I currently have a 2005 VW jetta 2.5. It has 121,000 miles, drives fast and fun, and I absolutely love it. I am pretty good about keeping up on maintenance and I’ve never had a problem with it for the year that I’ve owned it. I’m getting ready to move back home to Lake Tahoe for the winter, though, and being a front wheel drive, it doesn’t handle all that well in the snow. This, mixed with a growing anxiety of having a Jetta with high miles, has made me think about trading it in for a Subaru Impreza. I’ve found a 2006 awd with 107,000 miles for 8,000$. I bought my Jetta for the same amount and owe about 4,000 left on it. It’s trade in value is also 4,000, so it would be a wash as far as that goes, and I’d be back into an 8,000 payment again. What should I do? Keep my Jetta and put burley studded snow tires on it, and hope that it stays running strong? Or trade it in for the awd impreza, and start payments over on a new car that potentially could go haywire too. :-/ HELP!!
With the Jetta at least you know what you have so my inclination would be to put a decent set of tires on it and keep it.
There’s also the timing belt issue and you have not stated whether or not that job has been performed on either vehicle. If not, it’s due and a bit pricy anyway.
I like both makes but do think the VW has that Fahrvergnugen thing going on…
That’s a rather expensive trade for slightly better traction. With good winter tires and a modicum of caution you should be fine in Lake Tahoe, assuming you are driving on paved roads that get plowed regularly. Plowing through really heavy snow isn’t advisable with any car, awd or not.
I’d keep the Jetta and put good snow tires on all four corners, preferably on a spare set of wheels. Repeated mounting, dismounting, and remounting the same tires every change of season makes me uncomfortable. I have no data to back me up, but I’d worry about slow leaks at the beads after a few years of this.
But I’ve never lived in Lake Tahoe either. Lots of hilly winter driving could persuade me to change my mind. If you DO decide you need the AWD, you can always trade the car at that point. Why make an irreversible decision until you know you need to?
Though I agree with keeping the car, " slightly better traction" is quite an understatement. ;))) B uying an Impreza WITH SNOW TIRES is one of the very best things you can have for a non raised sedan in snow. A Jetta with snow tires couldn’t touch it for reliable transportation in snow. There is no comparison. Financially it isn’t worth the trade I agree, but we IMHO, we can’t justify it without being absolutely accurate about the two cars . Keeping the Jetta and adding snow tires is the logical thing to do given your financial situation and I always hesitate to recommend used AWD cars this old …the Jetta with snow tires should be sufficient for your needs. AWD cars though with snow tires are untouchable by any two wheel drive car !!! Just to be accurate…any Subaru with snow tires is a beast but one you cannot afford newer.
Try snow tires on a set of new rims and see hot it works out. It it doesn’t turn out well, you can sell the Jetta with the snow tires and summer tires.