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2003 Jetta TDI

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 3.5

Reviewed by 76 users

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2003 Volkswagon Jetta Turbo Wagon ó Worst Investment Ever. Never Again!

by
Sep 21, 2011 (Not Yet Rated)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: The cars drive and perform great under 60,000 miles.
Cons: The VW jetta is a lemon that will suck your bank account dry.  
The Bottom Line: Never buy a VW Jetta.  When I sell this vehicle, I will be attempting to get back a small portion of the 10,000 dollars lost.

I purchased my 2003 Volkswagon Jetta Turbo Wagon with less than 50,000 miles on it.  It was truly a pleasure to drive, cornering fast around the turns, great pick-up, decent gas mileage, leather seats and an amazing sound system!  Just ... read more

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2003 Jetta TDI Wagon: It really gets 50+ MPG!

by
Jun 18, 2008 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Solid, reliable, simple, fun to drive, very quiet.
Cons: Cramped rear seats.
The Bottom Line: This is the car I've dreamed of owning all my life. Perfect size, great handling, amazing mileage, good for long trips, solid and fun to drive.

I bought my TDI Jetta Wagon (5-speed manual transmission) new in 2003. 86,000 miles later it's been in the shop for one repair; replacement of the glow plug wiring harness, which I hear is common and was ridiculously over-priced. Other than that, the car ... read more

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2003 Jetta 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition

by
Apr 28, 2008 - Updated Jan 10, 2009 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Drives nice, stable, quick and comfortable.
Cons: Can be a gas sucker, Syntetic Oil (expensive oil change)
The Bottom Line: good road response, quick, complete control over vehicle. Resonably priced, and looks nice. {it is not a ghetto honda :) }

I purchased this car used from a VW dealer in Fl. in October 2007I once owned a Saab 900 s, and I loved driving that car. Due to my occupation, driving from office to office in constant traffic, the Saab was not happy so I decided it was time to buy ... read more

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Great car, great style!

by
Apr 24, 2008 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Great European style with great extras like seat warmers & sunroofs.
Cons: Back seat is a little cramped for taller adults.
The Bottom Line: Go for it! Two thumbs up!

I had one of these vehicles (see USAA review for why it is "had" at this point, LOL...) and it was a fun little car! I love the European feel and for the price, it has alot of great extras! The heated seats are a great bonus for those in the colder ... read more

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Worst Car on the Planet - Complete Lemon

by
Jan 30, 2008 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing design, good stereo system - that completes the list
Cons: engine, timing belt, fuel pump, no leg room in rear, poor handling, upkeep, warranty
The Bottom Line: Be ready for endless time on the side of the road, you can at least get your money's worth out of AAA.

Although I only bought this car in 2003 I have put more than $7,000 into repairs for it despite the warranty that I'm not sure covers anything. Repairs have included: -Completely replace the engine -Timing Belt -Fuel Pump Injector -Transmission ... read more

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20,000 error in judgment

by
Nov 21, 2007 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: styling, handling.
Cons: Repair bills, poor quality
The Bottom Line: Avoid a Volkswagen product as electrical problems creep up.

I have always liked this body style and wagons in this vintage of Jetta are rare. The good: styling, That is one thing that sucked me in as yeah for a wagon it looks cool. The interior is nice for a small car The fit and finish seem good for a 20K ... read more

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Definitely not a good choice of car

by
Apr 13, 2007 - Updated Apr 16, 2007 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 20 Recommended: No 

Pros: Heated seats, a decent stereo, and nice sunroof.
Cons: The car is incredibly low and has little leg room in the back seats.
The Bottom Line: Terrible purchase. I've had nothing but problems with lights, turbocharger, glow plugs, etc. AND I don't get the mileage that I should be getting based on other Jetta TDI reviews.

I have a 2003 Jetta TDI and have had nothing but bad luck with it. I bought it used from Norden Autohaus in Edmonton, Alta. A month after I bought it I brought it in for a service at the dealership and they told me the turbo charger had to be replaced ... read more

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It Was All Good, Until 50,000 Miles

by
Mar 1, 2007 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Great safety features. Highway driving is a dream!!
Cons: Small, unreliable, maintenance and upkeep are unbearably expensive!
The Bottom Line: Stay away or pay, pay, pay!!!!!!!

My husband and I painstakingly researched cars in anticipation of purchasing our very first brand new car 4 years ago. We spent months doing research on what car would best fit our need for safety, reliability, affordability, and of course the ever ... read more

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Jury is still out

by
Feb 27, 2007 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 30 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: cute, fun, nice options, good gas mileage
Cons: mechanical problems galore
The Bottom Line: The jury is out. Don't buy this car used unless you know the vehicle maintenance history.

I donít know how I feel about this car anymore. On one hand, when I drove it consistently for many miles a day it performed very well. On the other hand, since I moved to Boston and it sits for days at a time when I commute by subway or walking it has ... read more

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80K update shows mileage still low/mid 40's, typical interior breakages.

by
Nov 25, 2006 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 30 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Mileage, mechanical, comfort.
Cons: Price, plastics, interior durability.
The Bottom Line: I do not regret the car and would consider another because it has never let me down. I might consider the upcoming Honda diesel or a cheap gas burner instead.

At 80,000 miles, purchased in August 2002, this 2003 Jetta 5 speed manual still goes with no problems. I average a typical 44 mpg. I really wouldn't place much credence in claims above that. The engine goes strong, but the check engine light comes on ... read more

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Starting to doubt my car

by
Aug 16, 2006 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 30 Recommended: No 

Pros: Great mileage, fun gadgets, fun to drive.
Cons: It fails hard and fast. Repair costs are outrageous. Fuel savings lost to repair costs.
The Bottom Line: Research before you buy. I'm finding out that my problems with the car aren't all that uncommon.

I've loved my car up until now. It was economical and fun to drive. I've had it for 2.5 years with no major problems. Bought it for my 160 round-trip commute to work. The car currently has 84,000 miles. Two weeks ago, my engine light turned on. I ... read more

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hard to beat, yet a few hiccups

by
Aug 7, 2006 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 0 Recommended: No 

Pros: Performance driving and handling; value
Cons: Cheap interior materials and poor service

My wife and I bought a Jetta in 2000 and immediately loved its sporty looks and drive quality. It truly is a quick car in ever sense of the word, jumping off the line and zig-zagging in and out of traffic. As we have lived in a few of the bigger cities ... read more

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So far so good with my 2003 VW Jetta GLS

by
Jul 17, 2006 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Great Pickup, great features, great get around car and good on Gas.
Cons: Weak AC, Keyless Entry has no Range, 1 set of cup holders.
The Bottom Line: No regrets in buying this car and I am a Toyota and Honda fanatic.

After having my heart set on the toyota carolla, I decided to get this car because of the low mileage and it had all the stats that I wanted. With Carolla it was either one or the other and the dealer told me that some of the things were for 2007 ... read more

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Utility, Frugality and Fun all in the Same Box

by
Jul 3, 2006 - Updated Jul 7, 2006 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Fuel economy, handling, comfort, excellent cargo and passenger capacity for a car of its size.
Cons: service can be expensive at a VW dealer, cup holder blocks radio when deployed.
The Bottom Line: Pleasant to drive and very economical. Slow acceleration but cruises happily at 80. An excellent choice for anyone hauling 4 or fewer people around.

We bought our '03 Diesel Jetta wagon a couple of years ago when I decided to get serious about making a personal contribution to reducing the U.S. petroleum habit and global warming. It came with 35K miles and now has around 53K happy miles on it. It's a ... read more

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2003 Jetta GLX VR6

by
Jun 28, 2006 - Updated Jun 29, 2006 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: smart keys, tiptronic, climate control, ESP
Cons: engine revs strangely during cold weather start, dumb cup holder
The Bottom Line: Over all, we love it! It's been good to us so far as we had it for 3 years and it's mostly trouble free.

We had our Jetta GLX VR6 since June 2003 and has been pretty happy with it. We bought it originally because my wife own a 2001 Golf GL and was happy with it. We traded in the Golf GL for the Jetta GLX VR6. Likes: The first thing we loved was ... read more

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Car is fantastic..VW company not as great..

by
Jan 25, 2006 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Mileage, looks, driver feel
Cons: small back seat and poor company service
The Bottom Line: I would buy the car again but would tell the salesperson to stuff it when he made his spiel about how every customer was number 1.

I have 101 000 Km on this car which I purchased new. I average close to 60MPG in summer and about 52MPG in winter. I use this car for work. It sees dirt roads, mud, snow, ice, city and highway in almost equal amounts. I'm 6' tall and although I fit ... read more

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3rd Jetta we have owned in 5 years!

by
Sep 18, 2005 (A Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Awesome sound system, Nice design, Modern and updated interior, Basemodel feels like upgraded model
Cons: Problem with Engine lights coming on, Not much leg room in backseats
The Bottom Line: Don't waste your money on the upgrades. If you like it, buy it.

We bought a 2000 Jetta GL and have never looked back. This car never had a problem until we were in an accident. I must say the 2000 model stood up to a high velocity impact from behind while we were setting still at a light. Other than a sore neck ... read more

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So this is what it's like to drive a true quality car! (100K UPDATE!)

by
Apr 22, 2005 - Updated Sep 12, 2006 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 50 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: lots of safety features and attention to detail
Cons: brake and gas pedals too close, no change compartment, cupholders block radio!
The Bottom Line: When you've "grown up" from driving the cheaper imports, Jetta is there to show you what it's like to drive a car with true quality, great handling and overall sophistication.

(100,000 mile update at bottom!) Swirl's Automotive History So I've got to give you a little background on my car history: 1997: Bought my first car, a 1985 Toyota Corolla SR5 with cute flip up headlights, for $1250. A great car, ... read more

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2003 1.8T - Fun to drive (when it actually works)

by
Dec 29, 2004 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 10 Recommended: No 

Pros: Great looks and power.
Cons: Constant reliability problems.
The Bottom Line: Don't let the power and looks fool you. This is a car to be avoided.

Between the two of us, when my wife and I leased this car in Feb. 2003, it was our 4th Volkswagen. I guarantee you it will be our last. Ever. Back in '03, when shopping for a new car, we narrowed our choices down to the BMW 325i and the Jetta 1.8T. ... read more

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Great car but not user friendly

by
Nov 22, 2004 (A Very Helpful review)

Author's Product Rating: 40 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Peppy, smooth, handles well, drives beautifully, good sound system, fuel efficient, 5 star safety rating!
Cons: Tailgate is locked at all times until you manually unlock it each time. Very Inconvenient
The Bottom Line: This is a fantastic car, particularly if you live in a warm climate with good road conditions and have a bad habit of forgetting to lock your car.

This car is awesome to drive. I've had it a year and a half (since new). The mileage is great, however I've never seen the 60 mpg that others talk about. I put a roof pod on during the first week of purchase and I'm sure that has had a major impact on my ... read more

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