Post-2005 Jetta Opinions wanted

1. Reliability of post-05 Jettas. Once out of warranty, I hear that German cars are extreeeemely expensive to maintain.
2. Handling/accel/braking(I've seen all the positive reviews on all
generations of Jettas, now let's hear from real-life drivers!).
3. STEERING STEERING STEERING!! - I'm TIRED of the over-powered "BUICK" powersteering feel of most domestic cars! Will the current Jetta keep me straight & centered without constant corrections? ;)
4. Interior - Is it luxurious to some, too plain for others, just right for everyone? IMO - I love Jetta's instruments & radio cluster. It gives you no bull.
5. Is it more worth the money purchased new or certified-used? I'm thinking about an '06 or '07 under 30,000mi.
Thanks,
-ChrisCoaster
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I have a 2006 "Value" (base) model. 2.5 with 5-speed manual. The car is 'fast enough' in that it is quick and cruises easily at 90 mph. Handling with the original type all-season tires is only adequate. I upgraded to BF Goodrich G-Force Sport and it transformed the handling. Beware that these tires are beyond useless in snow.
The steering is very direct and has good feel at higher speeds.
The interior is fine for the price level of the car. The materials are good quality and everything fits. I'm not thrilled with the base level upholstery (it just looks 'dull' to me), I bought Wet Okole seat covers for the front seats. If you like what comes with it, fine. The only criticism I have of the radio is the reception isn't that great in marginal reception areas.
I paid $14,000 a year ago, the car had 10,000 miles on it. I bought it from a VW dealer so it has the factory warranty, extended for a "certified" used car. I've had no problems with the car at all, at 18,000 miles. In any case, if you are paying for any repairs yourself find a good independant VW mechanic. Should be easy to find almost anywhere. Expect an independant to cost about 20-30% less than a dealer for service/repairs.
I'm totally happy with the car, it gets about 25mpg average, best I've seen is 28 on mixed (mostly highway) driving. You might look for a good '08 model, it has 20 more hp than the 06-07.
Alan
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I have a 2006 GLI with the DSG (automatic), which is essentially a jetta with the upgraded GTI engine and fancy toys. This is my second Jetta (1st was a 2001 Jetta Wolfsberg)
1. Reliability - 26k miles absolutely no problems. I check the fluid levels and adjust as necessary and change the oil every 5k to 7k with synthetic. I took it in for a trunk latch that was faulty, but it was fixed that day.
2. Performance - 200hp/205ft-lbs tq. Uh it's fast. Handling is great for a car that size.
3. Steering - Just right. It's tight. And I don't mean "it's tight dude".
4. Interior - Spartan, Minimalist, whatever, I love it.
5. New or Used? Financially speaking, it's almost always better to buy used, but to each his own. Make sure you have it checked out if you buy used.
Cheers!

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The DSG has a very specific fluid change. Some folks do not read their owners manaul and fail to service their car properly.
wrote:

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2006 Jetta 2.0T
Reliability: No problems yet. Oil every 5k miles and the usual. Had an airbag fault light go on in the second month, day at the shop fixed it under warranty. Other than that no problems. Up to 32k miles, but beware the back brakes...as you've probably heard by now, you won't get more than 25k out of em. Still tons of pad on the fronts, but the backs evaporate...
Handling Accel. Yep, as the other poster said: FAST. Still blows me away how effortless the accelleration is, especially when you are doing 70 and blip, you're at 90. I have the DSG and after 2 yrs I can feel the shifts, but it took a while...very very smooth. My sis had a 2002 1.8T tiptronic, and the difference between this one and her's is unbelievable. No lag, no spin up, just vroom. Test drive one.
Oh, have the 17 inch wheels which also makes a difference in the handling. Little rougher than the 16's but I like it. Try em both. Personal preference.
Braking: no complaints on stopping power. Not as agressive as an Audi TT (thought I would put myself thru the windshield) but *very* competent.
Steering: I learned to drive on a Buick LeSabre Wagon (ugh). I feel your pain with the steering... I *love* the feel on the Jetta. Tracks very straight, and just 'heavy' enough. None of the "spin the wheel with your finger" crap. Not at all. You feel connected and good feedback.
Interior: Personally, I'd rather have the cloth seats, but I've gotten used to whatever the fake leather interior is. Folks riding with me like it well enough too. Not too luxurious...but definitley feels above its price point. Mine came with the MFD on the dash with all the bells and whistles...(long story short, they sold me the wrong car first time around, and to get me the features I wanted, I wound up getting some extra stuff gratis) I could do without the MFD, but I *have* come to appreciate the volume/tuning buttons on the steering wheel. I never touch the radio anymore. Overall, clusters are functonal, if slightly busy, and definitely looks "good" compared to Buick-type chintz (gee, are those vents going to fall out of the dash?). You don't feel like you are in a plane cockpit either with a million lights and switches.
BTW, heated seats....never thought I'd use em (another freebie) but damn, I've come to like em!
New vs Used. Got mine new, probably will save a chunk getting it used, but your mileage may vary. Don't know enough about it to be able to say anything definitive.
Driving around LA (either doing 85+ or zero) I would regularly get 25-27 per gallon. Lots of stop and go in there. With gas going thru the roof the last few months I've been taking it easier and keeping it around 70 and it's more like 32 per gallon. Still a lot of stop and go in there tho.
All in all, I *LOVE* the thing. Fast, great handling, very smooth, solid feel, and easy to fit a bunch of people and go for a trip. Oh yeah, post 2005 they somehow altered the fabric of spacetime inside the trunk. It's like there's an extra dimension in there. It's huge!
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On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 21:03:25, ChrisCoaster wrote:

I have a 2005.5 2.5L 5 speed manual. I've had a couple of minor issues, one of them serious. There was a minor recall that I brought it into the dealer for, and I heard a bad "ticking" sound on the way home. (I think it was a coincidence that it started at that time.) Apparently one of the suspension/struts/something had sheared off and could have caused the wheel to fall off. The dealer fixed it under warranty.
The other issues have been pretty minor: the rear cupholder cover broke off, the driver's side door trunk/gas tank release broke off and fell into the door cavity, and the driver's side door lock stopped working.
Thus far, I've never been stranded by something breaking.

I've been satisfied, but I don't tend to drive aggressively. I recall steering being a strength when I test drove various competitors.

The radio is great, and I really like the interior overall. My biggest complaint about the interior is that the passenger seat has a quite annoying spinning control to recline it. I'm not 100% sure, but I think to get away from that style of control is to upgrade to the fully-powered seats. I have the semi-powered driver's seat which has power recline, so it doesn't bother me, but passengers aren't so lucky if they want to lean back.
Another super-minor niggle: the "cruise" light should come on when the cruise control is actually controlling speed. On mine, it comes on when the control is in the "on" position whether or not it's enabled.

Used is almost certainly a better deal.
--
Alan Hoyle - snipped-for-privacy@unc.edu - http://www.alanhoyle.com /

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_________________________ Thanks to ALL of you! I'm just curious as to how/why I got a million replies all at once nearly a month after posting this. :D Jettas from 1990 & up proliferate the southwestern CT streets here, and they probably show up everywhere else in America too.
I'm glad to hear about the performance of the vehicle. One of you mentioned the cruise control light coming on but no(other) indication that car was actually IN cruise mode - my wife's 05 Corolla's cruise operates in the same fashion. But it WORKS - unlike the one on m '05 Malibu which won't come on if indoor& outdoor temperature is over 70 fahrenheit. WTF? It's definitely a heat-related component-level issue that the dealer cannot replicate and won't work on accordingly.
I think all cars have reliablity points - although the one about the wheel almost falling off AFTER a trip to the dealership was a little scary. Consumer Reports(NOT Consumer Guide) rates the 08, 07, and 06 Jetta very highly in the small sedan class, but a couple items fall short on the trouble spot graph.
I will be test driving the '09 Corolla, a Jetta from '07-'09, and the new Accord and Malibu to see whose handling fits my style of driving. Jetta is smaller than all of those, but I would still feel safe in a car with good acceleration(I believe in putting trouble behind me asap!) and rail-tight tracking, versus a larger heavier car that wants to go any way but straight and doesn't feel like its going straight even when it is. LOL!
The Jetta is officially in my radar - as soon as I can find someone to take over the 2005 Malibu payments and drive that thing away.
-Chris
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