2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T from North America


Need a sport coupe for the real world? This is it


Both front windows fell into door at 4500km. Repaired and replaced at no charge.

General Comments:

This is my first car, purchased in Nov. 2003. Fantastic performance, love the 1.8T, it's lighter than the VR6 engine and better suited to the GTI's chassis. Good handling with upgraded 17" Wheels, the car feels very connected to the road. This car is very fast!

The interior is luxurious and refined, the cabin has a premium feel that isn't to be found in comparably priced sport coupes and hatchbacks. Interior materials are high in quality, and everything is assembled with care, could spend all day in there! I'm able to get great gas mileage, but it requires premium fuel.

I highly recommend this car to anyone who is looking for performance, safety and quality engineering all packed into one fun hatchback. The GTI is a good buy for enthusiastic drivers who need a fun car that can be driven day in and day out. This car constantly brings a smile to my face every time I get behind the wheel... to see what I'm talking about, go test drive one today!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2004

31st Oct 2004, 00:07

After I leased a Jetta 1.8T in 2001 I remember thinking how much more fun it would be to have this car in a two door. The back seats were used for books and files more often then people. Besides, it may look like a four door, but the back seats have no room or comfort for additional passengers, unless they are under four feet five. So I finally found myself looking for a new car and a family friend who owns a 2004 GTI with seventeen inch wheels let me take their car for a spin. That was it! What was I thinking with the Jetta. The GTI handles so much better in lane changes, cornering and of course parking. Even though you loose two doors it doesn't seem to loose in cubic space.

I wanted to check out other cars, like the new Volvo at a dealership down the street from this particular VW dealer I was just at and you just cannot compare. German engineering and the VW philosophy truly does bring you a car that seems to be waiting to perform every single time you push that keyless entry button. I was concerned the car would not feel as solid as the Jetta 1.8T, to the contrary, it feels more solid.

Its all around truly an amazing car and I just placed an order for one in Silverstone. That's the gray metal with a silver finish, its great looking in the GTI's version of a very popular shade of silver at the moment seen from the Toyota Camry to the Jaguar XJ8. The GTI however, is the ideal car for the commute to work or a weekend trip. I couldn't find anything to dislike and keep my fingers crossed that I will be driving off in my new 2005 GTI soon. P.S. Heated seats with the Leather Package are something to not pass up at the pricepoint VW is offering.

The best part, I can now chill and drive an automatic with the option to use the triptronic, just in case I need to remind myself of the years spent wearing out my shoulder and knee.

2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary 1.8T from North America


High performance, great handling, terrific breaking bargain in the sport compact class


Nothing major has gone wrong with the car so far. The only annoying thing on the car is that somewhere in the rear seats there is a squeaking noise. I think it is where the seats latch onto the brackets. My passenger side front fender liner is cracked, but I think that is due to winter tires on the car possibly being too big.

Overall so far the car is top notch.

General Comments:

You cannot get a better bang for the buck than the 20th Anniversary GTI. It is a limited edition car with an awesome interior including real Recaro seats and real brushed aluminum dash and trim accents.

The brakes are directly from the Audi TT and will stop the car on a dime even after extended use during racing.

The 18" OZ wheels with the Z-rated Michelin Pilot sport tires are just amazing in dry and wet weather.

The interior quality of the car in this segment is light years beyond its competitors: Ford Focus, Subaru WRX, Honda Civic Si, and others.

Standard 6-speed manual transmission is very sports and the gear ratios match the amazing of the small motor beautifully.

TORQUE: For this little motor, the torque is amazing. Lets see a Civic come anywhere near matching the horsepower number with a torque number. The GTI is 180hp and 170 lb/ft of torque, unreal.

I recently raced the car in two auto-cross events and I have never felt a stock suspension on a sub $30,000 car feel so dialed in and precise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2003

9th Mar 2004, 11:36

My son purchased this model some months ago. The rear brakes Shudder and screech when reversing. Our local Volkswagen dealer says this is normal. What is your opinion?

8th Apr 2004, 20:41

Get ready to know your mechanic. These vehicles are rattling, squeaking, vibrating overpriced pieces of crap. When they run, they run great, second to none. Just have a spare car ready. That's what happens when greed takes over quality. I thought it was cheap labour in Mexico, but the prices are still to high!

20th May 2004, 23:56

Uh... car's made in Brazil... Either way it makes no difference where it's made.. same automated machine operated by Paolo as it is Fritz...

2nd Nov 2005, 19:19

They don't call 'em brokeswagens for nothing. We buy them for the way they drive not for their reliability!

4th Nov 2005, 14:28

Suckers wanted! The total amount of money you end up spending on it in 10 year can buy you a BMW M3 now.

20th Feb 2006, 23:32

You mean, wait 10 years and buy an RS4

23rd Oct 2006, 21:39

Wrong. The 20th AE came straight from Brazil. So did the 337. The only MkIV Golf/GTI cars built in Germany were the 1999-2000 cars, and some 2001s trickled on through. The R32s have German VINs, but they were actually built in Slovakia.

13th Aug 2009, 14:49

I own a 20th Anniversary, and I will say I love the car, but it does make you broke. My car boosts 21 lbs of turbo, which means it's cracking the axles all the time. Came to find out a lot of the parts on this car are made with TT parts. Yes my car sounds bad in reverse too; it's a VW thing :)