1990

This is the Model Guide for the model year 1990.

Please see the Color Guide for more information on colors.

For additional mechanical info, please see the Engines and Transmissions section for specific dates of installation, models, and codes used.

See the Brochure Rack for brochures for these, and many other VWs, in this model year and others. Additional technical details and photographs are available.

General:

Favhergnugen advertising campaign started.
Passive restraint with manual lap belt standard on all models.
All A2s get a close ratio 5 speed transmission, and the only automatic is the TNA (a more stout model used on more powerful engines in early A2s).
Central Electric 2 was also made standard across the model line, in January, 1990.
A new 5 year/50,000 mile power train warranty is added to the standard warranty coverage of 2 years/34,000 miles bumper to bumper (previous models came only with 2 year/unlimited mileage bumper to bumper warranty and no extended powertrain warranty). The  standard 6 year/unlimited mileage rust warranty still exists.
All models get these "big bumpers" starting in January, 1990 (see "Wolfsburg Editions" below for a description).
Automatics receive an automatic shift interlock, so that the brake pedal has to be pressed to shift gears.

Golf GL/GTI:

Changes from last year:
Golf base model dropped again.
GTI re-introduced, with standard power steering, sport suspension, fender flares, teardrop wheels, roof antenna, sport steering wheel, and, on 1990 1/2 models, a color matched spoiler with integrated 3rd brake light European round headlight grille with driving lights, roof antenna, and big bumpers. GTI 16v returns in 1990 1/2 as well, with the same upgrades, and also wider fender flares (from G60 model in Europe) to accommodate the 15 inch BBS RM wheels.
100hp RV engine standard in California, 105hp PF engine available elsewhere on GTI.
Options:
power steering
height-adjustable steering column
sunroof
cruise control
air conditioning
AM/FM stereo cassette radio
AM/FM stereo cassette radio with 6 speakers (AKTIV)
automatic transmission (Golf GL only)
California emissions (requires 100hp engine on GTI)

Golf GL/GTI Wolfsburg Edition:

Standard over Golf GL/GTI:
color-keyed molded (big) bumpers (big front spoiler, wheelhouse flares, rocker panel extensions, and slim molding with side badges on GTI)
fog lights (GTI only)
color-keyed mirror housings (GTI only)

Jetta (Canada only)/Jetta GL:

Price: $10295 (Canada)
Changes from last year:
In the United States, the Jetta lost its base model (the Diesel and 2-door were upgraded to GL trim) and lost the full wheel flares on the GL model, only to regain them upon introduction of the 1990 big bumper models. The GL also gained 14-inch "aero" steel wheels (with 12 holes), and a plastic trunk filler panel.
Power steering, height adjustable steering column, and height adjustable seats standard on all models.
Jetta base model in Canada only.

Jetta GL additions to Jetta base (Canada only):
standard rear headrests
standard central locking
standard power/heated mirrors (later in the model year)
Options (Canada):
52 horsepower diesel engine (base only)
68 horsepower turbo diesel engine
automatic transmission
power antenna
AKTIV 6 speaker audio
cruise control
heated seats
ski sack
Air Conditioning
sunroof
metallic paint
power windows
central locking
power/heated mirrors
6x14 alloy wheels

Options (USA):
52 horsepower diesel engine
sunroof
cruise control
air conditioning
automatic transmission
AM/FM stereo cassette radio with 4 speakers
AM/FM stereo cassette radio with 6 speakers (AKTIV)

Jetta Flair II (Canada only):

Includes:
special graphics and pinstriping
Silverstone alloy wheels
power/heated mirrors
wheel flares
rear spoiler in body color
sunroof
ski sack
power steering
sports steering wheel
height adjustable driver's seat
visors with mirrors (passenger illuminated)
delay-time dome light

It was available in a special color, Orly Blue Metallic (LP5Z), borrowed from the Slalom 2 years earlier.
Options:
Heated seats
central locking
power windows
cruise control
Air Conditioning

Jetta Carat:

Changes from last year:
Canadian model Jetta Carat does not change.
Standard items on the US Jetta Carat (over the GL) were:
105hp engine (100hp California)
power locks
rear headrests
delay dome light
The Carat lost the 4 wheel disc brakes (rear drums become standard), alloy wheels (14" steel wheels with hubcaps borrowed from the Passat become standard), sport suspension, cruise control, sport steering wheel, cassette holder, ski sack, MFA, sport seating, power windows and power/heated mirrors (power becoming an option package, which were not available on the GL in the US) of previous Carats. It is also now made in Mexico (all previous Carats came from Germany).
Options (USA):
sunroof
power windows and mirrors
cruise control
automatic transmission
6x14 7 spoke alloy wheels
California emissions (requires 100hp engine)

Jetta GLI 16v (GTX 16v in Canada):

Engine: 2.0l 16v 134hp engine, Motronic fuel injection
Changes from last year:
new 2.0l 16v engine
10.1" brakes standard
tuned long-life exhaust with twin outlets
central locking standard
stereo AM/FM cassette radio with 6 AKTIV speakers
BBS RA wheels, 185/55/RV15 tires
ski sack (GTX 16v only)
Sunroof (GTX 16v only)
Options:
sunroof (GLI 16v only)
ABS brakes
cruise control
A/C (GTX 16v only)
metallic paint
power windows and mirrors

Jetta GL/Carat/GLI 16v  Wolfsburg Edition:

Additions over Jetta GLI 16v:
color-keyed molded (big) bumpers with wheelhouse flares, rocker panel extensions, and slim molding (with big front spoiler, brake cooling ducts and side badges on GLI 16v)
new, distinctive looking wheel covers on Carat