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1996 Volkswagen Jetta

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 3.0

Reviewed by 38 users

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Worst decision of my life

by
Mar 5, 2009 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: It is cute looking...honostly, the cons far out-way any pros.
Cons: Unless you want to make your mechanic your new best-friend, stay away from this car.
The Bottom Line:

I am seriously debating pushing this car off a cliff. The real kicker, I will still be making payments for past repairs even when it is long gone.


I bought a 96 vw jetta four years ago for $4300, with decently low miles. I chalk that day up to one of the worst days of my life. Since then I have spent nearly double what I payed for it in repairs. Everything that could go wrong with that car, did. I ... read more

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The Truth

by
Jan 19, 2009 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Elegance, Smooth ride, Smooth shifting, Fuel Economy, Good Torque, Reliability, Fast, Good Torque, HUGE trunk.
Cons: No glove box? Small cup holders.
The Bottom Line: German elegance cannot be beat.

A Volkswagen is a car that is very inside out and upside down when it comes to build; everything is different.  I purchased my VW Jetta in March 2005. It had 198xxxkm on it and ran like a dream.  Three years later. It has 250xxxkm on it and ... read more

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1996 VW Jetta GLX VR6

by
Feb 1, 2008 - Updated Feb 29, 2008 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Drives Great, very fast, Nice Interior,
Cons: CONSTANT BREAKDOWNS will run you broke.
The Bottom Line: I love VW but they need to work out their Many Reliability and Bild issues. Dont buy any VW built after 1993 if you want a reliable car.

I bought a 1996 Jetta GLX VR6 in the Fall of 2002. It looked so beautiful with Perfect black paint and black leather interior. Mine was used and had 104,000 miles on it but I was buying it from a VW Dealership and it had passed a 200 point dealership ... read more

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For a 1996 car with less than 83k, the Jetta GL is a disgrace

by
May 9, 2007 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: fun to drive, great gas mileage, large tank, roomy
Cons: sealed transmission, expensive maintenance, hard to find parts, lots of "dealer" exclusives
The Bottom Line: Go with a Honda -- less trouble with a lower true cost to own.

In 2004, about a year after I purchased the car in August 2003, I had the front two motor mounts replaced, and after that, I experienced even more problems and took it back to the repair man the next day to have the exhaust system replaced. I can't ... read more

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Jetta GLX = many problems

by
Mar 22, 2004 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: GLX has many features
Cons: high maintenance cost, unreliable, broken down more then on road
The Bottom Line: Everything is harder and more expensive with a Volkswagen. I am not planning on buying another one.

I bought my blue Jetta GLX about 5 months agof from my local VW dealer. At the time it had 77,000 miles on it and I purchased it for $8300. They were asking $9800 for the car. The price for the GLX is much much much higher then the GL, GLS or Trek ... read more

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THE WORST CAR I HAVE EVER OWNED!!!!!

by
Jan 27, 2004 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Nice stock stereo, excellent handling, user-friendly dash layout.
Cons: Auto transmission blows! Nickel & Dimes you once the miles pack on.
The Bottom Line: I would never recommend this car to anyone!

I have owned a few cars in my short 25 years of age but by far, the worst car I have owned was a 1996 VW Jetta. After my 1994 Integra was stolen, I bought a 1996 VW Jetta TREK as a replacement car from a used car dealer. Granted, it had over 100k miles ... read more

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My big, dependable, box of a car!

by
Dec 20, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Power sunroof, handling, brakes, performance (for a 4-cylinder), dependability!! YAY!
Cons: Nothing major: cupholders, lack of a glove box, hard front bucket seats.
The Bottom Line: Looking for a cheap reliable car? Buy a Jetta! If it was taken good care of, you should be as happy as I am with it!

I went into the market looking to buy a late-model Volkswagon Jetta over the summer (2000+) but in the process stumbled over this gem, a 1996 Jetta GL. I eventually went for it because it was soooo much cheaper. I've had it for maybe 5 months now, no ... read more

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Jetta? SMETTA

by
Jul 12, 2003 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: sunroof, quality gas mileage
Cons: expensive to repair, rare parts, etc
The Bottom Line: I deffinatly would NOT suggest this car to anyone.

Maybe I just got jipped, but jetta's are a waste of money. I once loved volkswagons, but untill you' ... read more

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Reliable and Fun Car (we own a '96 and '97)

by
Mar 25, 2003 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Roomy, fun to drive, reliable, good gas mileage
Cons: Electric Windows
The Bottom Line: I would recommend purchasing a 1996 or 1997 Jetta used. I have 75,000+ miles, and have had little repair expense to date.

We own a 1996 Jetta GLS and a 1997 Jetta Trek. Both cars have been very reliable. They are very comfortable for driver and front passenger, as well as rear passengers. Great gas mileage (30+ MPG), good visibility and handling. The GLS and Trek ... read more

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V Dub Jetta......Never again

by
Mar 2, 2003 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Relatively cheap, somewhat easy to work on, sporty and quick
Cons: very poor quality, unsafe door locks, expensive parts, not very crash worthy
The Bottom Line: Don't touch with a ten foot pole. Avoid like the plague.

I am a car guy. I work for a car company, I fix my own cars, I have a busines selling custom racing parts for cars, I write a car newsletter for my local Porsche club. In general, if I have something to say about a car, it is probably true. ... read more

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Love them or hate them

by
Dec 3, 2002 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Simple styling, good reliability, ergonomic, decent performance.
Cons: hit or miss quality, poor quality paint, windshield
The Bottom Line: This was definitely a good buy in 1996, and would probably make a great used car. Do your homework when buying used.

Intro I bought my 1996 1/2 Jetta (manual) new in 1996. I've always been a VW fan as I had a 1991 Golf previously. At the time the Jetta was an excellent choice over the Honda Civic and others as you really got a lot more for your money. As I got my ... read more

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Great Car

by
Mar 26, 2002 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Reliable, built to last
Cons: Teething problems
The Bottom Line: An excellent car that will last a long time when properly cared for.

Bought my Jetta new in October 1995 after my '94 Jetta saved my life (no exaggeration) in a horrific side impact accident. The car had its teething problems in the beginning, but has been great since then. Teething problems were as follows; ... read more

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Still unsure about quality of '96 Jetta GLS

by
Feb 14, 2002 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 30 Recommended: No 

Pros: Great gas mileage,fun to drive, my 2001 Isuzu Trooper is more fun to drive.
Cons: Maintenance Problems
The Bottom Line: Marginal, we have not had to pay a lot (yet), other than the deductible cost.

We bought this car new for my wife on March 1, 1996. We also bought the extended warranty for about $800. The kicker with the warranty from Congressional VW in Rockville, MD was that if you did not use it you would get your money back. I ... read more

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130,000 and still running strong!

by
Sep 14, 2001 - Updated Sep 16, 2001 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Economical, Practical, Terrific Ride, Handles Well, 130,000 and still running strong!
Cons: Still trying to think of one...
The Bottom Line: I suggest going to test drive one... that will be proof enough on why VW puts out quality cars. You will always want one in your life.

In late 1996 I traded in my Blazer and moved to the economical side of the auto world - the VW Jetta GL! All these years and miles (131,267 to be exact) later the Jetta is still zipping everywhere I go. I live 8 minutes outside of NYC and my ... read more

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Greta the Jetta: A Tale of True Romance? (the roadiem write-off)

by
Apr 11, 2001 - Updated Apr 17, 2001 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Handles well, gets good gas mileage and looks pretty
Cons: Weird behavior from time to time.
The Bottom Line: All things considered we are pleased with our purchase and enjoy the car very much. Check it out thoroughly and you'll find a good auto.

Last year after many years of faithful service, it became apparent to my wife and me that her beloved 1987 Toyota Celica GTS Coupe was on its last legs (125,000 miles). Would it cost us another small fortune to fix, yet again? This was a car that ... read more

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Jetta Nightmare

by
Jan 4, 2001 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: Stylish
Cons: Too many costly repairs

I leased my Jetta because my grandparents only purchased Volkswagens and swore by them. I loved the car for the first year I drove it. I thought it drove well and was very comfortable. About a year and a half into the lease, however, it all started. ... read more

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Marginally reliable car

by
Dec 29, 2000 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: Fun to drive, comfortable
Cons: Not very reliable

I bought this car after my other car fell apart. I was looking for something reliable and fun to drive. I would say that my '96 Jetta GL fit the fun to drive description but was not very reliable. I was surprised because I bought it after reading a ... read more

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Bought my Jetta a year ago and no problems yet!

by
Nov 29, 2000 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: great gas mileage, comfortable, engines will last long time
Cons: interior ergonomics could be better

I had owned an old Jetta in the past and decided I wanted another VW. As I am not a fan of hatchbacks, the Golf was not an option. Just out of college the Passat seemed a bit pricier than I could afford. So I got another Jetta that I LOVE!!! I bought ... read more

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Transmission Drama

by
Nov 14, 2000 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: Comfortable, good sound system
Cons: Transmission, expensive to repair

I bought my 96 Jetta in 98' off a 2-year lease. I had wanted a Jetta for about 10 years because of the classy way they commanded any road they were on. However, when I finally brought my Jetta home from the dealer--my nightmares began immediately. ... read more

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