Solid, Practical Car with High-end touches
I love my Jetta. I bought mine (wagon model) two years ago, and it has been great for me. It's an older vehicle, and had over 100k miles on it, so I've had a few repairs, but the reliability is the same or better than similar vehicles. Yes, parts are a little more expensive because it's a VW, but you're also getting what you pay for.
The handling--steering, braking, acceleration--is very precise, despite the age, as good as a jew Jetta, and better than anything I've driven. This is a car that doea exactly what you tell it to.
I have the basic 2.0 4cyl engine, but it still has some good pickup, even running the a/c full blast. Feels sporty, at least for someone who is used to basic cars. Excellent visibility, and high safety ratings. Very comfortable, even for long trips, and the controls are nicely laid out. VW installs good stereos, and these used Jettas often can include nice bonuses like, in my case, a sunroof.
I've owned 3 other cars and driven several others. The only other I liked as much was a rented Jetta a few years ago.