2003 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Review: Good Overall, Some Problems

2003 Volkswagen Jetta - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

566 Total Reviews

GLS TDI Sedan (1.9L 4-cyl. Turbo Diesel 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Good Overall, Some Problems
By Dave Nadeau on


2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)


I just turned 80,000 miles on my Jetta TDI. Overall, I've been very happy. The mileage is unbeatable, and the turbo works wonders in the mountains here in Colorado. Some of the other owners' comments are well taken however. My suspension squeaks. Part of my panel lights are intermittent. The suspension is too soft, which means poor ground clearance, which means the plastic under the oil pan eventually gets beat up. The passenger side door handle requires two pulls to open. Other than those issues, the car has performed quite well, with minimal maintenance.

Best Features

I've always loved the headroom in this VW design. Switches, controls, and overall ergo has been great. Fuel economy on the TDI is superlative.

Worst Features

I don't mind the lower clearance on these cars, but the suspension should be much stiffer from the factory. I realize the downside is harsh ride complaints. Also, VW not only sells more cars this way, but also more of that $300 plastic to go under the car. OK, I see. I'll just grump about it.
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