2004 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

2004 Volkswagen Jetta Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2004 Volkswagen Jetta against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 46 2004 Volkswagen Jetta reviews.

2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.8TReview
Adam writes:
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Easy To See Why So Many People Own A Jetta. Not Easy To Explain Why So Many Others Are Missing Out. —

Performance - The 1.8L Turbocharged engine delivers a very satisfying flood of acceleration, it pulls hard in the power band for all 6 gears. The brakes are ferocious: more than enough to stop the weight of the car and anyone or anything inside. Handling is superb thanks to a beautifully balanced weight distribution, solid suspension, and 18 inch BBS wheels with wide Z rated tires. All you have to do is think about a lane change and the car will respond quickly and smoothly. Build Quality - I bought the car with 85,000 miles and had to replace the water pump and timing belt almost immediately. Since I had done research on the car and knew this was something it would need, it was not an issue. The car now has 91,000 miles and the only rattle comes from the trim around the radio where it meets the center console. My overall impression of the build quality is: EXCELLENT. This car is in better condition than other cars with less than half the miles. I was built to last, and it IS. Appearance - One word: gorgeous. The body kit and big wheels on the Red Badge GLI model I have make the car look agressive and sporty. Volkswagen's wing spoiler on the decklid is sporty without making the car look like a rice-burner. The factory black metallic paint is stunning in direct sunlight. The inside is well-appointed in black with black cloth seats but somewhat monochromatic. Minimal use of cheap plasctic panels combined with brushed aluminum and fabric trim give the inside a quality feel. The best part of the interior is the two factory-installed RECARO racing bucket seats up front. These seats are the best passenger car seats available for lateral support and are infinitely adjustable with lower back lumbar support Cost of Ownership - Insurance is cheap since it's a small 4-door sedan. It only added 3 dollars for six months to my policy coming from the Saturn ION sedan I had there previously. If driven conservatively, the car will average 30-32 mpg highway and 25-27 mpg city. Premium fuel is required due to the turbocharger, but conservative driving will more than offset the increased price for premium fuel. Maintenance is about the same as what you'd pay for any American or Japanese compact sedan. I know, I've owned them all. Fun Factor - I could go on forever in this section but I'll try to summarize. This car blew my mind on the test drive. The balance between sporty driving/handling and ride and noise comfort is better than any other car I have ever driven, or ridden in for that matter. The 6 speed manual shifts smoothly and deliberately, and the clutch is very forgiving. Traction is superb in the dry and wet, and the top speed is eye-watering yet surprisingly comfortable. What else can be expected from German engineering? Autobahn tested, Autobahn approved.

Primary Use: Family transportation

Pros: This car has a combination of acceleration, sporty handling, ride comfort, quality feel, excellent gas mileage and fun factor that is unmatched by ANY other compact sedan on the market - period.

Cons: It's a 2004 model so it doesn't have the MP3 player aux jack.  It's very low to the ground with makes steep driveways and speed bumps a challenge.  The warning bong for seatbelts not fastened, doors open and headlights on with doors open will drive you insane.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDiReview
RE writes:
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A Good Option For A Socially Conscious Driver Whose Bank Account Is A Little Bloated. —

My friend Amy recently lent me her 2004 biodiesel-powered Jetta for the afternoon. This was the first diesel vehicle I had ever driven, but I had an idea of what to expect—lots of low end torque, a narrow power band, and a loud rumbling engine. I was pleasantly surprised. Volkswagen has done a good job of tuning the engine to keep it more user-friendly for drivers used to gasoline engines. The small turbocharger helps spread out the power band without introducing any lag, and the engine is reasonably quiet and consistent in volume throughout the rev range. I thoroughly enjoyed driving this car. The steering is sharp and the body stays completely level in sharp turns, likely due to the low center of gravity and tight suspension. The engine’s overall power (100 hp, 177 lb-ft of torque) isn’t overwhelming, but the 5-speed manual transmission and wide power band make it easy to accelerate quickly when needed. Exterior styling is one of the Jetta’s low points. The design is an evolution of the “folded paper” look of the original 1979 model. Volkswagen seems to think that slightly rounding the creases is an acceptable way to modernize the Jetta. Unfortunately, it still just looks like a boring metal box. The interior is a stark contrast to the exterior. Soft black plastic with silver accents covers most surfaces. The smooth curves of the dashboard and center console have convinced me that this car was actually designed in the 21st century. It only gets better when the headlights are switched on, as everything is bathed in a mellow orange glow. The best part of owning a diesel vehicle is the fuel economy. You really can’t go wrong with the Jetta’s EPA ratings of 31/40 mpg, which put it on a par with much smaller and weaker gasoline-powered cars. After 3 hours of city driving, the fuel gauge needle hadn’t moved a millimeter. For Amy, the ability to run the Jetta on biodiesel is the major selling point of the car. She doesn’t like to support middle-eastern countries that harbor terrorists by buying their exported oil. “I don’t want to give my money to the terrorists”, she says. That may be the best reason to buy a diesel car today. Independence from foreign oil and zero emissions make it a great choice for a socially conscious driver. I think the Jetta can also appeal to those who just want a reliable car that will save them money at the pump, but the purchase price could be a problem. In the US, Volkswagen has always sold the Jetta TDI at a much higher price point than the gasoline model, and used examples have held their value well due to the high quality. Perhaps once diesels begin to catch on in this country prices will become more reasonable.

Primary Use: Utility (towing boats, transporting cargo, etc.)

Pros: Well-tuned engine makes the transition from gasoline easier
Great handling
Fuel economy puts subcompacts to shame
Modern interior

Cons: Bland styling
Expensive

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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.8TReview
Jason writes:
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The Car Is Only As Good As The Driver Wants It To Be. — For being a stock car, it has some potential. The acceleration is decent, but because of the turbo it obviously has it's ups and downs. Really there is no problems mechanically. Suspension is tight, as it should be. Interior and exterior is both good for style, but I will have to say it is not made for truly carrying 4 people. usually just two. You can fit 4 but it's not a very comfortable ride for them. Cost of ownership is all dependent on the driver and how much he is willing to spend. Cost of gas is higher for me because I only use premium or equivalent to 91+ Octane. Maintenance is normal probably a little more for me because I clean(wash, and vacuum pretty much every week, and wax once a month) it more than the normal driver. Overall it's a pretty fun car to drive.

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

Pros: It's a fun little car that is good on the eyes and can hang with it's fair share of other cars for having a small engine.

Cons: Turbo lag. If you aren't going to put the money into the car and complain about it, don't get the car.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8TReview
Jacob writes:
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Not Your Average Vdub. — I'm reviewing my personal Jetta, not the one you would go pick up at uncle Joe's discount auto emporium. Mine was decidedly quick for a 1.8 liter engine. Granted there was over $12,000 stuck into the car. 0-60 mph times generally fell into the 4.5 - 5.0 second range and top speed was GPS verified, but its very incriminating. Handling wasn't top notch, but it would have outmaneuvered (and did) your average riced out fart can mobile. Want my advice for tuning a Jetta to 325-375 bhp? Take it to unitronic, spend money, work late nights and many hours, finish off with cams, fully custom exhaust, and a dyno tune and you're good to go. What was done to the motor will forever be mine and Mike L. of Unitronic's secret.

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

Pros: Acceleration, radius cornering, sound (in car and exhaust).

Cons: Everything is expensive, fuel injectors will give out after cold air intake and muffler, NEEDS BIGGER BRAKES

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2004 Volkswagen JettaReview
RHM7 writes:
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Great Ergonomics, Diesel Economy Is Exellent, Car Actually Appreciated After I Bought It! — I bought this car certified used at 55K, and now have 109K on it, and LOVE the car. Same coloring and body style as my wife's Avalon, but over twice MPG, and plenty of room for the two of us. We take it on trips instead of the bigger Avalon, because we don't need the room and the car feels great. Now the Avalon is more comfortable, but the Jetta is more than sufficent for the oil consious (patriotic American at a time of war). I will buy another Jetta next time, expecially if they make a diesel HYBRID in the near future! All the efficency of the Prius without the complication or need to replace batteries. A little less prestige, but a great buy.

Owner for 2 years, 0 months

Miles Driven per Year:35,000

Pros: economy, style, sturdy, all around great car.  the best i've bought

Cons: crank seat adjustments in front a pain.  cup holders a little awkward.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDiReview
Wade writes:
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Jetta Gls Tdi — I love the fact that I can drive anywhere from 800 to 1200 km (depending on my lead foot) on a single tank of diesel. And the torque coming from this little thing is amazing! I have alot of work to do appearence and performance wise still, but it's a work in progress. This car has seen everything from class city commute driving, to gridlock, to interstates all across america and highways all across Canada, it has even seen a fair deal of offroading all across Alberta to get to rig sites. Let's put it this way: i put a skid plate on it to go some of the places that I've taken it, and it still runs like a dream!

Pros: Amazingly fun to drive!

Cons: Aftermarket products for it are quite expensive

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0TReview
Brian writes:
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Silver 04 — Listed as a 1.8T, previous owner dropped an upgraded turbo. Just found this out like 4 weeks ago. Great set of tires, best VW stock rims in the world, so not sure if I wanna hit Tire Rack for some rallys yet. Bought an 04 in 08 only had 35k on it...all leather, Bose CD/DVD stock, Tiptonic shifting, for us lazy automatic users. Will kill 85% of Ricers I line up against in public traffic. first 3 gear ratios are seperated close for good jumps. Pop on the SLS button for less slip. I don't race this around town anymore, due to carseat in back, daughter loves zoomin in it though

Primary Use: Family transportation

Pros: Fast, comfrotable, great for racers who have a family...

Cons: Weight. market and aftermarket parts.  Like all Euros it is impossible to reach ANYTHING.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.8TReview
Kimberly writes:
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2004.5 Vw Jetta Gli 1.8t — 20v Turbo, 6 speed manual, Recaro seats, Audi TT brakes w/ red calipers, 18" BBS wheels, factory body kit, lowered sport suspension, brushed aluminum interior accents, perforated leather steering wheel/shift knob, black headliner.....it's perfection. Stock has 180hp/173ft lbs torque, APR software brought it to 215hp/247ft lbs torque on 93 octane. Stock MPG was about 30-31 highway, with APR software I can now get up to 33 highway. A true sport sedan with great gas mileage.

Pros: Exclusive extras, exterior design that can't be beat, insane brakes, no turbo lag

Cons: Could have used a little more power stock.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 1.8TReview
Nate writes:
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It's An Aquired Taste. — This car is purely for speed only. I have an exceptional amount of mods on this car, and once it passes e-check I will run it down the track as promised. So I hope it pulls a good time. Since 2006 I have only replaced the water pump and done oil changes and tires...very reliable. I've had the car up to 155mph with more to go. Haven't ran it on the dyno since the fmic and 3" exhaust, but should be 330hp out of a 1.8 liter engine.

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

Pros: I like everything about this car.

Cons: I hate limp mode.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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2004 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0lReview
Richard writes:
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Loveit. — The VW Jetta is just a solid piece of everyday ordinary driving pleasure. Not much in the way of mechanical difficulties in 6+ years of driving. This car still sounds tight after almost 75,000 miles of driving. One brake job, original exhaust and battery still in car. interior still looks new. Ready for a second set of tires. The mileage is good as well; 30 mpg daily driving 33+mpg on highways, can't beat it.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Pros: Reliable, well built, economical to drive.

Cons: none that I know of.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 46 2004 Volkswagen Jetta reviews.

Reviews From Other Years

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Review By automission

This car is an excellent value in every way. I came across it accidentally as a rental. I was really impressed with the comfort, the handling, the overall look and loved the heated seats. But I was bl... Read More

2017 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Review By MelisDailey

This car is the nicest car I have every owned. It is such a smooth ride and so comfort to drive. Did I mention it is fast as hell?! Love this damn car. Read More

2016 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Review By Corey

A great value for the price. I will look to purchase one/ Read More

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Review By ddancurs

The car I was interested in sold the day before I was able to get there but drove and bought another VW. Love my car! Was led to this car through Car Gurus, thank you. Read More

Excellent By Mannyhutch

Great daily driver, very good on gas, reliable, comfortable, this is a car that any person that has a long daily commute will enjoy, best part is going to the gas pump and not spending too much to fil... Read More

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Love Our Jetta By chuckcars

This is our go to town car. Had it 2 years. Changes the oil, free at dealer, and no trouoble. except for inability to change the clock time this year. Now for a trip to the dealer since it is still in... Read More

Very Happy With Car By Jeff

Super pleased with economy - I drive mostly highway, mostly 75-80 mph and average over 40 mpg. This is reason I bought the car - as I drive 120 miles to/from work. Great stereo, nice comfort, ve... Read More

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