Guide to buying a Volkswagen Jetta V

How much does a normal variant cost?

Volkswagen Jetta production fell exactly on the years of the “king of the millennium” – Ford Focus II: the car debuted in 2005, and in 2011 the Germans have shown the next generation. In comparison with Focus, the choice of Jetta in the secondary market is poorer by an order of magnitude. The number of cars is measured not in thousands, but in hundreds. On the other hand, the Focus in many respects “saved” today’s buyers of used Jettas by taking over the burden of corporate fleets, cabs and other “working professions”. Considering its age, these cars can be met by private cab drivers, but it never occurred to anybody 15 years ago or now to buy a German purposefully for these purposes. About how it will affect the average mileage, we’ll talk a little later, but now let’s see how much you need to prepare for the purchase of the car.

Adjusted for age, the entry price threshold for the Jetta is expectedly low. Not as much as for Ford Focus, which you can find for 150k, but the car in condition “will reach traffic police without a tow truck” is realistic to buy for 250-280k. Later copies, as usual, are more expensive: they are not to be approached without 300-320k. But the maximum prices are not so indecent even on the background of Focus – 450-500 thousand. Some owners ask little over half a million only for the youngest cars. Of course, there are some special variants at the price of a cast-iron bridge with fantastic run of less than 100 thousand kilometers, but we shall not be guided by them – they are exceptions, not a rule. Therefore, having half a million, it is possible to choose from the best cars presented in the market.

For purchase of just a decent variant the smaller amount is enough. The earliest cars sell for 300-350 thousand, but the main purchase budget is slightly more – 350-400 thousand. For this money you can find a car from 2007-2009. The last year of the model’s life – 2010 – raises the price to 400-450 thousand, but taking into account the haggling, this rise can be considered insignificant. Such surprisingly uniform price picture is explained by absence of restyling – conveyor life was not so long, so for 6 years Jetta has done without serious updates. Therefore it is possible to consider the budget in 400000 as exhaustively sufficient for search of a decent copy – it is confirmed both by statistics, and the service of Autocheck.

It is not very difficult to find the newest car, which celebrated its ten-year anniversary this year. Usually, the last year of production accounts for an extremely low share of offers, but not in case of the Jetta V – here every fifth offer is like that. Of the atypical, we also note the small number of the earliest cars. But this is not a terrible loss. In principle, the search for a suitable copy promises to be quite simple, and the absence of the need to understand the restyling and look for a certain type of body will further facilitate our task. Let’s see in which regions the chances of a successful purchase will be higher.

Where to look for a car?

The Jetta, oddly enough, is not as popular in major cities. For example, in Moscow there are less than 15% of offers, and another 5% are collected in St. Petersburg. About 5-7 years ago the picture was certainly different, but now when these cars became cheaper they are gradually moving from the capitals to the regions. The Volga region is leading in terms of the volume of sold cars: 20% of variants are concentrated here. The South of the country and the Urals accumulate about 10% more. And there are not many cars in the North: if Siberia still has a dozen or two offers, the Far East expects absence of Jetta.

Speaking about the prices in different regions, here everything is almost usual. In Moscow and St. Petersburg cars on average and even cheaper than in the rest of the country, but the options for 350-400 thousand not much less than 300-350. In the South, the Volga and the Urals offered the bulk of the same 350-400 thousand cars, and in Siberia Jetta is standard more expensive: few suggestions evenly distributed between 350-400 and 400-450 thousand rubles. In general, looking for a car in the north will be difficult, but in the Volga and regions near the capital, and more options and lower prices.

In favor of buying a car in Moscow and said above factor of unpopularity in the cab. Jetta was not a station wagon, and in general in this business then were other heroes, so that meticulously sift cars from corporate parks will not have. It remained to understand what kind of mileage we would have to deal with and what “real” figures should be kept in mind while inspecting.


What kind of mileage to expect?

Of course, given the age of the model, the question in the subtitle can be answered briefly: high or very high. Indeed, even taking into account our average annual mileage, which we take as 15 thousand kilometers, and the age of at least 10 years, the odometer of the vast majority of cars should be 150 thousand or more. Practice shows that usually our calculations are sparing, and in the first 5-7 years, the mileage dynamics is ahead of our average pace, but the more the age becomes, the slower (ha-ha) the mileage grows. And the Jetta, of course, is no exception.

Of course, it’s difficult to draw the same reliable picture here as it was with the Ford Focus: the sample is too small, and the distribution by age makes the data truly representative only for certain years of manufacture. However, even such scarce data is enough to see a classic picture. The cars built in 2010 are at the first psychological threshold of 150 thousand, and exactly a half of sellers is trying to persuade the buyers that it has not been passed yet. It is not decent to wind down the odometer to 120-130 thousand on a 12-year old car, so the share of “little driving” owners drops to 20%. But by the age of 14 years old when the mileage should go over 200 thousand, almost 60% of cars again flaunt a more pleasing to the eye of buyers indicator below the estimated one. In general, it is quite usual “magic numbers”: if you see the run of about 150 thousand when examining the car, then either demand the actual proofs, or add another 50 thousand in your mind to understand the real situation. And it’s better to do both: nevertheless, for 10-15 years even 150 thousand run doesn’t promise miracles from the point of view of technical condition.

However, Jetta of those years is still on sale with marks “the most reliable”, “will run as much again” and so forth. There are doubts concerning “as long as it will last” but the reliability of certain motors and boxes is really full order here. Let’s look at what you should pay attention to when choosing a sedan of the fifth generation and how to increase chances for successful purchase.

What to pay attention to when buying

From German cars of middle age are expected a live body, and the majority of Jetta meets this criterion. Galvanizing together with a good quality of painting leaves only typical defects caused by operation. Edges of wheel arches, bottoms of doors, sills, including the bottom seam and attachment points of moldings, and the edges of wings at the joints with the bumpers – these are the places where you can see some rust. If it is present at least in three zones from above, it makes sense to look for more well-kept car, as galvanization allows not to run a body globally, doing with underpainting. The hood will surely be repainted completely, since it and a frame of windshield are traditionally chipped. One should be especially attentive with the underbody: at times the owners leave it alone with salt and reagents, which ends sadly for metal.

Suspension of Jetta, as well as a decent sedan of the C-class is completely independent: McPherson at front and multilever at back. There are no special complaints about its resource – trifles like stabilizer bars and silent blocks are not taken into account. Despite the high cost of original parts, maintenance is unlikely to become costly: the unity of the PQ35 platform means unification with other models of the concern and the widest choice of non-original components. The same applies to the brakes: there are always disc brakes in all circles, so there is no question about efficiency, and the range of spare parts is exhaustive. However, it does not mean that replacement of rotted lines and service of the stuck calipers will be cheap, so both inspection and bargaining are very appropriate here. It is also fair for steering: the rack with electric booster is not cheap for replacement. Even the restored unit will cost 30-40 thousands, which is rather expensive against the background of hydraulic laths, which sometimes you can buy or repair for 15-20. But the knocks usually appear only after 120-150 thousand, so if they are present, one should check the integrity of dust collectors and then make final conclusions.

There are quite a lot of gearboxes installed on Jetta – even mechanics can be both five-speed (with 1.6 L engines) and six-speed (with more voluminous gasoline engines and diesels). As a whole they are all good, but durability and service life of five-gears is lower, so it is necessary to check synchronizers’ work and to listen to the box on a hoist. And one more potential investment for older petrol and all diesel engines will be dual flywheel – here even for non-original it is necessary to pay 25-30 thousands.

Automatic transmissions are presented by 6-speed automatic device Aisin TF-60SN and robotized gearboxes DSG: depending on an engine it is either “dry” 7-speed DQ200 or “wet” 6-speed DQ250. We have told about Aisin automat and DSG in detail in separate materials, therefore we shall briefly summarize it here. The classical automatic machine can really be the best variant, but under condition of out of order service with “eternal” oil and without normal cooling. Changing the oil every 50-60k raises its life by a factor of two, and an external radiator adds another 50%. But some automatic machines can still live on the remaining resources, so it is worth to be attentive while buying. DSG robots in most cases have already had at least one repair, and if it is qualitative and recent, they can be considered for purchase. Besides now it is possible to repair these boxes for reasonable money. The only question is the combination of Aisin and DSG with absolutely different engines.

The most popular engine variant on the Jetta V is the eight-valve 1.6-liter BSE/BSF with cast-iron liners in an aluminum block, simple distributed injection and cheap belt-driven timing. Given that it is the classic automatic transmission that is combined with it, it is not surprising that this powertrain ended up being the most popular. Exactly these cars now are sold as “almost eternal”, and the engine can really pass 250, and even 300 thousand before overhaul, though it still demands attention to lubrication, cooling and cleanliness of intake. It is also worth remembering that 1.6 liter is not always a simple motor: there are examples of FSI of EA111 family, where timing is chain and not so trouble-free, and in addition there is a direct injection. Another rare variant is the turbocharged 1,4-liter TSI, which is characterized by the same problems, as described above FSI, plus it is added to them and expensive to repair the supercharger system. Other petrol engines like 2 and 2,5 liters atmos are extremely rare. Almost as rare are diesel engines. But if you need exactly such variant, you should remember that the 1,9-liter diesel motor has capricious and very expensive pump-jets, so it makes sense to search the 2-liter motor with common rail. Or to yield to a general trend and just choose from petrol 1,6-liter atm.

Well now, knowing pretty much all the key terms for buying a used Volkswagen Jetta V, let’s take a look at a few of the real-life options we at Automama have encountered over the years.

What the good and bad options look like

As we know, there aren’t many of these cars on sale, so our Jetta V isn’t a frequent visitor either. However, there are still examples: one of these sedans we found ourselves on an online bulletin board in Rostov-on-Don last year. The sedan of the last, 2010 model year attracted by a good look and the mileage of less than hundred thousand kilometers. Having made an appointment, our expert went out for an inspection.

The first results were quite acceptable: we counted six repainted elements. On the one hand, it is not bad, but on the other hand, the car was already nine years old, so we should not hope for miracles. Much more important was the condition of interior and a body, that mileage could be considered real. But the check showed that it was rolled down in 2015, but not so much, that it was critical. Our expert, who is also a big fan of Volkswagen cars, examined and tested the car extremely meticulously: the combination of 1.4-liter TSI and DSG box does not tolerate any hurry. However, the Jetta passed all the tests successfully and turned out to be really alive, so we went for comprehensive diagnostics to a specialized service.

The results of the diagnostics not only encouraged but also delighted us: the recommendations were replacement of brake discs and front springs, and also elimination of the front engine cover misting. In addition, the specialists verbally noted, that a clutch is practically new. In general, we didn’t hesitate long and on the same day agreed with the client to buy the car. After the repair and complete pre-sale preparation Jetta has not been with us for more than a month and has quickly found a new owner.

Another good Jetta in our experience is related not to a successful sale, but to an unsuccessful purchase – it happens. A customer approached us for help selling his car last March, and we did an inspection right away. Compared to the previous red Jetta this one was even better: the only repainted element was rear right wing and the mileage was a fair 200 thousand kilometers. The perfect condition of a body could not block even the smallest index on the odometer. At the same time, already its actual owner was the fourth in the certificate of ownership, and in history there were three minor accidents, consequences of which were eliminated by banal polishing. In general, doubts in fast and successful sale did not occur, so we agreed to help.

The transfer of the car was delayed in practice: the client was a very busy man. Therefore first we several times postponed the meeting, and then he put up the ad for sale himself with the price tag he considered appropriate. After five months of waiting, phone calls and viewings the owner lowered the price by 15,000 rubles, but still no buyer was found. Some time later we agreed again to help with the sale – and again we didn’t agree on the sum of the deal. According to our data, the Jetta is still for sale… And the only hitch in this situation is not even the fact that the car did not reach us, but that a reasonable bargaining could have accelerated the sale of this excellent car several times over.



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