2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLX Wagon 1.8 turbo from North America


First Thousand Miles? Great!


No problems at all.

General Comments:

The 1.8 Turbo engine has had the 'coil problem' addressed. Engine is very strong, and the intelligent Tiptronic transmission shifts more smoothly than any I've ever driven. (I've owned more than forty cars).

The Michelin Energy tires are an excellent compromise between traction, wear, and performance. I've had several Mercedes with this same tire. I was a little surprised (pleasantly) to see that they were standard equipment on the Wagon.

The Wagon is one of the few remaining cars still being built in Germany. Fit and finish is excellent. No knocks, rattles or loose parts.

Handling is more sporty than the E-class Wagon it replaced making it more fun to drive, and more economical too. Last weekend we averaged 29.4 mpg on a trip from Delaware to New York.

The Monsoon radio is a bargain. We love it.

The seat heaters are better than the Mercedes and Toyota (Avalon). The temp is adjustable from barely on to HOT. Not only is the seat pan warmed, but the backrest is heated as well.

I'm 6' 8" tall, 215 lbs and find I'm pretty comfortable -- more comfortable than in my wife's Mercedes 190E, but not quite as comfortable as the E320S wagon I traded in.

At around $22,000 this is a very good value for a well-built, fine running compact wagon.

We expect to have good service, but we've needed nothing so far. Routine expenses like an oil change list for about half the cost of Mercedes service. Parts are similarly less expensive. We expect our annual operating expenses to be about 20% less with the Jetta.

VW has done a great job on the interior. The radio uses easily adjusted knobs rather than digital up/down switches. The moonroof is quieter that the M-B (and has more features). The seats are much like the BMW, firm and supportive.

I've read that the engine is from Audi and the Tiptronic transmission is a Porsche design. All I can tell you is that the really work well together. I love being able to shift when I want to, then pop it back into Drive so I can have a sip of coffee.

A thousand miles is nothing compared to the normal lifetime of a car. But the first thousand miles are often the most telling. This thousand miles has said, "Hey -- let's go have some fun!"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2003

11th Mar 2003, 01:11

I agree with you totally. I own a Galactic Blue Pearl 2002 Jetta GLS 1.8T with the Tiptronic Shift Package. I am a Computer Graphic Designer and as a designer I find the Jetta to be a very attractive and classy automobile at any angle you look at it. The interior is gorgeously tailored in black and tan leather with its cool blue/violet instrumentation. To me this car is truly a work of art.

I had only one bad day with the car. Last week I was out to warm the car up in my driveway and it started sputtering and vibrating really badly. I called VW Roadside Assistance for help. They quickly had AAA Towing pick it up and carried to a local VW service department. It was obvious after 11,000 miles one of the recalled ignition coils was at its end. Thanks to Dean McCrary Imports of Mobile, AL the coil was replaced the same day and it was running perfectly by noon.

I love this car everyday...

27th Dec 2005, 07:40

How have these cars held up to a few years of wear & tear?

2003 Volkswagen Jetta GLS turbo diesel from North America


A drivers car with a few quality control handicaps



General Comments:

My 1999 new Jetta had a lot of problems. Volkswagen paid for a lot of the repairs. I am hoping to have more success with this one.

The 1999 one was traded in at 135000KMS. the brakes were still the original ones. The cars mechanical systems are ironclad. The major problems all need to be repaired by the dealer, they are mass air flow sensor, on board computer, relay 109 it causes the car to stall. The interior on the 1999 had problems also, they were glove compartment door breaking, cup holders front and rear failing, ashtray in rear falling apart, and premature wear on the mats and seat material.

I put a leather interior on the 2003, I do not trust the material anymore on Vw's my wife has a 2002 new beetle and the interior is wearing out quickly. She has not had any problems mechanically as yet with 20,000 KMS so far.

My 1999 was still a smooth and excellent handling car at 135,000KMS as the first day that I bought it!.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2002