2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

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Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Volkswagen GTI

  • Need a sport coupe for the real world? This is it.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Fun to drive, reasonably priced, lots of standard goodies, premium cabin materials, utility of hatchback design, available six-speed manual.

  • Cons

    Not really suited for at-the-limit driving, dated styling.

  • What's New for 2003

    VW's stability control system (ESP), which includes BrakeAssist, is now optional on the 1.8T model and standard on the VR6. A leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, shift knob and hand brake are standard on both. Minor changes include increased padding for the head curtain airbags, backlighting for the buttons on the standard-issue stereo head unit, pinch protection for the sunroof's tilt function and upgraded wipers. Silverstone Gray replaces Matchstick Red on the exterior color list. Finally, it turns out that last year's special-edition 337 model was indeed special -- it's history for 2003.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (173 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2003 vw gti 1.8t manual

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

i have this car since 05 and now has 175k never had any issues if u take good care will take good care of you. this is very good quality vehicle best one so far i owned and i had few BMW's Mercedes but nothing compares to this baby.parts are same price as for any other vehicle if not cheaper now if u do some basic stuff your self will save you money.




What a blast

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Very fun car to own! Great interior and exterior design with all the 20th ae bits. Seats are comfy, but can get hard on long trips, the turbo is fun, but does lag at times. Has some aftermarket goodies (chip, turbo-back exhaust, bov) which help it a bit. The jazzy blue is great and real head Turner. Got many compliments. Reliable car, but had an issue with 2nd gear, but may have been related to driving style. Mpg was okay 20 in city and 26 or so on hwy. Overall fun car less the transmission issue.




Dream car is a nightmare

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)

Worst car ever! Owned for 5 years, bought new, baby this car. Replaced 4 batteries, 2 alternators, 3 shocks, and last week had to rebuild the engine. $24,000 cost of car, $8,000 in unusual repairs in 5 years. VW will not honor warranty on same 1.8 liter engine used in the Passat that is known for having oil sludge problem and been recalled. Engine light came on and within 2 minutes the engine locked due to oil sludge,result was a destroyed engine. $3700 to fix, VW wanted $5000. I am filing case in small claims court. I loved this car but it has been the worst car I have ever owned, the second to worst was my 1984 VW GTI. STAY AWAY FROM VW! My car has been towed six times, thank God for AAA.




Sad volkswagen

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

The car is fun to drive. It gets good gas mileage, handles very well and has good power when its not in the shop. I've had the car about two years and now with about 118k miles on it I have replaced the clutch, transmission, alternator, AC compressor, brakes, all 4 ignition coils, catalytic converter and now it looks like the cars computer has gone bad. The engine will only idle. The gas pedal is useless and frankly so is the car. No more junkwagens for me.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Just bought a '03 vw

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI VR6 2dr Hatchback (2.8L 6cyl 6M)

Well I just purchased a 2003 Volkswagen GTI VR6 and I must say so far this is the best car I've ever owned. I just bought it Tuesday of this week and have only driven it for two days but before this car I was driving a 2000 VW Golf and other than the engine and the 6th gear it's pretty much the same car as I had before(with a bunch more power!!!). I honestly plan on keeping this car for a very long time like my Golf (which met it's untimely demise when a Harley ran a red light a totaled it). Excellent car all around.




My last vw

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Far too many trips to the shop -- always something! Bought it because of a really good deal, I thought. Thought it would be economic to drive in town. Big mistake. Plus I get better mileage on the road in my Sedan Deville



Full 2003 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 2003

VW's stability control system (ESP), which includes BrakeAssist, is now optional on the 1.8T model and standard on the VR6. A leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, shift knob and hand brake are standard on both. Minor changes include increased padding for the head curtain airbags, backlighting for the buttons on the standard-issue stereo head unit, pinch protection for the sunroof's tilt function and upgraded wipers. Silverstone Gray replaces Matchstick Red on the exterior color list. Finally, it turns out that last year's special-edition 337 model was indeed special -- it's history for 2003.

Talk About The 2003 GTI

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs