2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/28 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


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2003 vw gti 1.8t manual

by on
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.




Sad volkswagen

by on
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 2 people found this review helpful

The car that could

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

this car is amazing. i love it! its so much fun to drive. the only complaint i have is the interior panels paint rubs off. but other than that there's nothing 2 complain about. i installed a cold air intake, awe turbo back exhaust, neuspeed suspension, and its GIAC chipped. this car is fast, sexy, verrrrryy fun to drive and most importantly comfortable to drive in. taking a long trip in this is more than bearable but enjoyable with a 7" dvd display head unit in. in the end i guarantee you will fall in love with this car and it will surpass all of your expectations.




Love this car

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

I bought this car new with 35 miles in 2003.I have since put about $15,000 worth of performance mods into this car. The build quality is excellent for a $25,000 car. I was lucky to be stationed in Germany for 2 years with this car. It drives like a dream on the autobahn and on the back roads. I lapped the Nurburgring in 9:18 my first lap on the track. With some work this car is easily as fast as a 911 carrera on the track.I have never had any major issues with anything breaking. Just do the scheduled maintenance and it runs like a top. After driving more $$ cars like the BMW M3, Mercedes AMG 55 and my 2000 740i sport the Golf GTi is as well built and as fun to drive as any other high $$ car.




Fun to drive

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

Bought the car with 116500 three months ago, put 2000 on it. The car is very peppy with plenty of power, even in 5th going 60 mph, its got pickup without downshifting. When buying a VW with this many miles on it, check the records. See if the timing belt was done, if the clutch was done, and any other major repair work. VW Timing belts should be done by 105, silly German engineering needs to use timing chains... more reliable. The car is rated at 7.5 s 0-60, mine is stock and its around 5.5-6 s. Stock turbo is good quality, but can easily be bigger. The back of the engine compartment(where turbo is) has plenty of room for upgrade.




5 years and going

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

My gti is 5 years old and generally runs well and is reliable. I would buy another gti. However here is a list of my negatives or complaints, radio knobs have loosened or fallen off, radio has poor am reception antenna was replaced once already, two different sensors [computer chips] had to be replaced in one year, original tire were low quality [had an abnormal number of flats] changed tires 1 flat in four years. Cup holder bad place. Almost impossible to do your own oil change. These are the problems I have had. Most of which occurred in the last 2 and a half years. It is a great car and I love it but everyone should know what its weaknesses are.



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

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs