Technically yesterday was New Car Day, but I didn’t have much of an opportunity to go through the Jetta I traded my Celica circle track car for until today. And I have to say, it’s better than I thought it would be. It’s legitimately decent.

It’s a 2001 GLS with a 1.8T and a 5 speed. 166k, runs and drives (mostly) and everything on it seems to work except the parking brake and maaaaaybe the sunroof.

Advertisement

The Optima battery you see in there actually came in the Celica, but I advertised the car without a battery so I wasn’t about to give away a good Optima. The battery in the Jetta is only about a year old, but was discharged from sitting...it’s currently on my trickle charger, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Anyway, the engine runs strong and the interior is mostly good. It’ll need a GLI 3-spoke leather steering wheel and a new shift knob of some sort, but the seats are great (and heated, which is a big plus in Rhode Island) and the radio works.

Advertisement

I suspect it may have had an ECU tune, because in my brief drive last night it does NOT feel like 150hp is what’s coming out of that motor. I have no way to find that out, but it pulls really strong. It appears to be dead stock otherwise.

Maybe my least favorite thing on it is the wheels, which are ghastly. They’re shod, however, in some brand new Falkens that are the same model my dad has on his 300C and he says they’re great, so that’s cool.

What does it need? An oil change, brake pads all around, rear wheel speed sensors, a flex pipe...and I think that’s it. Oh, maybe a right rear caliper, it sounds like it may be stuck.

Advertisement

Overall, I feel good about the trade. I wanted the Celica to work out, and I REALLY wanted a VehiCROSS, but that didn’t pan out either. It’s the wrong time for me to try to have a race-only car, and that I could trade that straight up for this makes me feel a little better about that.

I can’t wait to get this thing registered so it can strand me on the highway on my way to work, because Volkswagen. I kid, my former Audi allroad is the best, most reliable car I’ve ever had and this reminds me of a baby version of that car.