I used to have a 1997 Jetta TDI. not the same engine or body style as yours.
Mine was the previous body style that was more boxy than your body style. The engine I had in mine was also different that yours.
So any experiences I had wouldn't apply to yours.
I did love the car though.. It only had 90hp but it was great to drive because of the amount of torque it had. I had very few engine related problems. What killed the car was rust. Enve though I did most of the maintanence myself, I never looked under the car in the rear and didn't notive the rust developing under the read seat area. It only had 167K on it and I felt really bad that I hadn't noticed that and taken care of it. I still miss that car. I still wish I paid to have that repaired instead of just replaing it.
We replaced it with a 2006 Accord with only 40K on it. The accord is still our newest car. The accord is fine but has been less reliable than expected.
When I still had my VW jetta, I waa on a business trip with a peer of mine and we had to drop off a big shipping box. It was big enough to hold about a dozen laptops.
My peer had an SUV (Acura RDX I think) and no matter how we tried, we couldn't get it in his car due. I just said "I'll throw it in my trunk." He thought I was joking but it fit. That 1997 jetta had a huge trunk. More importantly it was a wonderfully usable shape.
Even at the end it still got high 40s/low 50s mpg without trying and when I drove carefully, it did 55 mpg with ease.
One of the reasons I like my current 1999 s70 is it's a similar car to my Jetta. Nice boxy sedan with great visibility, a 5 speed and a nice boxy trunk. the s70 is more comfortable and a bit bigger. It only gets 1/2 the mpg though..
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