2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

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Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 6200 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 (48 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Just bought a '03 vw

by on
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.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2002.5 gti vr6 6 speed

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

Fun car. Bought it from VW in 2002 and have love every mile in it. I installed a set of Eibach sport srings shortly after purchase and that improved the handling and stance. Great gas mileage (if you're driving like Miss Daisy) about 29 mpg, however if you haven fun it drops quick. Lots of power and broad range of torque. Stereo sounds good for a stock setup. Interior in good, but the plastic or rubber on some of the panels are rubbing off. With some suspension mods and really good tires this car will handle better than anything out there. As far as the engine- Is good for front wheel drive. Rated at 201 hp stock. anything over 300 hp is too much for this car. TIRES SPIN




My first toy

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

The car drives like something far more expensive. The ESP is nice when you need it, but if you wanna roll, turn it off and the car is a madman! it's easy to park and the extra room always comes in handy. This car is hot!




Clean lines inside and out

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

I just bought my GTI two months ago. This is my first VW. The GTI is a pretty fun car to drive, it accelerates and shifts very smoothly. I love the design of the car's interior and the exterior. The lines are very clean and simple. It is a little too heavy and its handling is a bit iffy. It's not as fast as I thought it was going to be. It has a bad placement for the cup holder.




2003 volkswagen gti vr6 update

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

This car has given me more headaches than it is worth. My problems with it to date are as follows: 1-radio knob broke and fell off, headrests were missing upon delivery. 2-breaklights stopped working (dealer fixed) 3-front right wheel well fell out! 4-driver side seat was defective and replace 5-passenger seat was defective and replaced 6-on board computer display issues...dealer would not fix unless they saw it happening. 7-battery defective and replace at year two, 20,000 miles 8-dealer gave on computer display, replaced cluster with another yet another defective one 9-back for another gauge cluster... If you buy one, live close to the dealer, you'll be there a lot.




Glad it is sold

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

I owned my GTI VR6 for three years. I was disappointed by the gearbox (the ratios are too close - rev limits too easily), but generally happy with engine/transmission. Stock tires were harsh and gave poor handling. Electronic gadgets mostly disappointing: one touch up/down windows frequently malfunctioned, auto-dimming mirror had ghost image of headlights, climate control hard to shut off, and the rain sensing wipers used the wrong interval in certain conditions. The audio system was much better than in my previous Passat though. The interior materials were of average quality (thin leather, cheasy plastic levers and knobs on seat break easily). The car was nimble with its short wheelbase, but the suspension was harsh and sloppy in manuevers. It rattled like mad.



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