2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

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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.
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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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 35
  • cty
/
  • 44
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Won't buy another car until

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

I have owned this 2003 VW Jetta, since 2006, bought w/23788 miles. It now has 196483 miles, still on its original clutch, its fifth set of tires. The first set went via burning rubber on launches for the first 20k of my ownership. If any portion of this car has a problem it would be caused by my abuse. I've only replaced the timing belt twice, and its still good as new. Interior is still as new except driver side entrance bolster. The engine has only gotten better and the transmission easier to shift. This car is miles of smiles for the dollar, and should be tops on your list. 31 mpg on long drives, 25-27.3 in town avg. Keep tire pressures all around at 4 lbs under max, for best handling!




Fun to drive, but many

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Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My Jetta got totaled a few weeks back. She was a great car in many ways, (fast, fun to drive, gas efficient) & I got 130,000 miles out of her. However, I decided not to get another Jetta. Here are a few of the reasons: -Anytime there's a repair (and there will be many) you will pay $1000, minimum. -REEKS of crayons. (inevitably the first comment anyone makes setting foot inside the car) -Strange clicking noise coming from the turn signal -Lights turn on and won't turn off again (had to have the mechanic take them apart to get them off) -The electrical outlet/cig lighter stopped working a month in & after multiple repair attempts I had to just give up on it



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Constant expensive repairs, but fun

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

Fun to drive. Too expensive to own! Breaks often, all unusual problems, always over $1K to repair. Engine design is terrible! Water pump broke at 32K miles/4yrs. 2/3 of transmission needed replaced at 100K from the plastic hydraulics reservoir bursting. Plastic parts throughout engine are designed to last <10 years. An engine fuse didn't burst when shorted causing a small engine fire. Plastic parts break when removing to get to broken parts. Metal fuel lines bolted over plastic coolant parts with no line flex make DIY very difficult. Most parts can only be obtained through dealers. Aftermarket parts cause check engine light to be constantly on, only solution is dealer parts @>2-3x cost. ETC.




I loved my car, but

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

I got a jetta turbo. the timing belt blew, then the tranny went out. i sold it cheap and bought a bug. I loved the jetta. I would buy another one, but i fell in love with the bug. make sure you check the history with any foreign car. especially make sure the timing belt was changed before you bought it and that the oil has been changed regularly. And don't let the VW dealer lie to you and steal your money.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So far so good

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I recently purchased this car as a practical everyday driver and I am loving it. It is not very powerful, but the 2.0l does well enough. The manual gearbox is wonderful and is very fun. The car handles surprisingly well. I am happy with the fuel economy (average 29.5) and so far have not had any mechanical issues. There are a few squeaks and rattles from various places in the interior, but other than that the car is very clean. It is almost at 100xxx miles and still runs like a champ. The heater is also excellent in this car, which is important as I am from Wisconsin. I have put about 3xxx miles on so far and am very happy with this car.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2003 and still kickin'

by on
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!!



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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.

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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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