2003 Volkswagen Jetta User Reviews

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 109 reviews

  • Performance:4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars 4.1 / 5
  • Appearance:4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5
  • Overall: 4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 46 reviews
"power" 46 reviews
"fuel economy" 42 reviews
"handling" 30 reviews
"speed" 17 reviews
CONS
"expensive car" 13 reviews
"power" 12 reviews
"high maintenance" 9 reviews
"seat" 8 reviews
"fuel economy" 7 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 109 2003 Volkswagen Jetta reviews.

Jeremie writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

comfort, performance, standard and optional equipment

Cons

maintenance cost but very reliable

145

Good Bang For The Buck! — Good bang for the buck, that is what comes in my mind when I think about my car. Heated leather seats, 17inch alloy wheels, four-wheels disc brakes, four-wheels ABS, traction control, power sunroof, excellent sound system and an engine that comes with 100hp/liter (180hp for 1.8L). Add to that the sound and the easy upgrading that comes with a turbo engine and you get an idea of why I like my car so damn much. European tuned suspension that can manage to eat the curves while keeping the ride comfortable when it needs to be. Excellent visibility all-around. Strong braking that won't get the nose of the car dive onto the road. That's everything you need on a ride, while leaving some money into your pockets.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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Logan writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Great bang-for-your-buck.

Cons

FWD.

125

Valuable. Great Daily-driver. — Pros: Fit/finish, economy, reliability, great transmission (5- speed), huge trunk-space, stock Monsoon sound-system. Cons: FWD, low on power. Cheap to own/maintain. Changing the oil is a breeze. Runs like a top, never had a breakdown. Pretty fun to drive, has excellent brakes and average acceleration for a car of this caliber. I'd recommend it.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.

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Matt writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Great 1.8T engine, good gas mileage, fun to drive

Cons

Expensive replacement part costs

235

If You Can Find A Good, Clean Used One...buy It. — I loved this car and miss it dearly. Build quality was very good...the doors were very solid and had a tight fit, the dash was made of very high quality materials and overall fit and finish were good. Gas mileage and power from the 1.8T engine were great...I used to average around 30mpg. There was a bit of turbo lag, but once that passed, the car scooted along nicely. The Wolfsburg package added wheels by BBS and a real spoiler, it was a pretty nice looking car, especially in red. One of the only negative things was the cost of replacement parts. I didn't have to do much, but when I did, it was expensive. I think that's typical for VW's. Some VW's have a reputation for poor reliability, but I never had any trouble with mine at all. The car handled very well, pretty flat cornering and the brakes were very good. I'd definitely recommend this car. I'm glad to see that VW made the Wolfsburg available again with the turbo engine...I would have liked to speak with whoever decided to put the 2.5 5cyl in the supposedly special "Wolfsburg Edition."

Primary Use: Family transportation

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Lance writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Acceleration, high speed stability, handling, braking power, interior features, build quality, gas mileage, reliabilty

Cons

Price, Premium gas only, scheduled maintenance cost

145

Entry Level German Performance — I miss this car so much. Ok so first of all go 03 or higher on the Mark IV body, this is the first year of this generation to have no recalls and only like 2 tsbs! First on the acceleration. The 24v VR6 engine is genius. it feels like much more than just 201hp!! Even with the auto and fairly sticky yokohomas the tires screached if I put my foot down at a light. Gas milage is great, handling is great for a car like this and the interior features on the GLX are very nice: Rain sensing wipers, digital climate control, memory leather heated seats and OMG the monsoon sound system is very loud/bassy. This car retailed for a little over $30k when new and holds it value almost too well. Mine retailed for 14k at 100k miles when i sold it! (I only got trade in value obviously). I drove the hell out of this little thing but with good maintenance and the wonders of amsoil it still purred like a kitten at 100k miles. Even the auto tranny with the original fluid in it shifted like new. If your buying a mark IV you have to get the VR6 engine and remember, 03 and up!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Joel writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

+ good stock engine
+ decent stock suspension
+ practical (storage space and transport capacity are both good)
+ incredible aftermarket support, if you're into that sort of thing.
+ wolfsburg edition comes with BBS alloy wheels =3
+ optional monsoon stereo is excellent for a stock system
+ very reliable
+ great fuel economy, if you're mindful of not using full boost all the time

Cons

- who decided it was a good idea to make a water pump with a plastic impeller?
- small stock intercooler
- lots of understeer when you get past about 7/10
- vw plastic shenanigans
- not great fuel economy, if you use full boost all the time
- some rattling as the years pass
- somewhat challenging to work on. oil filter isn't very easily accessible.
- people tell you that you've got a chick car

85

Great First Car, Good Performance For The Price — I got this in my Junior year of highschool... it was my first car. 2003 wolfsburg, 1.8L turbo, 5speed manual, and the mildly sport-tuned wolfsburg suspension. I loved this thing. great engine - super small displacement + turbo takes a while to get used to, but its a lot of fun when you figure it out. just watch out for a little torque steer. also, mods for markIV jettas, especially 1.8T's are rather cheap (though i never got the chance to install anything besides e-code headlights). APR makes an ECU mod for around $500-600 that kicks the power from about 180hp to 210-ish (crank, i think), but more importantly, boosts torque from 163ft-lb to ~245ft-lb... with no other modifications. the engine has a *LOT* of potential. just keep in mind, though, the stock intercooler is pretty small (side mount, about 6 by 15 or so inches), so if you're pushing really hard for an extended period, you WILL heatsoak the engine, and you can *definately* feel the power drop - boost takes longer to kick in and doesnt peak as high as when the engine is cooler. of course, as with any turbo car, the engine is a lot more perky in cold weather - cooler and denser incoming air. for what it is (economical sedan with slight sporty inclinations), it's great. it will seat 4 moderately comfortably, as long as everyone isnt a giant. good power, pretty good handling (though it understeers a lot at the limit... compensate with a little left-foot braking), great storage space (i basically lived out of my car in highschool =P), and the ability to pull on any stupid civic ricer are all definite plusses in my book. it's a little hard to work on though. it's a small car, and as such has a very tightly-packed engine bay. the oil filter is in an irritating location, and requires removal of the front underbody airdam (if you want to avoid getting oil all over it). i had the optional monsoon stereo too, which was awesome for a stock system... i thought it sounded better than the speakers in my dad's G35, which cost 3 times as much. technical failings i observed: -water pump: for some reason, VW a.g. decided it would be a good idea to manufacture the impellers on the water pump out of plastic. this last summer (2007), i noticed the temperature spiked into the red zone, even when i was driving very sedately (city or highway speeds). it was covered under warranty, but it was a pain in the ass to have to keep myself from using much of the boost. -radiator fan: the larger of the two mounted behind the radiator failed around the same time as the water pump. taken care of on the same trip. -transmission: i noticed this problem gradually getting worse over the time i drove this regularly... 3rd gear is a little finicky. it feels like the synchros are chewing on something when you shift quickly... which i tend to do all the time (helps keep the boost up). the vw service guys 'cant replicate the issue'. whatever... i'm gonna recommend to my dad to swap in a vr6 gli 6speed tranny when this one goes. interior finish: not technical per se, but something i've noticed in a lot of vw's more than a few years old. you'll start hearing little rattles and stuff.. and the nice matte finish plastic they use on a lot of stuff (particularly the inside door grab handles) starts wearing off a bit... kinda sucks, but those are the failings of age.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Jeff writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Power, it's not a Honda

Cons

small interiour, engine repair costs.

65

Jetta Gli — Preformance - Good power, smooth reving v6, good highway mileage. Handles ok, could be lowered. Build quality - typical VW, good fit & finish, minimal rattles & squeaks, good solid car. Appearance - A little bland, not distinguishable from other Jetta's. Cost of ownership - oil filter $25, 6l oil synthetic $50. Have reached 38mpg highway, around 28-30 city. Receitenly replaced coil packs and plugs at $360 Fun factor - 8/10 love the sound of the vr6 reving. Overall- Good car to own short term 2-3 yrs. Small interiour, easy to out grow.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Joseph writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Very sporty performance and look.

Cons

Be ready to spend some dough on some performance parts and body kits. Also rims.

65

V-dub Jetta 1.8t — For a 1.8L its pretty fast. Oh did i mention its turbo charged. This car has a fast acceleration and superb brake the ASR (trackation control) aint too bad either. Interior of the car is very sporty. Leather seats and heated too. Only downer is no power seats. Mainting this car can be costly at times but well worth it. Overall its a fun car to drive and the highlite of my day.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Joe writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Fun to drive, relatively fast, agile, comfortable, looks great, and i have one.

Cons

Expensive to own, Impending electrical issues

75

2003 Vw Jetta Gli Vr6 — Best car i ever owned!!! Fantastic performance, great power from its 2.8l VR6 approx 200bhp, love the shifting of the 6 speed manual transmission. Great accelleration and breaking for being a sport sedan under 3 liters, wonderfully balanced turns and handles very well. Easy to modify mechanically and asthetically all parts are readily available through the shops and online. Putting the magnaflo exhaust on the VR6 is easily one of the best descisions i have ever made. Hard to modify electrically though and a bitch to put a remote starter in, i wouldnt recommend a remote start for any VW thats for sure. I love the look, business and power at the same time. looks especially well when you add the 2004 GLI factory body kit. The interior is stylish too, all leather with heated seats and a beautifully moulded dashboard. All the buttons are the right size and shape to fit in with the rest of the car's style. The build quality is fantastic, rattling is almost not an issue there are some minor rattles that can be heard driving on Edmnontons, smooth as a bed of nails, roads. This car's factory sound deadening is extreemly meticulous. Since owning it i have needed minor repairs, but i know that these cars in general suffer from various electrical related issues when they get older. Its not a cheep car to fill up though only taking premium gasoline with 91 octane minimum. Repairs are more expensive because the parts are built propperly. (not in the USA or China) Thats why finding a good mechanic with a fair price is extreemly important! Autobahn Performance in Edmonton is the place i go to. The car is a joy to drive a absolutely love taking it on the roads and playing arround with it. It has great response and just makes you want to drive it harder.. then you remember how much you paid for it and decide that you're driving it hard enough.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Alexandre writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

the engine, the chassis, the unicity, the esthetic customization

Cons

it is a bit hard on gas, some electrical problems, not a cheap car to buy even used, it is not always running good really depends on the car for reliability

55

A Timeless Classic Of German Engineered Masterpiece, — I got a fine one but build quality cannot be assured overall engine and performance: in its stock form the engine have impressive amounts of torque and good hp that is not necessarily in need for modifications (frankly stock with filter and performance exhaust is enough). It gives instant acceleration (better than some modded 1.8T as no lag in the response), in overall suspension, brakes and handling is solid, is as the feel of a "FWD BMW" but can be really spiced up with quality modifications parts as I said build quality can vary but some of them are fine like other can be lemons brand new in the dealer's lot appearance: it is a sleeper, it blends with all Jetta, the only catch is the 17 inches "Monte Carlo" alloy wheels or the "GLI" rear emblem, again this part is a very easy way to make this car stand out as good parts for customization are quite easy to source (not cheap but easy to source), the interior look a no match for a lot of cars in the segment, it is german and we see it fun: it is all said, the chassis is solid on spiritedx driving and the engine transmission combo (in 6sp manual) is a delight, and when we don't hear a 24v symphony the double din monsoon premium amplified stereo system is a piece of auditive heaven Cost: as this car is a performance oriented (luxury if you add heated leather) car, oil is not a thing you can mess up, synthetic is the only good option for a good running engine, it run on premium gas in 94 US octane and it drinks when pushed so be prepared to show the money, as a special vw model, part and service on the 24v GLI can be quite more expensive than a 1.8T and if the car is not in good shape it may be a possibility that it will see a garage very often, otherwise the maintenance is not too frequent and is not so expensive if the car run well

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Alexandre writes:
2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

1.8T, handling, front seats

Cons

back seat, VW reliability repututaion...

45

Classic With A Bit Performance Under The Hood And The Vw Logo On The Front — The Jetta Wolfsburg edition has the 1.8T motor 180hp a sport interior, modified suspension, dual tip muffler and 16 in. BBS mag. The interior is great! Seat are comfortable and firm (heated also!!) with good lateral support. The three spokes stearing whee is adjustable in both direction and l the general feeling is feels like quality. Motor: I like when you press a bit more on the gas and you hear the turbo. The direction and suspension are tipically german so you always feel safe when cornering.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 109 2003 Volkswagen Jetta reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

I'm Trading To A Diesel Beetle Ragtop So I'm Sad To See It Go! By Michael

So your car takes premium and gets 35 mpg? Diesel costs the same or less than premium and this car gets twice the mileage, meaning you use 50-60% of the fuel costs. I'm a long distance commuter, a... Read More

Decent By dinocchio

Bought a used car from a dealer with $15000. It's a decent car. The suspension sucks. The look is great. Anything else is normal. The trunk is very spacious. All in all, it's a very decent car with t... Read More

Read all 6 2012 Volkswagen Jetta reviews

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Great Car For Most People By tdub_birytx

2011 Jetta does lots of things well. Good on fuel economy, looks great, handles better and has a surprisingly spacious interior. I am 6'2 and am comfortable driving the car. The trunk is also a lot bi... Read More

Awesome...love The New Design By Leonizmo

Great car, my wife love it. We take it out for road trip all the time. Great on gas mileage, the awesome thing is you only have to do maintenance once in 10k miles. Only the coat of it lol Read More

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2010 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Great Economy Car By Jason

I drove this car for 5 years before I bought my challenger. I didn't realize how much you could actually spend on gas before I bought my challenger. I only went to the gas station once every 4-6 weeks... Read More

Loved It! By timster2833

This is a really great car that looks great and is very fun to drive. The car handles like a dream and gets pretty good gas mileage. The heated seats are a plus to! Very reliable and I'd keep mine ... Read More

Read all 28 2010 Volkswagen Jetta reviews

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