1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6

Purists decried the arrival of the “grown up” A3 chassis Golf and Vento, sold as the Jetta in North America. It was expensive, it was heavy (relative to the A1 and A2 chassis, anyway) and the performance was dulled – that was, until the introduction of the GLX model that replaced the earlier GLI models. Now sporting the VR6 that had debuted in the Corrado and Passat a few years earlier, the GLX was all around a screamer. It might have been heavier than the GLI it replaced, but it was quicker to 60, quieter on the highway, more comfortable and better in crashes (if things went south), and returned close to the same fuel economy as the thirsty, buzzy and boxy 16V had. The Volkswagen Jetta III, as it was known in the US, was introduced at a time when US sales were at their lowest and it appeared as if VW was considering pulling out of the US market, but this generation Jetta became the best-selling Volkswagen by the time the production run ceased in 1999. It was insanely popular and seemed to be the defacto college car of choice for both men and women. Because of that, many of these Jettas fell into disrepair or were totaled, so it’s rare to find a lower mile and clean GLX these days:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 on eBay


Year: 1998
Model: Jetta GLX VR6
VIN: 3VWTD81H4WM199044
Engine: 2.8 liter narrow-angle VR6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 89,470 mi
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Price: Reserve Auction

Gently loved and thoroughly maintained by 1 respectful owner during its life. Garage kept since day 1. Yakima Rack & Rubber Mats included. Panasonic 6 CD changer in trunk. Bose Cassette tape in-dash and Bose speakers thru out. No accidents. Silver paint has a beautiful patina. Black Leather in near perfect condition. All functions of car working properly. AC will need a new compressor in near future (recent diagnosis).

The ‘3VW’ VIN indicates this was a Mexican-built Jetta GLX VR6, which doesn’t sound quite as appealing as the German-built models at first – but in all honesty, the Puebla plant had it pretty well sorted by ’98 and these overall had better build quality than the Westmoreland cars had. This one even avoids some of the Mk.III idiosyncrasies here, with the rub strips still in place. The GLX model generally came loaded; this meant fog lights, a rear spoiler, smoked tail lenses, 15″ BBS-design ‘Bugatti’ wheels for this model, anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, heated power mirrors, an upgraded radio, multi-function trip computer, white-faced gauges, traction control, power sunroof, and power windows were all standard. So, too, were sport seats. In fact, the only real options were to upgrade to a 6-disc CD changer, heated and leather seats, an automatic transmission, and heated windshield sprayers. Aimed at an upscale crowd, this GLX was loaded.

The Reflex Silver Metallic paint still looks great, mileage is lower, and the overall condition belies its city living. The single-owner history is very unusual, too. What does that all mean? Well, not much – these cars still have a pretty low value and the automatic will keep most fans away. But if you want an unusual commuter that is fun to drive and has a great exhaust note, this one should remain affordable.

-Carter

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3 Comments

  1. I believe some of these VR6 engines in the 1990s came with “DOHC” stamped on the engine cover….which was true/false depending on how you defined DOHC. It was a 12v engine, with dual cams on a single head, but not 24v. I think they dropped that ridiculous marketing stunt by the late 1990s.

  2. You are correct, Christian! The early examples do say VR6-DOHC.

  3. Man, how dumb was that??? That is what happens when you let the marketing guys into the engineering room. DOHC….what a joke.

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