Bought in Feb last year and can't make a yr with it.I have replaced multi things catalytic converter.2 batteries abs battled check engine light for 6 months .Now there's an electrical drain the no one can find. Fed up here.MY UPDATE-UNLOADED this crap vehicle no one ever could figure out what was draining the battery
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.
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.... :(
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.
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.