In Reply to: Anyone have a VW Golf GTI or Jetta GLX? (more) posted by DC on January 16, 2000 at 22:31:43:
Vicky and I drove a Jetta yesterday. They have improved night and day over the previous models. Very solid car and very well built. It looked like even the Mexican-built Jettas finally had paint on the plastic parts that matched the sheet metal.
The VR6 kicks ass plain and simple. The 2.0 does fine, but the VR6 has more than enough power.
The new chasis is much firmer. The leather, plastic, and switches is altogether on a higher level. It's still front wheel drive though, and that's tough to get used to after a rear drive car.
The new Jetta has slightly less interior room than the older one. My theory is VW knew the Jetta would eat into A4 sales if they weren't careful.
My personal preference is for the GTI (of course). There is a super-hot "Tropic Orange" paint. *Very* cool. The Jetta has the old Scirocco "Tornado Red" paint resurrected. Cool if you are into red. The Golf TDI is a contender. If someone doesn't tell you, you will never know it's a 90hp diesel. 50+ mpg too. The Golfs have an edge over the Jettas: they are all built in Germany. Jettas and Beetles are all Mexican built. My Mexican built GTI had fuses and clips under the spare tire. I complained and the service guys cliamed they had seen rear view mirrors under back seats, etc. I think German built makes a difference with VWs, but not with BMWs.
Something to consider if you are in the market for a Jetta or a GTI: the 1.8T is coming. Same engine as the A4, TT, and Beetle. The beauty of this engine is it's ability to be modified. Chips produce a real 30hp (it runs at very low boost normally). The Neuspeed $3000 kit includes a new pulley, turbine, manifold, belt and chip. Ups power from 150 to 240 at the crank. No kidding. Makes Dinan and the other BMW tuners look REALLY expensive. Also, VW has said the 2.8L VR6 will get upped to 210 hp next year (24 valve finally) and will have 50% less emissions.
Everyone is hoping for a 4-motion Jetta and GTI, not unlike the Audi S3. No word if it's coming. It is now available on the Passat. I would kill for an S3 in Imola Yellow. JonS, any chance of a gray-market import??!
If you need to move clients, I would think you are confined to a 4-door. My advice: Jetta GLS VR6. Get 5 speed if you can find one. Go for the leather package and sunroof. Avoid the Luxury package, which includes 16" wheels and the leather. Put aftermarket BBS 17" on. The GLX adds wood trim (which should be outlawed in VWs!!) and a stoopid climatronic system.
If you can wait, skip the VR6 and go for a 1.8T. In my opinion, the 1.8T alone makes the TT a viable competitor to the Z3. You get quattro and xenons for under $33K too. IMO, only problem with the TT is the questionable styling.
DC, you might want to start checking http://www.vwvortex.com too. Even better, I can refer you to the GTI VR6 e-mail digest if you want. They are much more technical.