1997 Jetta

Consumer Reviews

1997 Volkswagen Jetta

$1,085 - $2,069  MSRP Range
1997 Volkswagen Jetta

Review Score

3.9 out of 5 stars

3.9

10 Reviews
70% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
3.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.1 out of 5 stars Interior Design
3.8 out of 5 stars Reliability
3.8 out of 5 stars Performance
4.3 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 10 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Superb!

by Jimmy from Phoenix, AZ on Fri Apr 16 2010

I have the exact same car and it still runs great! Its the same year. I do regular maintenance to it (as every car owner should do) and it still runs good. The insurance is cheap and I get great mileage. Also, its a blast to drive and it handles like a Gem. I recomend it to college students or just anyone in general.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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2 out of 5 stars

Broken Strut tower makes this an unsafe purchase

by Jetta Junkie from Wisconsin on Mon Mar 17 2014

You can overlook a lot, and for $1200 you'd expect some rust in the usual places, but the right strut tower is rusted and broken almost all the way around. One good bump or pothole, and you could lose control when it breaks and the strut comes up into the hood. Lot of oil all over the engine, too. This is my favorite Jetta, the Mark 3, and if you have the ability you might be able to fix it up with parts from another, but the strut tower is pretty scary.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does not recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

by Molly from Kansas on Sat Jan 09 2010

Fun to drive. A squirt or two of lock de-icer keeps the locks from freezing. Fuel economy 22 city and 29 highway. Manual windows roll all the way down in back.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

amazing in the winter, if you can get into it..

by vdub kid from holland mi on Fri Jan 18 2008

this car is really good in the snow.. but the only problem is you cant get in through the drivers side in the winter. the door freezes up, and you either have to wait 15 minutes for the car to warm up, or try and invent a way to get in through the passenger side. its pretty frustrating.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Reliablity

by Love of Volkswagens from Duncanville, Tx on Wed Nov 23 2011

The car I own now is a 97' VW Jetta GLS 4 door sedan, it is very comfortable and reliable. I absolutlely love my car, and I am looking to buy a newer stationwagon soon.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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2 out of 5 stars

DO NOT buy this 13+ year old car

by Jamee from Denver, CO on Thu Mar 25 2010

This is not going to be that reliable older car. Parts are so expensive, and you will have to fix it often. The muffler alone was $600, and that doesn't include the labor to put it in. The newer models may be more reliable (?) but I am guessing the parts are still about the same, if not more expensive! Oh and my paint has been peeling and getting splotchy.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
1 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
2 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

3 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Bargain car with current market

by Hmj on Sun Apr 22 2018

These Mk3 VW's seem to be the unwanted and most uncared for cars out of the entire VW lineup. Admittedly, they are kindof ugly stock, But if you can find a clean one for the right price, You can get a ton for your money, I spent 700$ on mine, Everything works, Heck even the A/C, Doesn't leak oil though it may burn a bit but thats normal for an older VW. No rust, Runs fine, Fixed the passenger door not wanting to open If you are patient and check out the car before buying it then its a great purchase, And they are super easy to work on despite people saying VW's are hard to work on, The older ones aren't, At all. I had to do a timing belt job on my Mk3 with the 2.0 and had the job done while taking my sweet time, In just 2 hours, Pretty darned easy. Unless your older VW is a Corrado or has a Vr6 in it, Maintenance on everything for the most part should be a breeze, Just do your research, It will help a metric ton, And pointers for ya, If your replacing a clutch and the CV Axle bolts are stripping out even after being cleaned and all, Just grind the bolts off carefully and replace them with Hex-Head bolts of the same bolts and some lock-washers, Make sure to torque them down properly. Car is very slow though and should get much better gas mileage than it does.. Not sure if something needs checked out or replaced on it but me and my buddy had Mk2 Golf's with the 1.8 and we were able to get 37 Mpg avg (mostly highway, yes) and I just cant get that with my Mk3.. yet hopefully.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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3 out of 5 stars

Looks good.

by bill from lancaster, pa on Thu Jun 01 2017

Jettas are known for being finicky when it comes to function of electrical components but ours was only prone to dying window buttons. Fun to drive, looks great.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

I loved it but...

by GoatLord from Buffalo, NY on Wed Sep 06 2017

I used to own the TDI (Diesel) version of this car for over a year. It was nothing but problems. I bought it and shortly after the engine went, then the heater core, then the rear end needed to be redone, the list goes on. I put so much money into it because i loved it for some reason but I left me with nothing. Sold it a couple years ago and came to find out the engine went again.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

nice car

by jclune from ADELL,Wisconsin on Tue May 30 2017

its an ok car I am not used to driving such an old car only boight because my son totaled my truck last year

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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1

Our Take on the 1997 Volkswagen Jetta

In Europe--where diesel fuel costs less than unleaded, is priced alongside vin ordinaire and often tastes better--such motoring makes considerable sense.

In California--where diesels sell like vicuna topcoats and fuel typically matches the cost of premium gasoline--these cars boggle only isolated, inveterate passions and are heavily unloved by disciples of clean breathing.

But Volkswagen is bringing back its little diesels anyway.

Passat TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) sedans and wagons are already here, and sales of this mid-size diesel are surprising. In agricultural corners of America--where diesel power is a religion, cornfields are counties apart, personal travels are far and... Read More