How to choose the Right used Volkswagen Jetta can be a bit overwhelming, with its various incarnations and configurations.
The Volkswagen Jetta sedan has been produced since 1979 and was an instant success. Here was a true European Sport sedan at a very affordable price.
The Jetta is currently in it’s 5th generation and has been offered in two and four-door sedan and five-door Jetta sportwagon variants. When deciding on which used Jetta it is wise to break these down into categories of age, engine and transmission.
Some prefer the more angular design of the first two generations but replacement parts are becoming harder to find and more costly. Earlier generations also suffer from sever paint issues. Later models hold their value well and are available with more options.
All Jetta came with a four cylinder motor standard. These motors provide adequate power and good mileage. For added punch Volkswagen began offering 6 Cylinder with the 3rd generation in 1993 and a Turbo-Charged 4 cylinder as well as the VR5 motor with the 4th generation in 1999.
All generations of the Jetta were available with a 4 cylinder Turbo-Diesel. The Jetta tdi, as it was known, combined excellent mileage and reliability along with good power make these models highly sought after.
All models of the Jetta were available with automatic or manual transmissions. Originally Volkswagen used a basic 3 speed automatic. Starting with the 3rd generations they switched to a 4 speed auto then later a 5 and the 6 speed automatic.
Buying a used Jetta with a manual gearbox will most probably mean a 5 speed. It wasn’t until the 4th generation Jetta where a 6 speed was offered as an option and these are rare. The current 5th generation of the Jetta has a dual clutch DSG six-speed as an option.
With so many options buying a used Volkswagen Jetta can be confusing but it also means that there is a version out there that meets your criteria as well.