2003 Volkswagen Jetta Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta 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 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 (24 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Beauty is only skin deep...

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

Bought the car used in February 2010. By November of 2010 we had spent $1,800 in repairs on the car. Problems: lunging at startup, rough idle, several heat sensors went bad, light bulbs burning out, fuel pump went out, water pump went out, bad thermostat, poor radio reception, squeaky shocks, horrible waxy/crayon odor inside, AC smelled like vinegar at times, trunk difficult to open, door handles deteriorating.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My 1st lemon

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

Well, I've been very dissappointed in my Jetta. I purchased my car 11 months ago, and the transmission broke just before the one year mark. This car has always had problems. It jerks when it shifts gears, and when driven at high speeds on the freeway the car suddenly slows then jumps back up. Annoying lights on dashboard won't go away. Also has a loud clicking noise in turn signal area. Car reeks of crayons in summer. Burns motor oil like crazy. Only good thing about this car is that its great on gas. If you buy a Jetta, its best to buy a new one.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bad jetta

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

I bought my jetta turbo brand new! 2 years later the engine goes out! 2 years after that the transmission went out! talk about a lemon! A lot of other things went bad i just don't have enough space for details. It looked beautiful but the vw cars are nothing but trouble. I was so glad to get rid of it and now I'm so happy with my Honda!




Always broken, expensive to fix

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

Granted, this car was used and had 109,000 miles when I bought it, but it has been nothing but trouble. Had to have it after my cousin got one (and I got to drive it)! Both radiator fans broke within 2 weeks, $460. Multiple cylinder misfires. Some crazy coolant system-related engine code (P2182) that never goes away, had to have the thermostat and the thermostat sensor replaced, $400+. Strut mounts and CV boot joint need to be replaced. Transmission slips going into 4th. Finally found a good VW certified mechanic, but parts are expensive! Trying to sell the thing.




Do not buy....:(

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

There are serval issues that will come along with a owning a Jetta. The car is one of the most unreliable car I have ever owned. Malfunctions-power windows, transmission, water pump, sound system, engine coil. I hope this review will help you choose your vehicle wisely. I wish that I would have done more research. Do not be fool to believe that all VW owners are truly happy. Ask the opinion of those that are near the service department of the dealer you may choose to visit. They will speak the truth and not steer you in the wrong direction, since they have first hand experience.




Fun drive - mediocre reliability

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

Bought this car for my son back in May- 2003 and I must admit that it is very fast and a blast to drive. The car handles and performs well except for a bit of turbo lag. Interior is adequate. Having been spoiled by Japanese quality, I was dissapointed with unreliability of the car. Since buying it 5 months ago, it has been in the shop 5 times - 3 little things like a broken trunk lock and twice for dead batteries. The volkswagen dealer's been very good throughout however, providing loaner cars, etc. Overall we like the car, but would suggest you consider the trips to the service dept.



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

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