2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Automatic Consumer Review - Dream Car is a Nightmare

2003 Volkswagen GTI - Consumer Review

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Dream Car is a Nightmare
By Corey on


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.

Favorite Features

Fun to drive, when it runs. Stereo is great, great visibility, handling is great, good in rain, fair in snow. Paint still looks new. Breaks are great. good low end torque for great acceleration at higher speeds. Very little road noise. Back seats drop and trunk is like a small pick up.

Suggested Improvements

Sunroof drain clogs often and floods car. Cup holder in worst place ever. Oil sludge killed the engine, yellow wax sludge drips from inside of rubber door sealer on hot days, done it 5 years (where does it keep coming from?!) Heated seats have 5 levels but it is either off or on full blast
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