Trading in an 02 jetta for Versa OR Elantra



Hello. The transmission on my 02 Jetta is shot and I need to trade it in. I don’t think it is worth it spend $4000 to fix it. Do you?

Anyway, I’ve narrowed down my choices to either a Nissan Versa Hatchback 1.8 S or a Hyundai Elantra GLS. Both are 2008 models. The Elantra is a little bit more pricey, but is it worth the extra grand?

I have to get a 5 year loan, so I want something that will be cheap to have for 5 years in terms of maintainence and such. I also want something that won’t start looking dated and crappy after 5 years.

Please advise.


$4k sounds like too much for a transmission rebuild. I would talk to a few other shops (independent transmission shops, not AAMCO or a dealer) and get price quotes. If you can get it done for more like $2k and nothing else is needed besides regular maintenance, I’d keep the Jetta for a few more years.

If you’re asking us to help you choose between the Versa and Elantra, that’s really just a matter of personal preference. Do you need a hatchback? The Versa is a decent choice if it’s something you’re looking for. Otherwise I prefer the looks of the Elantra.

On another note, if you decide to replace the Jetta, you may want to look for a gently used car that’s a year or two old. You might be able to get a low-miles 2007 Elantra (the first year of the redesigned model) for a few thousand dollars less than a new one.


Thanks for the advice. The VW dealer shop told me it is $2000 MSRP for a new transmission and that it would be $2000 for labor. I called a few other places and they weren’t willing to give me an estimate unless I brought the car in and had the thing looked at. I don’t want to pay someone to do that since I already know what is wrong with it. I love my Jetta but I feel like it’s just too expensive to maintain and repair. I want something with a solid reliabilty rating and preferably new, so I don’t buy someone else’s problem. The warranty on the Elantra is really wooing me.


How much other work needs done to the car? Are you certain it’s the actual transmission and not some $2 sensor that’s gone out? Would you hafta get a loan to fix the transmission? Can you really justify spending $10k more than a new transmission for a new car?

On another note, if you decide to replace the Jetta, you may want to look for a gently used car that’s a year or two old. You might be able to get a low-miles 2007 Elantra (the first year of the redesigned model) for a few thousand dollars less than a new one.

Good luck on that. Since the gas “crisis”, used gas sippers are at an all time high right now. There was talk at work today how a used 3cyl. Geo Metro was worth about $1700 last year, Ricart in Columbus Ohio, just sold one, with 200k miles on it, for $3000(I think I seen it in that Free credit commercial :stuck_out_tongue: )


Add the option onto the Versa that are standard on the Elantra and see what the price is. Then you can compare comparable cars. I only saw power windows missing on the Nissan, but you need to check. You can get prices at or


Look into the price of a transmission rebuild at a transmission shop - one that specializes in transmission work and has certified technicians. You don’t need a brand new transmission. Even if you have to pay $50 for an estimate, you’ll still save about $2,000 on the transmission work and $10,000 on a new car.

By the way, the dealer is not infallible, and it’s possible your transmission woes aren’t as bad as you think. It’s worth getting a second opinion before getting rid of the car or paying that much.

bscar, yes, it’s harder to find fuel-efficient used cars, but I’m sure they’re still out there, and a used car is still cheaper than a brand new one.


I can tell you what the dealer told me. They said their was a broken gasket that caused a major leak in the transmission. They said that they would replace it and gave me a quote. Then once they opened it, they found that it was really low on fluid and that some metal shavings and a tooth from a gear. Apparently shavings are semi-normal, but the gear teeth is not. I took it in because reverse wasn’t really working and it has this weird vibration/rattling while in reverse and low gears. It also shifts terribly. I had them fix it and but the pieces back together hoping that a new filter, gasket and fluid would smooth everything else out. It actually has helped, but they said the transmission needed to be replaced.


I’m with hoffmalr on this. Get a second opinion from a transmission shop. Your Jetta is probably worth over $8000 after the transmission is fixed, and could be worth much more depending on the model. Spending $2000 or so for a rebuild seems like a much better use of your money than spending $13,000 plus interest over 5 years. Is there anything else besides the transmission that leads you to want a new car?


Well, 02 Jettas aren’t the most reliale cars in the world. I’d like to get rid of it before more stuff starts going wrong. Repairs on VWs are so expensive. Plus I still have car payments. If I didn’t have car payments I would totally keep it and fix it…I just can’t stomach paying thousands of dollars on a car that I have car payments for! Either way I am going to have payments, I would rather have something with a warranty and that is reliable. I decided on the Elantra by the way. I just love the idea of being under warranty the whole time I have car payments.


Do you owe more than you will get in a trade-in? If so, you will add the difference onto your new loan. I’d fix it and keep it until it’s paid off. If you really must sell, fix it first and sell it yourself. You will get a lot more than if you trade it in, and that will reduce your next loan. It’s more work, but worth it IMO.


That much is true. If you tell someone it has a transmission problem, then they’re gonna offer you what the car is worth minus the tranny fix, same with trading it in.


hyundai,10/100 waranty.

and reliable,would never have said that 9yrs ago.

they have come a long way.

good luck