Cars I've Owned (Part 2 of 14)

1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLS
Owned: 1998 to 2000
Aka: “The Land Speeder”

After a promotion at work (and that frickin’ dongle on the 320 taunting me for years), I decided that I wanted a brand new car. I couldn’t quite afford the new Bimmer I wanted just yet (more on those M cars later), so I decided to purchase “the poor man’s 3-series,” as my friend Grant called it. VW was making a nice GLX version, during this last year of this body style, that had cooler wheels, a rear deck lid spoiler, leather interior, and a very peppy V6. I really liked the dark blue on the supple tan leather interior that I test drove, but for some reason I bought the slightly less expensive GLS. Though my friend Lawrence referred to this as the “Giampaoli Land Speeder,” the GLS was basically the top of the line 4 cylinder, and I think it was a 2.0 liter (don’t remember, don’t care). This car was basically a piece of shit; I vowed never to buy another VW product after my experience with this. I had friends that would trick out their GTI’s and swore by them, but dude. I don't know if this was the result of VW plants beginning to assemble these in Mexico or what, but I only owned it for about two years and in that time, 3 of the 4 power window motors failed, the power locks failed due to a weird configuration of the hydraulic lines, and the front wheel drive not only understeered like a bitch, but never seemed to hold an alignment for more than a month or two, and ultimately developed a subtle shimmy. This is on a brand new car! The Jetta did have a quick 5-speed that shifted crisply (if a bit tinny sounding nearing redline), but the front wheel drive system made it handle like a wet turd; the back end would jump off the rails and there was no such thing as classic drop throttle oversteer in this front wheel drive car. Rather than having enough power to pull out of a slide, the front tires would turn sideways and push with wicked understeer as the heavy ass end would dance around in circles like a drunken horny elephant attacking your grandma at her 100th birthday party. Yes, it was a mess. It did witness one memorable trip to Vegas with Sean and Jaydee (asleep in the back seat the entire way, you bitch) where we ended up throwing a football around on the side of the road for an hour near Needles or some fucking place, along with a hundred other cars that’d been stopped since the road was shut down due to a tanker crash/spill or some damn thing, but that’s about it. Mine was black on gray cloth, exactly like this picture. I think it’s funny that the picture I found is cropped poorly and there’s a big dent on the wheel arch, because emotionally that’s how I felt about mine. I knew this wasn’t for me long term. As soon as I could afford it, I traded it in on…


At 3:46 PM, Blogger sean said...

the only thing missing in this description is "expectoration on the walls!"


At 2:38 PM, Blogger Justin said...

Ah, Joe West Hall... "a hive of scum and villainy."

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Grant said...

"where's the RA???"... never was a fan of this car, the body was too boxy and the fact that it was built in Mexico also didn't help.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Justin said...

This car truly sucked.


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