something cheap and build it up, that would be another story. This is coming from a hard-core VW fan.
 

drewjp

Thread starter
Messages
563
Location
Michigan
I was sort of thinking along the same lines. She's stuck on the looks of the Jetta, but I know they don't have the reliability record... I've been trying to steer her towards a Mazda Protege or a Chevy Prizm...
 
Messages
1,050
Location
Calif.
I know VWs are not exactly reliable cars, economical, or great cars. I agree that the 1.8T is sludge prone and 2.0L is underpowered plus may consume oil. Although I drive a Jetta with a 2.0L and like the feel of the car, I generally don't recommend VWs. But if you really like the car I would go for the 2.0L engine. As for years the Mk3s (93-99) is said to be better than the Mk4s (99-05). Haven't heard about any oil consumption problems on the Mk3s. But I think the oil consupmtion problem for the Mk4s were fixed after 02 or so. Also I would get the 5 speed stick shift, VW automatics aren't exactly great either. I would recommend alternatives such as Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, Dodge Neon.
 
Messages
1,779
Location
Central Iowa
I seriously looked at purchasing one new in 2005. However, they seem to have a lot of nagging, persistant issues such as windows that quit going up and down. It's too bad because I really liked the looks of the car and the interior. However if I was spending my money I wanted something that wouldn't be falling apart around me.
 
Messages
6,171
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
I agree with others that for a $6k used car, a Jetta isn't the best call. Protoge ES would be a good alternative, economical and sporty with good reliability. Prizm/Corolla's another great choice. Tell her how expensive gas is and how the Prizm/Corolla could save her enough $$ each month in gas that she could buy a new pair of jeans. [I dont know]
 
Messages
376
Location
Athens, Georgia
I second surfstar's suggestion. A $6,000 Corolla (find one whose owner kept service records!) that has been maintained will go 150,000 miles and then some. My brother drives a Jetta with the N/A 2.0 and loves it (as do I), but I have to stay on his butt about maintenance in order to keep costs to a minimum. Not a pleasurable game to have to play.
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
I've owned several Jettas with 1.8L and 2.0L, non-turbocharged engines and five speed manuals and they're good little cars. Just look for one without a lot of power accessories and you'll be fine. Resale on these isn't great and you can actually get a fairly new one for $6000.00, compared to a Honda Civic. They have excellent paint quality and rustproofing and the bodies hold up very well. TS
 

99

Messages
631
Location
SW burbs of Chicago
The Mark IV 99-04 is the best Jetta made in my opinion. Resale can range from the low 10s to 18s depending on what it's equipped with. The VR6 engine is the most powerful and the least expensive to maintain because there is no timing belt to change. The 2.0 and the 1.9 TDI are solid engines that get great fuel economy. The 1.9 requires frequent maintenance though. The 1.8T is a nice engine but takes a back seat to the VR6 in terms of performance. The tiptronic trans VW used is a solid unit. Hit up www.vwvortex.com for more info on pretty much anything VW. [ July 04, 2006, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: 99 ]
 

99

Messages
631
Location
SW burbs of Chicago
Forgot to add that if I was in the market for a used Jetta, I'd get a Shadow Blue 03/04 VR6 GLX with tiptronic, the optional 17 "long beach" rims with 225/45/17 tires, black leather....... [Big Grin] [ July 04, 2006, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: 99 ]
 
Messages
1,462
Location
MD
quote:
Originally posted by 99: The Mark IV 99-04 is the best Jetta made in my opinion. Resale can range from the low 10s to 18s depending on what it's equipped with. The VR6 engine is the most powerful and the least expensive to maintain because there is no timing belt to change. The 2.0 and the 1.9 TDI are solid engines that get great fuel economy. The 1.9 requires frequent maintenance though. The 1.8T is a nice engine but takes a back seat to the VR6 in terms of performance. The tiptronic trans VW used is a solid unit. Hit up www.vwvortex.com for more info on pretty much anything VW.
The timing chain set up on the VR6 can be problematic.
 
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
$6k can buy a nice "old" beetle. [Big Grin] I was considering the older Jettas myself when I got my first saab. I was looking at a lot of "trek" editions in my price range... Couldn't get past the seat fabric though... [LOL!]
 
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