2003 Volkswagen Golf Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features, high-quality cabin materials, utility of hatchback design, fuel-efficient TDI engine, fun to drive.
  • More expensive than its peers, mediocre performance of base four-cylinder, some controls difficult to use.
List Price Estimate
$466 - $1,040

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though pricier than the average economy car, the Golf offers far more amenities, and in TDI form, it's both frugal and fun. Put it on your test drive list.

2003 Highlights

The most affordable Volkswagen gets a few equipment changes for 2003. Probably the biggest of these is the availability of stability control (VW's ESP) on all trim levels. In other news, base GL models now include a CD player, cruise control and power windows and mirrors. GLS models now come with a sunroof and alloy wheels, while seat heaters and the premium Monsoon sound system will be optional across the line. Finally, VW has increased the padding on the side curtain airbag system; the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder now meets ULEV standards; and the standard stereo head unit will get backlighting for the buttons.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Volkswagen Golf.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Buyer's Beware
Remorseful Buyer,07/20/2010
I bought this car brand new in 2002. At first, everything was great. Good gas mileage. Sporty little car. Great for zipping around town and did well on road trips. However, it started having all sorts of problems after about 18-24 months, beginning with the "small" and annoying (head lights constantly burning out, display lights inexplicably going off and coming on, airbags needed replacement without ever having been used or the car being in an accident). Then, around 65,000 miles, the check engine light was constantly on. Then, the transmission blew and it needed a new timing belt, air sensor, alternator & more. It has cost me thousands to repair and has become a money pit.
Best car I owned
Jovan,04/11/2016
GL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this car at auction in 2009 with 130000 miles on.I paid 2500 dollars (for ,then,6 years old ) Never had any problems with it ,super reliable. Now it has 235000 miles and it still drives good. I used synthetic oil. The fuel pump had to be replaced last year. Other than that only regular maintenance expenses (tires, brakes etc) still has the original clutch .Amazing
Love that Turbodiesel!
newflyer22,10/02/2002
Okay, I'll be truthful. I've only had the car a few days so I will change the ratings accordingly, but I got it for $300 over invoice and I thought that was a great deal on a car that gets 50mpg on the highway, has a solid interior feeling like a more expensive car, even if a few things need attention, a solid, sporty ride, and the power of the turbodiesel. It amazes me every time I get behind the wheel. I can go up steep mountain grades in 5th gear and it still wants to go faster.
Great Utilitarian Vehicle
flyingpatricio,04/27/2011
I've had my 2003 Golf GLS for 3 years now. I bought it used with 10,200 miles on it. I've put 65,000 miles on it. I like how competent it feels no matter the conditions. It's heavy enough to feel safe on the freeway and light enough to get great mileage. I'm a paint contractor and I haul all my gear in it daily. It holds my Little Giant ladder with just the passenger front seat put down. I've even put 2'x8' wood planks in it and was able to shut the hatch. I call it my "clown car". When we go camping it holds all of our gear with ease...camp kitchen, coolers, coleman stove, sterilite tub, etc. My wife's 2010 Honda Insight can hold about half as much...really! In short...I love this car!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2003 Volkswagen Golf features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2003 Volkswagen Golf

Used 2003 Volkswagen Golf Overview

The Used 2003 Volkswagen Golf is offered in the following submodels: Golf Hatchback, Golf Diesel. Available styles include GL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GLS TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GL TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GL TDI 4dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), and GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Volkswagen Golf?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 Volkswagen Golfs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2003 Volkswagen Golf for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Volkswagen Golf.

Can't find a used 2003 Volkswagen Golfs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Golf for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $19,533.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $7,359.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Golf for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $14,147.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $17,427.

Should I lease or buy a 2003 Volkswagen Golf?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Golf lease specials