Used 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Volkswagen Jetta - Consumer Reviews

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Constant expensive repairs, but fun to drive when working.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rocketknight
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Fun to drive. Comfortable interior. Fast but not overly fast, yet feels fast when driving. Tight turn radius. I just wish the reliability wasn't so horrible. Even with the pros, it was the most costly and worst car I have ever owned. I should have gotten rid of it years ago, and wish I never bought it to begin with. And it doesn't retain its value at all, for obvious reasons. The car was practically a waste of money!!!


Worst Features

Replace plastic engine parts with metal or high quality heavy duty rubber. Add sufficient flexibility to all lines to allow for 2 inches or so of movement for repairs. Do not bolt metal brackets for fuel lines over plastic coolant system components when connecting to the engine block. Add extra space in the engine compartment to allow space for tools for repairs. Properly train your engineers to be mindful of accessibility for repairs! Those who designed this engine have obviously never performed a car repair themselves! Labor costs are always very high - takes extra hours. VW should stop ripping everyone off on the part costs (ex. over $150 for a $7 plastic air hose only sold at dealers).


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I loved my car, but it was unreliable.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vdub4lyfe
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Cute car, fast, and fun to drive.


Worst Features

Better reliability. Timing chains. and put a transmission dipstick in, so i can check my transmission fluid.


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My All Time Favorite Car - 03 Jetta wagon
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By zener
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Exterior dimensions, great visibility, styling.


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So far so good
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vwandsaabfan
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Very comfortable driving position, handling-ride balance, fuel economy


Worst Features

Base motor needs more power, cupholder is counter intuitive and blocks the radio when in use, a few rattles from various parts of the dash.


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2003 and STILL kickin'
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By oldvolkshome
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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!!


Best Features

I love the timeless appearance of the Jetta (MK4).. Far superior to it's predecessor or successor! For a compact car, the MK4 Jetta is a remarkably quiet and smooth ride. The car "tracks" clean and straight. Excellent fuel economy (30mpg if you're easy on the tach (and the turbo)). Overall, it's like butter...


Worst Features

Transmission is a bit noisy when shifting gears.


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