2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

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Volkswagen Jetta 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 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 (36 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2003 and still kickin'

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

I purchased my 2003 1.8T Jetta 5-speed new. Aside from a new water pump at 60k miles (normal) and a faulty coil over arc this car is the best car I have ever owned. It is now 2011 and have 100k miles with original brake pads and original clutch and trans. The car runs beautifully.. It helps A LOT if you drive your car gently and DON'T "over tach" and screech your tires! When it comes to having a good or bad car, it's a 50/50 thing. Just getting lucky and picking a good one combined with how you drive it and maintain it. I highly recommend using synthetic oil. I have used Mobil 1 from day one and my motor doesn't burn a DROP of oil 100k miles later. Love your car & it will love you back!!




Overall college car

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

I've had my Jetta for almost two years. I tried to drift once but I forgot I had a FWD so I smashed a curb costing me 2,500 $!!! I love switching into step-tronic or w/e its called to give that extra kick of acceleration. Great on gas but It is a girl car so society says but w/e. Really interesting bass in the car too! never thought my Jetta would be bumping bass that good.




Do not buy vw unless

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

VW are not made like they used to be, and until they do, do not keep one for more than warranty period. I grew up with my parents owning a beetle, Vanagon, rabbit, jetta, and all lasting 10 years plus with no issues. I bought a '00 jetta, kept until 45k miles and sold it to my sister, and that's when everything started failing. I bought a '03 jetta in '02; has 65k miles (fine until 50k miles when the warranty expired). Have spent $4k in past year in repairs. The electrical system is horrible! Factory radio died, temperature control module died, radiator fan and auxiliary fan failed, catalytic converter died, coolant leak, ignition coil problem, now my car won't start. Can't wait to see why.




More trouble then it's worth

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

Since I have had the car we have had to replace the water pump, put a new turbo in, thermostat, replace the timing belt (but that is standard maintenance), put 4 new coils in, replace one brake bec it was sparking, and this is all in a year and a half and around 80,000 miles. I have been in and out of VW so much they know me by my first name. Not to mention the money we have had to shell out for. I have had my car towed three times this year to VW. When it's not in the shop, it's a blast to drive but it's not worth the money.




I hate my jetta!

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

There is not enough room to write everything I hate about this car. I have had nothing but problems with this car from day 1. I've had problems w/ the shifting, replaced a cracked tri-pod ball joint replaced the coolant system, and now I have to replace the timing belt and valves, not to mention all the other minor problems I have had too. The VW dealership is as terrible as their car. I would NEVER recommend a VW to anyone! I am now the irate owner of a very heavy/expensive paper weight. My VW Jetta is worthless. Worst car ever!




I regret buying my jetta

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

Upon initially purchasing my Jetta there were no problems. But by the winter, it started giving me problems and hasn't stopped since. The only major problem that I have encountered is that gear sticks. When I say stick I mean, will not shift into Reverse or Drive until it feels ready, which could be 5 or 65 minutes. Taken it to the dealership 7 times and they cant figure out what it but assume its the brake light switch. So they keep replacing that. I wouldn't recommend this vehicle to anyone unless you have a very good warranty.



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

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