2003 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Jetta Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 90 hp @ 3750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 35/44 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


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.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

You'll have to pry my

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

I bought this car "slightly used" with about 7K miles on it. I absolutely love it. I regularly get over 40 mpg and have gotten a few tanks over 50! One was 55 mpg! It's fun to drive, quick enough and looks good. My wife would have liked a little more interior room and an automatic but I plan to keep driving it a lot longer. Only significant repair has been the timing belt at 100K, as recommended. Fun to cruise along knowing I'm getting 40-50 mpg passing jacked up 4WDs getting single digits!




So far so good :)

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

I got this car not that long ago for school and its pretty fun to drive so far I've had no problems with it, the clutch is smooth and so are the gears on it. Its a really good buy i would recommend this car if it's your first time buying a car or want a smooth car that's good on gas!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

250k mile review

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

Original owner of a great commuter car. Have had no major problems mechanically. Still get 44 mpg overall with 80/20 hwy/city. Ride and drive a re still surprisingly good despite having 250,000 miles. Bought the car to be able to haul cargo and get good gas mileage after using a 1/2 ton truck. Still on original clutch, brakes, transmission, etc. Very impressed with the car overall and would not hesitate to buy again when this one dies.




Reliable and still love it

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

Purchased this car new in summer 2003 with the intention to keep it a very long time. Now has 105k miles. Stayed on top of recommended maintenance and have only had to replace a glow plug at a dealer for $130 and a sensor, possibly for water temp, for $140 at a trusted auto shop. That's it! I recommend finding a shop with a former VW tech or someone with TDI knowledge for maintenance and repairs. Mileage is still outstanding at around 50 mpg highway and 44 city.




No not buy a vw

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

I thought getting 45 city, 55 HWY would save me a lot of money. I have 2 Jettas, 2001 & 2003, and they break down all the time. To replace a radiator fan is $550. It take 2.4-2.6 hours of labor + the fan is over $200. The car feeds the exhaust back into itself, which takes maintenance. Recently, log a lot of power, would only go 60mph, had to replace a air control sensor, $180+ new, just a 4 inch pipe with a sensor in it, parts are very high. If you pull up to close to a concrete parking bumper, it will go under the car and pull your bumper facing out. The oil dip stick going into a plastic pipe, designed to break after heating/cooling, $20, and when it breaks, the plastic could go engin



Talk About The 2003 Jetta

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Discussions See all Started By

robertbk
robertbk
08-31-2014
I have a VW 2003 VR6 jetta and lately I need to turn my key 2-3 times to start the car. Then while driving during daytime hours its stalls after 30 - 40mins. With EPC light on. I also have an engine l...


ch515
ch515
05-15-2014
I bought a 2003 Jetta yesterday. When I test drove it everything seemed fine. Finalized the sale and drove it off the lot. About ten miles down the road going 60 mph, it was surging up in the 5-6000 r...


ajfranz85
ajfranz85
04-16-2014
I have a 2003 Jetta and recently had to have the starter replaced. Ever since then the transmission will not up-shift between gears until 4200 rpm, and wont down-shift until 1200 rpm. I was wonder if ...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 35
  • cty
/
  • 44
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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