Volkswagens have been icons for the last 50 years. The beetle, the bus, and the karmann Ghia just to name a few of their poster-child cars. The 2001 Volkswagen Jetta is not one of their most famous cars. Not by a longshot.
The 2001 Volkswagen Jetta has a 1.8Lturbocharged inline four cylinder engine and five speed manual transmission. The 1.8 is fun, and you get all of the fun boost sounds that everyone loves, but it lacks real guts. You can bang on the engine all day, and you’re socks aren’t going to get knocked off. For a used first car, I can’t knock it too hard. It’s manual, turbo, and cheap. Speaking of the manual, the transmission felt great, but the pedals aren’t as noteworthy. The Clutch pedal is nearly in the middle of the pedal box, shoving the gas and brake into the right-hand corner. I haven’t been able to work out the reason for this, but it better be worth it because they still do it up until 2017, or that’s at least as new as I can personally confirm.
The interior retains the signature “melted-crayon” scent that all German cars of the same era have. That being said, it reminds me of my trips abroad, and I found comfort in that. But if it weren’t for my hit of nostalgia, the Jetta has an underwhelming interior. Even with the “Wolfsburg” package, there were no memorable parts of the interior. If you spilled a cup of vanilla pudding all over your own interior, you would get a similar experience.
Overall, the Jetta was just that: underwhelming. As a first car, as a cheap car, It’s great. It makes good noises, comes in manual, and won’t break the bank too too much. But on the list of cars I aspire to own, this is a lot lower than the VW community would probably care for. Sorry not sorry.
See my video review: