Used 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews - 564 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Jetta

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564 Total Reviews

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Won't buy another car until this one EXPLODES!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bradspunky06
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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!

Updated 4/12/16 car has 231600 miles, still on original clutch, and turbo. The mileage is now between 21 and 26 depending on how I drive, but no smoke, a bit of oil burning, interior looks fantastic except bolster on driver left side of seat. Best purchase ever, love this car, handles like a dream, best tire for this car is a Cintinauro P7 Pirelli, check the tire rack for proof. You'll be like where has this tire been all my life?! Just replaced the speed sensor, it corrected a stalling issue, poor mileage, and a lack of power, all with one part. Best 527.00 I've spent, first dealer experience, and certainly won't be the last. I am still in love with my Yetta Jetta, and as I initially said, I'll drive it up til it pops. When it does, you'll be the first to know.


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Fun to drive, but MANY quirks
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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By jfromphilly
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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


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146,000+ Miles, Lots of Fun, but Headaches Too
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
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Exterior Design
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Reliability
By pjkportland
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Turbo performance, handling, blue lighting.


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Constant expensive repairs
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
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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. Worth of vehicle always less than repair costs.


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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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