Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
Friday 25th February 2011

SOTW: Volkswagen Jetta GTI

It may just be a 'Golf with a boot' but at this price, who's complaining?



Saloon variants of hatches have never been a great success in the UK if you think about it. The Vauxhall Belmont & Nova Saloon, the Ford Focus and Megane 'classic'; all have been left standing in the showrooms like the last kid to be picked for the footy team during PE at school (like me, sniff).

Volkswagen doesn't seem to care, though, and has been punting out small saloons for ages, with the Jetta being the one most will think of first. I'm sure I remember the boot being huge on these cars, and I have a vague memory of travelling somewhere in the boot of one when I was a kid with a mate. I must stress that we weren't abducted, this was the way us young 'uns liked to travel when out in our parents' cars with our mates in the days before health and safety. I even remember dad allowing me to poke my head out the sunroof at 70mph once to 'see what it felt like to be on a motorbike'. Good times, but I digress.....


Much like anything unfashionable, the out-of-favour is usually cheaper to come by than their more glamorous counterparts (ask Riggers, have you seen his wardrobe?) and the Jetta was no different, at least on the used market, but like most fashions what was once an outcast usually makes a strong return (hope for Riggers yet) and the Jetta doesn't look too bad in old age.

Back in the 80s , the more 'thrusting' type drove around in a Golf GTI hatch (trying to stop their girlfriend's earrings from squeaking - only for them to steal the car when they later split up) while other, less brash, individuals were choosing the Jetta GTI instead (maybe they needed to carry more children?). The Jetta was powered by the same 1.8, 8-valve engine as the Golf, and that meant a rather heady 110bhp, 0-60 in just over 8 seconds and a top speed of 118 mph.


Discretion was the key here, and most wouldn't recognise the Jetta GTI over their neighbour's 1.6 GL, but perhaps that's all part of the charm? After all, it was still a true GTI underneath and with some subtle de-badging most would have been none the wiser as to its sporting prowess.

While most Jettas have been molested by 'modifiers', or those who are fans of 'Euro look', this week's Shed has managed to pass through three owners and 96,000 miles without any changes whatsoever, and is as standard as the day it left the showroom right down to the (lovely) steel wheels. The condition looks great, it has some MOT and the advert seems genuine enough. If you can live with the boxy looks, the asking price of £895 seems rudely reasonable, and if this was a Golf you would probably have to add another grand to get one in this condition.


Buy it, you know it makes sense. Just add a Mel & Kim cassette to the tape deck, roll up your suit jacket sleeves, talk loudly into a large mobile phone...and make sure you don't date Paula Hamilton.

Not a fan of the 80s? Just buy it knowing you are driving a true classic - that must surely be enough for any PHer?

 

Advert says: 1988 Volkswagen Jetta GTI For Sale. JETTA GTI 1.8 8V VERY RARE COMPLETELY STANDARD SMALL BUMPER VERSION. 96000 MILES 3 OWNERS FROM NEW, MOT TILL OCTOBER 2011 NO TAX. ELECTRIC WINDOWS FRONT AND REAR, ELECTRIC MIRRORS.THIS IS A VERY GOOD CONDITION STANDARD MODEL. RUNS AND DRIVES VERY WELL. £895

Garlick
2 3 ... 6 7
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

attym3

Original Poster:

6,899 posts

53 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
If its as good as it sounds, thats a great shed. Quite sleeperish as well.

Mark

172ff

1,742 posts

80 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Heap of st.... it will be soon.

I foresee stretched tyres, a load of rust and a smashed oil sump coming to this car in the near future.

UncleRic

911 posts

53 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
That really tickles my fancy.. and my fancy likes to be tickled.
Top shed. clap

Martin 480 Turbo

328 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Garlick,

you are the man. Admitting to having been the last kid to be picked up for footy
takes some balls. (honest)

On a different note: Have you ever driven the Jetta yourself. It is pretty lame.
110 Bhp for a car like that was not much, even back then. This example is a nice survivor
nevertheless... till now.

Martin

Edited by Martin 480 Turbo on Friday 25th February 08:19

Baked_bean

1,044 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
I had a red 1.8gl one of these for a few months last year. Completely standard other than having he big bumper kit fitted from some gti. I quite liked it, wasnt amazing to drive but was smooth and comfortable.

Yes the boot was huge, i took my whole life home from uni in that car pretty much (which means big boot or no life!).


Good shed, i happen to think they look quite cool really.

Advertisement

mrtwisty

1,556 posts

50 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Lovely stuff! I really must get the drive at the back of my house sorted soon so I can start ruining myself by buying stuff like this!
Some right minded ph'er should buy this asap to save it from the (permanently on) yellow foglight brigade.

stuckmojo

1,001 posts

73 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
nope. It doesn't do it for me. But it makes me want to have a proper hoon in a same-era Golf GTI 16v, fat bumper version

Liquid Knight

12,038 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
£800 too much really. It's no Orion Ghia. hehe

hundleydavid

190 posts

122 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Dont see many of these today, although you didn't really when they were new! My Dad was at VAG and always went for the Jetta over the Golf Gti. Think we had a black GT, then one of the first 16v's in the UK which I learnt to drive in as my first car, aged 13 at upper bruntingthorpe airfield, although I very much doubt I made it out of 2nd gear, and then just remember going down the main air strip flat out, with Dad driving obviously and dad getting the back wheel up on some of the bends.. :-) Thanks VAG!

jake15919

738 posts

50 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Not very good in it's day and it has't got any better over the last 20+ years. Don't be fooled, this is not some 80s performance icon, it's a pretty dull small saloon. Disappointment awaits.

alfa pint

3,856 posts

96 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Mate of mine had one of these (couldn't afford a golf!)

Very discrete, very quick (15 years ago!), actually still no slouch now.

leon9191

711 posts

78 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Top shed, love the steel wheels.

I remember loads of barry'ed ones running around in the late 90's so its nice to see one survived. Maybe even cooler than a Golf?

BadgerBill

269 posts

124 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
That is a proper shed, good work fella. Shouldn't need anything to get it on the road, minimum running costs, decent mpg, 'modern classic' looks, stock as a rock. Definately the sort of thing that a young or bored PH'er could have loads of fun with for very little cash.

BB

Garlick

40,597 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Martin 480 Turbo said:
Garlick,

you are the man. Admitting to having been the last kid to be picked up for footy
takes some balls. (honest)
Well, I feel it's time to speak out and unload the burden.....I never was any good at footy though hehe

rallycross

5,733 posts

122 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
I never had a Gti version of this but once had a Driver model and they do feel a bit different to drive to a Golf.

Being a 3 box saloon they dont flex as much as a hatch, and with a bit more weight at the back they handle slightly better - making this a great shed of the week.

The one Jetta to get really is the Gti engineering 16v jetta (2.0?), usually resplendant in white with nasty 80's-tastic graphics

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...


Rumblestripe

321 posts

47 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
If this were a Golf Gti of similar vintage in similar condition it would be at least twice the price (probably quite a bit more). The Jetta Gti was virtually identical in performance and the shell was more rigid than the hatchback Golf. Performance on a par - so to those saying it's "slow", it's as quick as the Golf Gti, make of that what you will.

Great shed.

Dino D

1,855 posts

106 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Not sure why all the 'lame/dull' comments. We had a couple of Jettas and Golf GTIs (1,8 8v and 2.0 16v). The Jetta was as fast in straight line and great in the bends - didn't cock the inside rear wheel but was just as planted with hint of oversteer from the back end that you didn't get in the Golf.

Just as much an icon as the Golf in my eyes and experience (although both were roundly whipped by the Opel, Toyota, Nissan counterparts at the time for power and speed but not handling)

Turtlez

10,049 posts

66 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
I had one of these in the same colour on a "D" 1986 plate though no electric windows.

Bloody great car, it took me all ,and i mean all the way round the country to different meat plants
that i worked in at the time.
One the motorways i could keep up with the BMW,AUDIs and alike no problem.
Admittedly i did have it lowered and head skimmed for that little bit extra pep,but respect where it was
due that was a good car.

rallycross

5,733 posts

122 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
I'm glad to see some other people are aware of it handling slightly better than the Golf, even though its the ugly sister.

A friend who used to race a group A Golf Gti 16v in the old BTCC always said the Jetta Gti was actually a better handling car than the Golf Gti; this didnt make any difference when it came to selling them as no one wanted them because it was a Jetta and not a Golf and everyone wanted a golf Gti!

Edited by rallycross on Friday 25th February 09:51

ninos

62 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 25th February 2011 quote quote all
Love the Jetta, I had 3 in my time. First was a big bumper model with the all powerful 1.3 engine, then moved on to a 1.8 GL which felt lightning quick compared to the first one and then finally got a GTI 8 valve model, in black. Loved all of them and the GTI was no slouch, surprised many more expensive cars at the traffic lights and handling was pretty excellent. I did have a go in the 16 valve version and although it was more powerful, it didn't have anywhere near as much torque but it was a lot smother to drive. They are increasing in value, especially if bodily sound and a few have had VR6 or 1.8T conversions which make them stupidly quick if you like the whole sleeper thing.

Top shedding

2 3 ... 6 7
Reply to Topic