2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

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



Beware of the jetta!!!

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

Well I HAD to have a Jetta, even though my husband didn't want it. I hate when he is right! CV axle, mass air flow sensor, radio,struts,2catalytic converters in 3 months. WORST OF ALL... the ABS lights from HELL!! I have had the car since May, it's now Aug. Since the ABS light has been on, the car has ZERO power. No one seems to know why. I give up. I have it up for sale, I almost feel guilty selling it to anyone. There has been several electrical problems as well. Not at all what I expected.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent, fast, reliable, looks great

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

As you can see, I have an 03 Jetta 1.8T Tiptronic 5-speed I bought with 28k...now has 91k 2.5 years later. I've owned four late model Cadillacs (two DeVilles and two Eldorados). I was so disappointed in the Northstar V8 and the very cheap interior in all of them that I decided I would buy imported only now on. Boy, am I glad I did!!! First of all, the 1.8T is strong, reliable, FAST, and easy to work on and upgrade. The interior is sleek and leather is high quality and durable. Monsoon audio is awesome, but better with a subwoofer. The exterior is very sexy and stylish. The 17" wheels are great, especially with a good set of Z- rated performance tires. Too many good things to list.....




Dont buy unless you love

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

I bought this car certified pre-owned. I have had two prior VWs. I knew parts were pricey, but since I've owned this car, it's been in for a variety of non-maintenance work! The catalytic converter was recalled and VW refused to fix it unless I paid $200 for a diagnostic test. The window brackets failed and the window fell into my door ($300) plus labor. The supposed great Monsoon stereo/CD player fails to work at times. The blinker stalk clicks at random. There is a constant squeaking when I drive over bumps that no mechanic can find the source of. My seat heat also just burned through the leather seats! And this is off the top of my head... just think long and hard before you buy!




Fun to drive when not

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

I purchased my Jetta with 5 miles and all options. After 5 years, it has about 30K miles (I don't drive much) and is often in the shop. If the engine light isn't on then it's a recall. It's had electrical issues (interior dash lights no longer works), rear pillar rattling, suspension problems and the list goes on. Once off warranty, the repairs are very costly! I'm not sure how some can rate this car with a 9 or 10 reliability. Perhaps I got the lemon. It's a fun car to drive but definitely my last VW.




Superb driving experience and safety

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

Bought Jetta GLS 1.8T, sport package, auto, fully loaded, sunroof, in Dec 05 with 29K miles. 65K now in Jul 08. The car is a pleasure to drive. Fast acceleration and breaking, comfortable (Iím 34 and 6.1), excellent performance and road handling. The car fatefully listens to your, very safe. 1.8T is nothing like regular Jettas. Mechanical problems: a year ago both front suspensions squeaking & back wheels humming noise started- mechanic thinks nothing serious. Rear passenger side door could not open, fixed under warranty. Electrical problems: passenger seat heater broke, 6 of 8 speakers died, factory radio/CD broke twice, all fixed under warranty. I still love the car & would recommend it.




Do not buy this car

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

I've had my Jetta for 5 years and haven't been able to go 5,000 miles without something failing. I love the car dearly, but it is so unreliable that I've sworn off VW/Audi for life. Struts were replaced at 30K, warning lights fire off even when there is no problem, coolant temperature gauge had to be replaced, coolant leak at 15K. Even after the recall in 02, the ignition coils failed in my car at 52K miles, 2K over the warranty. VW refused to pay for any of it, despite the fact that they sold me the car promising that the coils were not defective. Save the money and get a Civic. I wish I had, but I'm stuck with this one for a few more years.



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
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411