2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon

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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 21/28 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 (39 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Needed at least one review

by on
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.




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.




My all time favorite car

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Of course its looks caught my eye first. Cute, but more than cute - stylish. Some cars have a classic, timeless design like a certain Honda Civic. This generation of Jetta does too. Bought it used with 21K miles, and gradually fell in love with it. Never got great gas mileage, about 21mpg. But I liked its zippy handling. Great car for city driving (and parking). Very useful cargo area. Rear seat a bit cramped for big adults. Engine is remarkable. Once, by necessity, drove it 8 miles without oil. Replaced punctured oil pan, added oil, and kept on going. Difficult to clean the beige interior, so I sold it. Hard to find a car this small on outside, this big on inside, so fun to drive.



3 of 5 people found this review helpful

This one is a heart

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

What can I say? I've poured money into this little beast, and everything is still breaking. If its not a circuit board, its a vacuum hose or an oxygen sensor... Everything just falls apart on this car, and there seems to be no stopping the decline. I just rebuilt the transmission, replaced two axels, two boots, the A/C circuit board, the windshield washer pump, the windshield... you name it I'm replacing it. It drives great, and I loved it for a while... but this thing is high maintenance & annoying. Not worth the fun drive at all... I've already dumped an extra $6000.00 into this car, and that's what its worth now.... :(




Great commuter

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I've had this car for 4 months now and have put over 30,000 km on it driving from Calgary to Saskatoon and Calgary to Vancouver. Car is great for commuting and relatively cheap for regular maintenance. If you can do regular maintenance on a gasser - you can do it on a diesel! Just be sure to use a good diesel fuel additive/fuel filter to prolong the life of your injection pump and take it for a good run regularly to keep the turbo clean and prevent sticking. My injection pump recently went from cheap fuel filter, bad diesel and no fuel additive - $2000 bill, follow the above advice to avoid this costly repair and you'll be happy with the car!




Fun, small wagon

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

So far, so good with my '03 1.8T manual wagon. I have had other VWs and wanted a small but sporty wagon and I picked this one up certified pre-owned in September 2006 with 34k miles on it. I have had to replace wear and tear items (brakes, etc.) but I have get to have a mechanical problem with it. Sure, it has quirks (sunroof sometimes opens by itself; cupholders are useless but I don't use them anyway; sometimes te rear hatch doesn't like to open). To me, these are minor annoyances that don't impact my love of the car. I plan to run it into the ground since there aren't any fun, small wagons on the market I like (new Jetta too large). So far, so good at 82k miles.



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