Buying a 2011 VW Jetta with 100k miles?

Consumer Reports has generally found recent Golf and Jetta models acceptably reliable, if not up with the very best Asian models. We had the use of a Jetta of that generation for a year and found it a very pleasant car. I still miss the dual zone climate control it had. The five-cylinder engine in those cars is no masterpiece, rather coarse and not terribly efficient, but it does get you down the road. The only people of our acquaintance who disliked the car were those with wider bodies, as the front seats are a bit narrow and more aggressively side-bolstered than many competitors.

Anyhow, if the price is right, it’s an OK car. Just don’t pay more than you would for a comparably equipped Japanese economy car. VW likes to pretend they are a superior German brand, but the Golf and Jetta are very mainstream. And made in Mexico, in the case of that Jetta (which is fine, BTW.) Cars I might consider instead are the Mazda3, Civic, Corolla (yawn), Subaru Impreza if you’re in a severe winter region. Given your Kia experience you probably aren’t interested in another Korean car, but recent Hyundai Elantras are quite nice and generally good value. There are no compact American cars I can recommend completely. The Ford Focus is about the best, and the most recent generation has had problems. The mid-sized Ford Fusion of a few years ago was a very fine, reliable car and generally quite a good bargain as a lot were sold.

Good luck with your hunt.