2004 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful 1.8T and VR6 engines, fuel-efficient TDI power plant, fun to drive, comfortable ride, rich interior materials, loads of standard safety features, solid build quality.
  • More expensive than most small sedans and wagons, tight rear-seat legroom, weak base four-cylinder.
List Price
$3,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Jetta is no longer priced like an economy car; yet its powerful engine lineup, near ideal balance between ride and handling and premium cabin materials make it one of our top recommendations to small car buyers.

2004 Highlights

For 2004, all Jetta models get an updated look, optional telematics and a new and more powerful 1.9-liter TDI engine (GL and GLS models only). The 2.0-liter engine is now PZEV-rated, and the GLX trim is no longer available. Also note that you can no longer get the 1.8T engine in GL trim. Besides that, the GLI sedan sports new 17-inch alloy wheels and the Cold Weather Package items (heated seats and washer nozzles) as standard, while the GLS features a standard Monsoon stereo. The wagons get a revised instrument cluster late in the model year, and the sedans get new metallic trim rings around the gauges.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love this car.. BUT!
Alexander Lester,12/26/2015
GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A)
I bought my 04 Jetta gls 1.8t used with 92k miles on it. Test driving the car was AWESOME! It was fast, steering was very responsive, and the leather interior and front seats were very comfy! There is almost NO ROOM in the back seat.. good luck fitting anybody of above average height or weight back there. The day after purchase I got my first CEL... Failed ignition coil. Immediately went back to the dealership where after a little haggling they replaced it for free. Three days later, ANOTHER CEL!! ANOTHER IGNITION COIL.. After contacting the dealership again they told me the vehicle had an open recall on it's coils.. they replaced all four coils and threw in a car wash.. Now running like an absolute champ and I feel like a champ knowing the headaches are behind me.. for now! If you are interested in this car, make sure it has been properly maintained and has had all of it's recalls taken care of. If it has.. BUY IT!!
Fun to drive!
Danny Wilson,05/04/2016
GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought this car new from the VW dealership in 2004. I drove it for 120,000 miles and then gave it to my college aged son who has put another 130,000 miles on it. I loved the car and he still loves the car. The car has always been quick and it still runs just as well now with over 250k miles as it did when I drove it off the lot new. We have always used Pennzoil full synthetic oil and have changed it at about 7-9k intervals. At around 200k we changed the timing belt. This has been a really good car. I keep telling my son to put back some $$ for another car as this one is getting some miles on it. I've been telling him that for 3 years now. He doesn't want to trade it, it just is too good of a car, still.
Really Fun To Drive
MikeR,03/01/2016
GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Bought this used with about 160k miles about two years ago as a gas saver / daily driver. I was honestly looking for a used Honda Civic / Acura Integra but against my better judgment and the fact that it is almost impossible to find a used (1999-2006) Honda Civic, Integra, RSX that hasn't been abused and molested, a couple VW enthusiast friends talked me into buying an Mk4 1.8t Jetta with a 5 speed manual Trans. It wasn't without distress, I've had German cars in the past and it has never been a good experience. But, with a lot of research and reading, browsing and talking I came to this conclusion: The 2004-2005 AWD 1.8 turbo with the 5/6 speed manual Trans. and a couple of the original equipment parts changed out makes for a Very Solid Vehicle! So.. After a couple of months searching for the perfect set up on a 04-05 GLS / GLI Jetta, I bought a 2004 GLS and went to work immediately. I changed; The Timing Belt, water pump (Metal turbines), cam sensor, fuel pump and filter, Vacuum lines, Coolant Flush with the correct Coolant fill... and lots more. And now, I have a very dependable, very reliable, fast and Extremely Fun to Drive Mk4. This is one car I think I will hold onto, Its rare that you find a car like this, one that you cant wait to get into... I used to own a 98 Integra GSR, I loved that car, I ended up selling it and buying a 02 Mercedes C230 kompressor (Complete Junk) that GSR was one of those cars and I regretted selling it from day one. But not this time, I will keep and drive this Jetta till the Wheels fall off. Of course, there are those issues a lot of people write about on here, and it is absolutely true, the Arm rest is flimsy, Glove box latch is cheap, Window switches, Radio switches fall off, Head liner is cheap and will slowly fall But all of this is no more than a $20-$40 fix, nothing you cant find on ebay or amazon. It will have nothing to do with whether my car starts in the morning or if its going to drive off from the stop light. This has been an Incredible Car for me.
Nicknamed my battle tank.
Scott,12/13/2015
GLS TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5A)
I bought my '04 Jetta TDI as a commuter car and to keep the miles off my F250. Purchased it with 136,000 off Craigslist from original owner who had documentation of all routine maintenance from dealership in Milwaukee. Since purchase I'm currently at 222,000 miles. Since my purchase I've had some minor issues. Heater blower motor. Did the work myself with YouTube. Took a half hour and I believe $30. Front wheel bearing a few thousand miles ago. Awesome local mechanic did the bearing and full brake job and a pesty new thermostat for $400. Approx 500 miles ago I blew an intercooler hose connection putting the car into limp mode. I brought the car to Jim's Bug Center in Waukesha. For $250 he replaced the hose along with a few other worn hoses he located and a pulley bearing that would squeak when turning at slow speeds. The doozy was I opted for the dreaded timing belt replacement which was $750. Car drives almost as good as my wife's 2012 Jetta TDI still. Needless to say I'm a happy TDI owner.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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 2004 Volkswagen Jetta

Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

The Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta is offered in the following submodels: Jetta Sedan, Jetta Wagon, Jetta Diesel. Available styles include GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A), GL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GLS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GL 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GLI VR6 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl 6M), GLS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A), GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5A), GL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GL TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GLS TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5A), GL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GL TDI 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5A), GLS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS 1.8T 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GLI 1.8T 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M), GLS TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5A), GLS TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GL TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), and GL TDI 4dr Wagon (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta?

Price comparisons for Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta trim styles:

  • The Used 2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T is priced between $3,900 and$3,900 with odometer readings between 116826 and116826 miles.

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 2004 Volkswagen Jettas 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) 2004 Volkswagen Jetta for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2004 Jettas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,900 and mileage as low as 116826 miles. 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 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.

Can't find a used 2004 Volkswagen Jettas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,168.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,121.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Jetta for sale - 10 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,279.

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Should I lease or buy a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta?

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.

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Check out Volkswagen Jetta lease specials