2003 Volkswagen Jetta Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta

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Volkswagen Jetta Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 115 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta

  • The Jetta is no longer priced like an economy car; yet, its powerful engine lineup, near-ideal balance between ride and handling and premium cabin materials make it one of our top recommendations to small car buyers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful 1.8T and VR6 engines, fuel-efficient TDI powerplant, fun to drive, comfortable ride, rich interior materials, loads of standard features, solid build quality.

  • Cons

    More expensive than most small sedans and wagons, tight rear-seat legroom.

  • What's New for 2003

    Volkswagen eliminates the GLX trim level for wagons -- this means that those who prefer the VR6 engine to the 1.8T engine will have to stick with the sedan. As a consolation, GLS wagons equipped with the 1.8T are eligible for a premium package, which bundles traditional GLX content like power seats, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, wood interior trim and a trip computer. Additionally, VW has made the 1.8T available on both the GL sedan and wagon. GLs now have power windows and mirrors, cruise control and a CD player, while the GLS gets a standard sunroof and alloy wheels. All Jettas are available with stability control (ESP), heated seats and the Monsoon sound system. Other changes include a ULEV rating for the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, redesigned cupholders and backlit buttons on the standard stereo head unit.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (560 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Needed at least one review

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A)

Looked through some of the reviews and noticed not one for a diesel and everyone main complaint being MPG. Well just wanted to state that the TDI Wagon for my family has reliably gets 35-38 mpg depending how one drives on the highway and has had no major problems for 225k miles. Only things replaced was 2 alternators, original died and its replacement died while under warranty and had to clean the carbon out once so far out of the engine. everything about driving is like the gasoline that everyone has talked about.




Won't buy another car until

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I have owned this 2003 VW Jetta, since 2006, bought w/23788 miles. It now has 196483 miles, still on its original clutch, its fifth set of tires. The first set went via burning rubber on launches for the first 20k of my ownership. If any portion of this car has a problem it would be caused by my abuse. I've only replaced the timing belt twice, and its still good as new. Interior is still as new except driver side entrance bolster. The engine has only gotten better and the transmission easier to shift. This car is miles of smiles for the dollar, and should be tops on your list. 31 mpg on long drives, 25-27.3 in town avg. Keep tire pressures all around at 4 lbs under max, for best handling!




Fun to drive, but many

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My Jetta got totaled a few weeks back. She was a great car in many ways, (fast, fun to drive, gas efficient) & I got 130,000 miles out of her. However, I decided not to get another Jetta. Here are a few of the reasons: -Anytime there's a repair (and there will be many) you will pay $1000, minimum. -REEKS of crayons. (inevitably the first comment anyone makes setting foot inside the car) -Strange clicking noise coming from the turn signal -Lights turn on and won't turn off again (had to have the mechanic take them apart to get them off) -The electrical outlet/cig lighter stopped working a month in & after multiple repair attempts I had to just give up on it




146,000+ miles, lots of fun,

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)

I have owned my 2003 1.8T 5A GLS wagon since new and now have over 146k miles. It really is fun to drive and has amazing cargo hauling space. But . . . expensive to maintain and gets only about 21 mpg on premium. Make sure you have a good mechanic. Mine is one of the best, and I still have a funky/random issue - a beep, blinking dash lights, then a power drop, as if the tranny disconnected with the engine. As much as I like driving the car, I think I'm going back to Honda when old blue bites the dust.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Constant expensive repairs, but fun

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Fun to drive. Too expensive to own! Breaks often, all unusual problems, always over $1K to repair. Engine design is terrible! Water pump broke at 32K miles/4yrs. 2/3 of transmission needed replaced at 100K from the plastic hydraulics reservoir bursting. Plastic parts throughout engine are designed to last <10 years. An engine fuse didn't burst when shorted causing a small engine fire. Plastic parts break when removing to get to broken parts. Metal fuel lines bolted over plastic coolant parts with no line flex make DIY very difficult. Most parts can only be obtained through dealers. Aftermarket parts cause check engine light to be constantly on, only solution is dealer parts @>2-3x cost. ETC.




I loved my car, but

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)

I got a jetta turbo. the timing belt blew, then the tranny went out. i sold it cheap and bought a bug. I loved the jetta. I would buy another one, but i fell in love with the bug. make sure you check the history with any foreign car. especially make sure the timing belt was changed before you bought it and that the oil has been changed regularly. And don't let the VW dealer lie to you and steal your money.



Full 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Review

What's New for 2003

Volkswagen eliminates the GLX trim level for wagons -- this means that those who prefer the VR6 engine to the 1.8T engine will have to stick with the sedan. As a consolation, GLS wagons equipped with the 1.8T are eligible for a premium package, which bundles traditional GLX content like power seats, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, wood interior trim and a trip computer. Additionally, VW has made the 1.8T available on both the GL sedan and wagon. GLs now have power windows and mirrors, cruise control and a CD player, while the GLS gets a standard sunroof and alloy wheels. All Jettas are available with stability control (ESP), heated seats and the Monsoon sound system. Other changes include a ULEV rating for the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, redesigned cupholders and backlit buttons on the standard stereo head unit.

Talk About The 2003 Jetta

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs