1988 Volkswagen Jetta Overview


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Volkswagen Jetta Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 890
#2 Scott Sr.
Scott Sr.
Reputation 810
#3 Goodwrench707
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Average User Score

4.25 stars

Based on 12 reviews

Good Basic Transportation, Just Beware Of The Engines! by Nick
 — these cars are remarkably solid and safe, however they do like to break down frequently, causing high repair bills. unfortunately i can't recommend the jetta because of a repeated issue i had with c... Read More
Best Car I Ever Had! by Dana
 — This car was my absolute favorite! It was a two door so not too many around. It was an eight valve, I but a cam and exhaust on it as well as a short throw shift kit. This car was the best my husban... Read More
My Mkii Jetta by Jeff
 — I love my MKII Jetta. It is very solid runs supremely and have had no issue with her at all. She get 22 MPG City and 33 MPG Highway very reliable and awsome to drive. I love the dual valve air intake ... Read More

1988 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

Overall User Score

4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.25

Based on 12 reviews

1988 Volkswagen Jetta

Boxy, safe, but loads of fun, the 1988 Jetta offered a variety of models that varied in engine power and standard features.  The Carat was the luxury model, featuring the recently introduced 1.8-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder, 123-hp engine and 5-speed manual transmission.  Features that were options on other models, such as air conditioning, power windows and locks, and cruise control, were standard on the Carat.  The sporty GLI also used the same 123-hp engine and 14-inch wheels.  The 4-door base and GL sedan had the 8-valve 1.8-liter engine upgraded to 100 and 105-hp respectively, with a diesel option.  A 2-door coupe also carried this engine.  

Sporty and fast is how the 1988 Jetta is often described by owners.  While it is a great commuter car or city car due to its excellent handling, maneuverability, and fuel economy, its engine power and road-hugging cornering make it fun to drive on the highways or back roads as well.  Owners also think it is fearless in the snow, and one of the Jetta's strong suits is the general feeling of confidence and safety while inside.  The roomy seating for four and large trunk are also mentioned.  

While some drivers say they've never had to do any major repairs, especially on the durable engine, others are disappointed with the 1988 Jetta's maintenance problems and costly parts.  Many agree this depends on whether you have a Jetta manufactured in Germany or Mexico, with the former being preferred.  Other drawbacks include poor acceleration from a standing stop, some body roll due to its light weight, a clunky automatic transmission, and problems with peeling paint.


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Looking for a Used Jetta in your area?
CarGurus has 34,597 nationwide Jetta listings starting at $1,000.

Volkswagen Jetta Questions


Clutch Stopped Working

So, i have a 5 speed manual trans and the clutch just stopped working. I pulled the tranny and found the thrust plate had a hole in it. Replaced that and still no clutch. After reading various post...

1,262 views with 3 answers (last answer 3 years ago)

I Need To Buy 1988 Jetta Asap Any Ideas?

130 views with 3 answers (last answer 4 years ago)

Where Is The Fuse Box Located

3,786 views with 4 answers (last answer 3 years ago)

Engine Revs After Starting

After recently replacing the clutch, my 88 Jett has started to pulsate rev from 1500 to 2500 RPMs when first started up. it seems to stop after being warm for about 10 min but it has never done this...

479 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 years ago)

Y Dnt My Gear Wana Go In Revurs

5 views with 1 answer (last answer 11 months ago)