2003 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8L turbo from North America


This was a fun car to drive, yet a horrible mistake to purchase


Transmission failure.

Turbo failure. Turbo bypass valve failure also.

MAF failure.

Failure of the cooling system. 2 water pumps, 2 sets of cooling fans.

Fan-control module & temp sensor.

Nearly all plastic parts under the hood failed. Cooling reservoir, radiator fittings, every vacuum hose. Really. EVERY vacuum line. That's a bunch of weekends under the hood right there.

Emissions system failure... almost every part failed one at a time.

Interior hardware failure. Arm rests, drink holders, headliner, etc.

These are well documented problems, and no surprise to VW or long-term Jetta 1.8 owners.

General Comments:

All parts failures were due to the poor quality of plastic parts in the engine bay and transmission. The problems have more to do with age than the vehicle's mileage. New plastic is strong, old plastic cracks and crumbles. I purchased this vehicle in good condition for my daughter in college. If you must have a VW, only buy new and sell while still under warranty. This vehicle had regular oil changes, good maintenance. It was also dealer-maintained prior to purchase.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th March, 2015

4th Apr 2015, 00:19

I used to have the same 1.8T Jetta and I feel your pain. Mine was absolutely awful as well, unreliable and awful on the pocketbook.

My transmission never failed, but the motor was burning oil, and was noisy and smoking when I got rid of it.

The power window motors would fail at least once a year.

Just the worst car I have ever owned, the worst investment I have ever made, etc...

I will never ever again own a VW or any German made car for that matter. They are completely overrated, overpriced and a poor long term investment. I've owned lots of other cars from Ford, GM, Hyundai and Honda, none of which had even 1/10th of the issues/problems my VW had.

2003 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8 turbo from North America


I have gotten excellent value out of this car


Ignition coil went at about 75,000 miles. Later had all four replaced with a recall.

Replaced spark plugs at 75,000, and again at 150,000.

Fuel injector went out at about 100,000 miles.

Replaced timing belt/water pump at 110,000 miles.

Cat. converter went out at about 140,000.

Front wheel bearings at about 150,000.

Replaced thermostat, radiator/hoses, coolant at 210,000.

General Comments:

I purchased new and have changed oil every 3,000 - 5,000 miles (synthetic only).

The car has seen the dealership once for a minor interior recall. I was able to complete all other repairs (with some help on a few).

The cars performance is excellent. Great handling acceleration, etc.

The Wolfsburg Edition has fairly spartan interior, but it is comfortable and convenient.

An annual coat of wax has left the black as shiny as the day I bought it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2011

2003 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


2003 Jetta 2.0 check engine light is making me crazy!!!

December 2009, I had a $120 sensor changed, and the idiot light went out for a WHOLE week!

December 2010, another sensor, cost $300 total to change before the garage would give me an inspection sticker. Idiot light came back on in 6 hours!!

Everyone says bring it back!! You know what they will say... there are 3 or 4 more $300 sensors we can change. I don't think this place really knows about VWs, changing sensors at my expense until they trip over the real offender. I need to cut my losses.

Can't just reset the computer and pass; the car computer has to have so many car running hours before the sticker computer will pass it (and of course during these post reset hours, the light always comes back). They do this so you won't just reset and get the sticker - Nice, huh!!

I bet these sensors cost about $5 to make in Mexico; by the time we pay at the garage, they are $200, plus scanner fees and labor equals the $300 I referenced above.

113,000 miles, I still have not changed the timing belt, as a woman at the gas pump said she changed hers at 150,000 miles just to be safe, it had not broken yet.

If they really did break, you would see Jettas broken down on the side of the road, as most people disregard maintenance.

Good Luck.


New Hampshire.

In one year, the Jetta will be paid off and I will turn it in for a Chevy!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th January, 2011