2003 Volkswagen Golf Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Golf

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Volkswagen Golf Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 115 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Volkswagen Golf

  • Though pricier than the average economy car, the Golf offers far more amenities, and in TDI form, it's both frugal and fun. Put it on your test drive list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long list of standard features, high-quality cabin materials, utility of hatchback design, fuel-efficient TDI engine, fun to drive.

  • Cons

    More expensive than its peers, mediocre performance of base four-cylinder, some controls difficult to use.

  • What's New for 2003

    The most affordable Volkswagen gets a few equipment changes for 2003. Probably the biggest of these is the availability of stability control (VW's ESP) on all trim levels. In other news, base GL models now include a CD player, cruise control and power windows and mirrors. GLS models now come with a sunroof and alloy wheels, while seat heaters and the premium Monsoon sound system will be optional across the line. Finally, VW has increased the padding on the side curtain airbag system; the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder now meets ULEV standards; and the standard stereo head unit will get backlighting for the buttons.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (89 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great utilitarian vehicle

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I've had my 2003 Golf GLS for 3 years now. I bought it used with 10,200 miles on it. I've put 65,000 miles on it. I like how competent it feels no matter the conditions. It's heavy enough to feel safe on the freeway and light enough to get great mileage. I'm a paint contractor and I haul all my gear in it daily. It holds my Little Giant ladder with just the passenger front seat put down. I've even put 2'x8' wood planks in it and was able to shut the hatch. I call it my "clown car". When we go camping it holds all of our gear with ease...camp kitchen, coolers, coleman stove, sterilite tub, etc. My wife's 2010 Honda Insight can hold about half as much...really! In short...I love this car!




Efficient and reliable

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

I've got 221,000 miles on my TDI and it's running like it's got a quarter of the mileage on it. It's a great commuter and the gas mileage is what sells the car. It is a little under powered but for 45 mpg's the sacrifice is well worth it. The looks are good but not everyones cup of tea (I've upgraded a few things here and there and it is quite the little head turner). The interior is much nicer than most American or Japanese cars but it is pretty basic for a German car. The build quality is typical German excellence, rock solid. The drive is nice, great for the highway but not the most fun car to take on twisty roads. My advice, upgrade a few things and this car will be golden forever.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Buyer's beware

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car brand new in 2002. At first, everything was great. Good gas mileage. Sporty little car. Great for zipping around town and did well on road trips. However, it started having all sorts of problems after about 18-24 months, beginning with the "small" and annoying (head lights constantly burning out, display lights inexplicably going off and coming on, airbags needed replacement without ever having been used or the car being in an accident). Then, around 65,000 miles, the check engine light was constantly on. Then, the transmission blew and it needed a new timing belt, air sensor, alternator & more. It has cost me thousands to repair and has become a money pit.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'm very glad i bought

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car new and have mostly used this for city driving. I haul a lot of stuff. I'm a paint contractor and I do work in decorative concrete. I can fit my little giant ladders inside the vehicle, and other ladders on my roof rack. It handles a lot of sacks of concrete, with no adverse effects on braking, handling. I can get 8' 2x4s in there also. I've gotten 4 sheets of 3/4 ply on the roof and still an easy drive. Its surprising just how much this can haul. This is a fantastic Urban car. The best, imho. Enough power to hit the highways in the burbs. Short enough to parallel park in tight spots. Amble space for groceries. And great mpg for city.




2003 vw golf gl 2.0l

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought a 2003 vw golf GL 2.0L with only 35,000 miles on it. I love this car. Its not a sports car by all means, but even with just the 2.0L it goes like a bat outta hell. I was iffy on buying another VW because my sister has a 02' jetta 1.8t and to my knowledge of people whom have owned that engine. They hate it, always in & out the shop (mostly transmission problems and just everything goes wrong in it). Hints why I bought a 2.0L. LOVE IT There's always been VW in my family, dad had an old beetle, and a square back.




Constant costly repairs

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

Original owner blew motor due to low oil and had a brand new 1.9l engine and turbo charger, decarbed, replaced EGR valve, water pump, timing belt and tensioner at 135,000 kms. At 160,00, replaced glow plug harness. 163,000 kms mass air low circuit replaced. I bought it with 172,000 kms on car and 35,000 on new motor. At 223,000 replaced front struts and mounts and sway bar bushing, 226,000 cleaned airtake manifold and carbon, new timing belt, water pump. 242,000 replaced fan motor for heater. At 302,000 engine light remains on and blowing some oil out somewhere and the alternator pully came off. Both are expensive repairs. Uncomfortable seats, and cheaply built - not worth the repair bills.



Full 2003 Volkswagen Golf Review

What's New for 2003

The most affordable Volkswagen gets a few equipment changes for 2003. Probably the biggest of these is the availability of stability control (VW's ESP) on all trim levels. In other news, base GL models now include a CD player, cruise control and power windows and mirrors. GLS models now come with a sunroof and alloy wheels, while seat heaters and the premium Monsoon sound system will be optional across the line. Finally, VW has increased the padding on the side curtain airbag system; the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder now meets ULEV standards; and the standard stereo head unit will get backlighting for the buttons.

Talk About The 2003 Golf

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs