2003 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

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Volkswagen Golf Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 90 hp @ 3750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 35/44 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 (49 total reviews)


Good run

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

Bought this car new after 14 great years with a Jetta. This car has more bells/whistles than the Jetta but is not as rugged, tho I have hauled more stuff in the Golf and done more city driving. But I have 105K on it and haven't had to do any major repairs except it now needs a timing belt. This car is fun to drive and comfortable as I am short, but it is difficult for passengers with long legs. The latch to allow trunk expansion over folded rear seats broke, which is inconvenient and I broke the antenna off on the excellent sound system which limits its radius - both pricey repairs but work arounds. Good maint from dealer.




Poor choice

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Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

I realize we made a bad decision buying this car without having our mechanic look at it. We bought it with 135,000 miles and drove it for a year. It chugged oil with no visible leaks. In the 12 months we replaced the key/ignition $300, both headlights $20 each, transmission $2200, wheel bearing $300, tires $1000, 1 of the alignment control bars $150, dipstick tube $45, and AC compressor $900. It failed emissions after all this and then a lady ran a red light and totalled it for us. Thank you lady. Put the thing out of its misery.




Vw golf pros and cons

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Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

I purchased a used 02 golf its safe good engine fun car to drive. I would take it over anything american car. My recommendation to anyone buying vw cars get them brand new. Repairing them once your warranty is exspensive and a pain in the [violative content deleted]. Sensors constantly have to be replaced. Ill be looking to buy a new car. While I like the 2011 jetta tdi the repair cost once the warranty expires will be through the roof because its a turbo diesel engine. Im a pass on vw you get great service from the dealer and they offer loaners if available. But you should for the service cost thats charged. Enough a Enough im getting a honda. Hope this is helpful for anyone buying a vw.




Stylish and cheap

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Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

Since I bought the car I had a great experience using a VW product. The car drives excellent, has a great steering sensation, not so much power but with the 5 speed tranny still gets a good speed. Brakes and shocks had a great feeling, and the fuel economy is great, even with the A/C on, and the equipment is fine. Changed engine due to flooding, but any other major problem



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Look elsewhere

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

I bought this VW for quality German engineering. My mistake. It had chronic (monsoon) radio/cd problems which are expensive to repair. Front door windows fell out but were covered by mfr recall. Transmission went out twice (112,000 and 128,000 miles). It cost $4500 and VW America would not help with either transmission. Even the wheel logos are poorly installed and fall out at $40 each. Cup holders completely block access to stereo while in use. Black velour seats tend to hold lots of lint and dirt. Looking forward to selling this car and buying a Japanese or American car.




Fun, but not worth the

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Vehicle: 2002 Volkswagen Golf

I had a 2002 golf for 2 years, bought it with 19K on it. The car was fun to drive and I like the interior design. I bought it in FL and took it to TX with me. When all the systems were running (AC, high beams, CD player) and you went to put down the power windows, the radio would shut off. Also, the ABS brake light would randomly come on while I was driving. Took to a local dealer in TX because it was still under warranty. The dealership manager told me I was making up the problem (so I could drive 80 miles every week to have it fixed). It was a pain in the rear. There are fun cars out there with fewer problems - never again.



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

  • 35
  • cty
/
  • 44
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs