1996 Jetta Trek or 1991 Nissan Stanza?

Ok… Here’s the situation. We have both of the cars listed above and are currently driving both, but need to decide between one of them and we are having a hard time figuring out which is the better car to keep. (we have another newer car as well, which will be our main vehicle, once we get it inspected.)

The Nissan is the car I drive around with the two little kids in. I love this car even though it is old and funky and has some body rust around the fenders. It’s got auto windows and is stick shift and I just love it. We replaced the manual transmission completely about a year ago (this was our only car then)

It has about 150,000 miles or more and here are it’s known problems.

slow oil leak

one tire “out of round”

torn boot jack

driver side window (auto) does not go up or down

sounds like muffler/exhuast system is getting loud lately and I can smell exhaust so might need replacement.

body rust

The Jetta is in better shape over all, aside for some cosmetic issues, ie: fading black paint, hubcaps missing, but has more miles than the Nissan (180,000!!) and needs a new manual transmission for sure, it’s almost un-drivable right now. REALLY Bad, it’s up for inspection at the end of February. It will also need new tires at least 2 possibly all 4

That’s all the Jetta needs that we know of…but we’ve had an 1994 Jetta before and it was a money pit. Horrible car (we’ve had this one for about 6 months with no major problems)so I’m nervous about the Jetta because of that.

Can anyone help me figure out which would be the better car to keep? My hubby and I are totally inexperienced with cars, and since we are lower income we just keep getting junkers and driving them as long as we can. We tend to always make the wrong choice with cars and end up frustrated and broke. We actually like both cars, but want to keep the one that will be most likely to last for the cost of whatever work needs to be done.

Thanks so much!

whoops! I’m the original poster… that should have been “torn CV boot” above.

You may be asking too much for an assessment based on the information you present. Both cars may have issues that you don’t know about and for someone to recommend one over the other is a stretch. The smell of exhaust is a serious sign–it must be fixed if you keep the Nissan. How do you know the transmission has to be replaced on the Jetta? If your plan is to sell one and use the money to fix the other, the Jetta is probably worth a lot more than the Nissan, but it does have reputation for requiring a lot of expensive repair as time goes on.

Thank you Winarth,

The transmission on the Jetta we new was going when we were given the car. It’s been confirmed by a garage. I understand that both cars are old and have lots of problems. I’m just completely at a loss to know which is the better car, and was hoping someone might have some info like “nissans are better on the whole” or somethign of the sort.

Thanks for commenting.