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2003 Volkswagen Golf

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 267 Ratings for the 1999 - 2006 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10
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Great Value! Fun to Drive!

By on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Great price."

Cons: "Cup holder design poor."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this car new in December of 2000 and it has been a great vehicle for me both in the city and in the country. Its great on gas, handles well and has required minimal repairs over the last 11 years. In fact, the car is so much fun, I'm trading it in for its higher performance, power loving cousin, the Golf R, next month."

Absolutly love it

By on Friday, March 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been a chevy man for the last 6 years then i started looking in to vw cause of the gas milage they get i dont think i will ever get away from the vw line of cars there great for different types of people there still easy to work on not to expencive to repair and they are easy to get aftermarket parts for"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

VW = FUN

By on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"There is something special about a Volkswagen, they drive like nothing else on the road. The handling of this car is no exception, it sticks to the road like glue and goes exactly where you point it. The Golf can be either sporty or economic and a little bit of both. I get about 30mpg on average with the 2.0L automatic, and other then some normal expected issues the car is very reliable. We've taken it on long trips with no issues. If I could afford a new one, I'd buy it... but even buying a used one has been a great experience."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle

By on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good value for the money"

Cons: "Not enough storage space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The little things that Volkswagen has done to this car makes this a great value, such as the Telescoping steering wheel and center sun visor. My one complaint is there is no storage in the vehicle. NO center console and minimal compartments, and the trunk is to small to fit my golf clubs without lowering the back seat"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Awful car.

By on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "handles fine"

Cons: "unreliable, slow, inefficient, costly to maintain"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I drove this car for 3 years during college. My experience was not a happy one. Handling was decent in the dry, ok in snow and slush, but horrible in the rain. The car is woefully underpowered and the transmission is horribly clunky. Seats are poor in both comfort and ease of discoloration. Fuel economy is merely so-so, while oil consumption is a very real issue. And repair parts are extremely expensive. Nor has it been reliable. It was purchased in 2007 with 30000 on the odo. At 45000 it stranded me, coolant impeller went haywire and shredded a coolant line. At 60000, it was down for the count again, victim of a shot ignition coil, bad plugs, and toasted plug wires. All in all, I used this car in hopes of it being a reliable, inexpensive-to-maintain first car. It was none of these things. I will never buy another VW, based on the experiences with my Golf."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Ready to buy my third TDI Golf

By on Saturday, February 18, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 171,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, peppy acceleration for a small car."

Cons: "Cold starts (less than -10F) a bit iffy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my second TDI Golf. I bought my first one new in 2000. It was a 2D base model. I drove it for almost 250,000 miles with nothing but standard maintenance. The car still ran beautifully, but the body was showing some rust. The mileage is phenomenal. I averaged 46 mpg, but I do a lot of freeway driving. My second TDI was bought used. It has a lot more bells and whistles, but has been a trooper for 171,000 miles. I find VWs to be well designed from the inside out. Very comfortable seats; simple, intuitive dash controls; very peppy ride. The torque on a diesel is amazing. I will likely buy a third Golf TDI, although I'm toying with getting a Paasat TDI wagon."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

great car but, not for the price they ask for it

By on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "great to drive, really handles well. Good mileage."

Cons: "glow plugs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Had problems with the glow plugs. #3 glow plug kept going bad, almost from day one. VW people never could find out why it kept going bad... They just kept replacing it until the warranty ran out"

easy on gas, Ok power

By on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "easy to drive and park in small places"

Cons: "blind spots"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"easy on gas, Ok for power, easy to do Uturns and park in small spaces"

best gas mileage

By on Saturday, February 11, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"love it. reliable. great gas mileage. great handling."

Out of all my VW's this one is made the best

By on Friday, February 10, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 192,845

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "the safety strength"

Cons: "cheep plastic parts"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I will say with as many miles I have this car it still runs perfect, I change the oil every 3 to 4K"

a spendy little lemon.

By on Thursday, February 09, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Zippy turbo, fun to drive"

Cons: "expensive and unreliable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I'm not too satisfied with this car. If you've ever owned a old air cooled VW you know they are quirky.. well the apples don't fall far from the tree and this apple isn't cheap!! This car has had some problems that could have been avoided all together if they would have just made quality components.. I like the concept of the 1.9 tdi engine and cam driven fuel injection system but bad rings and seals in the fuel pump, a breaking serpentine belt tensioner, and a seized fuel injector that required us to rebuild the top end of the engine (not at the same time mind you) This little hipster mobile is a great choice if your into spending lots of money for no reason."

LOVE my car!

By on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great gas mileage, reliable car!"

Cons: "No heated seats. Not fancy looking. Big deal!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been driving this car for almost 7 years, and I absolutely love it. I just dropped it off for routine maintenance, and driving a 2012 Nissan has me missing my baby like crazy. It's 11 years old now, but has never left me stranded on the side of the road, has never had anything under the hood go out, hugs the road like crazy (I commute over California's notorious, winding Highway 17 daily) with the body of the GTI racecar, gets 40-45 miles per gallon, and is just the best car ever. People keep asking when I plan to upgrade to a newer car... I tell them when my car finally dies - considering most of these cars get 300-500,000 miles and I'm at 146,000, providing I don't get in an accident, it will be a while. The best car ever. When it is time to say goodbye, I will be so upset!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

50MPG's. Doesn't get recalled every week....

By on Monday, January 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 206,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this vehicle for 5 years now, buying it used with just under 100,000 miles. Previous owner took great care of it, as have I. People say that VW's are unreliable and expensive to fix. I would use my car as Exibit A to the contrary. During the following 106,000 miles, I have serviced the car at the recommended intervals of 10,000 miles. Which means 10 oil changes, 5 air filters(20,000 miles), 5 cabin filters(20,000 miles), and 5 diesel fuel filters(20,000 miles). I do all of the work myself, which helps with the costs, but none-the-less I have done little else to this car. The timing belt/water pump/accessory belt replacement was done at 77,000 miles by the previous owner and I had it done at 160,000(due evey 80,000) at a local dealer. That can be a little pricey($700-$1,000 depending on the dealer), but the rest of the ownership experience makes up for it. Other than that I will be putting my 3rd set of tires on this within a few weeks. The set that was on this car from the previous owner lasted me to about 115,000. The first set I put on were a sportier tire that lasted to about 145,000. I currently have Hankook Optimo H727 on it and they are the BEST tires I've ever owned. I also replaced the front brakes myself at around 150,000 miles. There was one recall open when i bought it for a Stop Lamp Switch(common to many makes/models) which the service writer took care of on the spot himself in the parking lot. Over the last 106,000 miles i have averaged 46 mpg, with several tanks of 50-52 mpg, and as low as 44mpg on winter diesel. The car has avery comfortable ride. It rides better than most others in its size class and handles better as well. VW's are known for having great ride and handling. It's a european thing. The interior is well designed. Comfortable seats. Ergonomic design. Quality materials that have worn well. More standard features than many of its competitors in this size class. Things like an 8 speaker stereo, side and head curtain air bags, alloy wheels, abs, power"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Saturday, January 14, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 186,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It is my first car, when i bought it, the car was with some problems, but wasnt a big deal, so i fixed it, i spent like 300 hundred bucks, and my car is running great, everything works fine, i love the car engine it is too strong, also the manual transmission is strong, i dont have anything bad to say about this car. It is with 186k miles and still strong as freak. The car is amazing for the price I paid."

great car greater mileage

By on Friday, January 13, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"my second golf with diesel engine - TDI is a great engine"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

My first car, and it's awesome

By on Thursday, January 12, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, attractive, practical"

Cons: "Slow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the best-built cars around, no question. The 2.0L is super reliable but obviously lacking on power (great on gas though). The 5-speed transmission is a must because VW makes great transmissions. Interior is refined without being over-complex. Exterior is plain when stock but gorgeous when you lower it and put some nice wheels on. Very easy to work on and modify as well."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car!

By on Friday, January 06, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fuel economy, reliability, torque."

Cons: "One open window makes annoying waffling sound."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"40 mpg around the county, lots of torque, comfortable for a me (I'm in the 6 foot club). Only problem so far with 108,000 and 7.6 years has been the hatch latch broke. I'm keeping it. My next car is going to be a Jetta sportwagon tdi."

Great visiblity, very expensive to maintain

By on Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "great handling and visibilty"

Cons: "Very expnsive to maintain."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The car handles well and has very good visiblity. On the down side, it is very expensive to maintain. When the car had just over 50,000 miles the distributor cap broke and had to get it fixed (near $700). Routine maintinance is not cheap. I had to get a brake light fixed recently. The cost was nearly $45 including labor just to fix the one light. The dealer charges over $40 for an oil change. It seems that the car is need of service shortly after a routine service for some problem that is going to cost several hundred dollars."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

You can't beat a TDI for fuel economy

By on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "drives well, plenty of space for small car, 49MPG"

Cons: "Interior plastic falls apart after a few years"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"49 miles per gallon on diesel and US Specs. This car goes over 100 MPH on the autobahn. After 10 years and 135000 miles it still drives smooth. The torque of the TDI engine makes all the difference. Forget about horsepower unless you are racing. Plenty of interior room. Plenty of trunk space. The only problems we had were: 1. replaced the water pump at 100,000, transmission and clutch at 130,000 miles. The only thing I don't like about the car is that the interior plastic parts got brittle after 5 years in the florida sun and the break easily. GLove box handle, parking break button, and center console all broken. But the car is like a tank. It just keeps going and getting great efficiency. Drives great!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

After 10 years I still enjoy driving this car.

By on Thursday, December 01, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "cloth seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2000 golf with a 1.8 manual which I bought new. No major problems or repairs after 120000 miles. My only complaint is it is very difficult and time consuming trying to remove dog hair from the cloth seats."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love VW Rabbit/Golf

By on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 212,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, fun to drive, can haul a boat"

Cons: "2 door can't have moon roof"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned 7; 5 being diesels. Current car is Golf TDI with 212000 miles. Maintenance is absolutely NOT a problem. Every 60,000 miles new timing belt and oil changes every 5000 miles. No problem. Can decide this minute to go to Florida and drive this car without any special planning. Love the hatchback. With seats down I got a full size dishwasher still in the box in the car."

worst decision of my life

By on Thursday, November 17, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "maintenance is a nightmare"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"2003 Golf, worst decision of my life. Tons of recall work, 4 alternators, 3 cat converters, oil pan replacement--tip of the iceberg...every 3-6 months since 60,000 miles I've dropped upwards of $500 and every time, I told myself--now THIS is the last big repair, and I will drive it into the ground. I most recently paid $1800 in June, now it's November and it needs another $500, even if I buy the parts online. So I've given up. I don't know why people love these cars...I'm afraid to even sell it because who knows what will die next and I don't want to get sued. When it's not breaking down or overheating, or not starting, it's a great drive. I previously had a Subaru that was amazing, no major hang-ups, reliable and good pick-up. I don't know what VW did during the early 2000's, but it's been a nightmare maintaining this car, especially because the VW dealerships I've dealt with are bust--they replaced my dipstick with a wrench during my last oil change. I give up."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I love this car and the value can't be beat!!

By on Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent fuel mileage and has held up very well!"

Cons: "Suspension is mediocre at best."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car since new. Other than normal maintenance it has never needed any unnecessary repairs. Never left me stranded or hating the car. That said the suspension leaves much to be desired. I don't know what VW was thinking because it is borderline terrible. Quick turns are sluggish with a lot of body roll. The engine is awesome and I've never had less that 40mpg average. Highway driving will easily give you over 50mpg. Can't beat that! Fit and finish have been great and the car doesn't really show its age at all. Hate that I'm going to have to sell for something with more room."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY CAR. SERIOUS.

By on Sunday, October 30, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "EVERYTHING"

Cons: "nothing so far. I love it."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is truly the best car I have ever owned. I don't even care about when I have to spend money on routine maintenance because I love it and want to take care of it! 5-Speed is sooo smooth and fun to drive. I honestly make excuses to drive now. The moon roof is incredible and so far my car has been very reliable. The body feels solid and not tinny and cheap like some cars. The seats are very comfortable and ergonomic. It's comfortable, fun, and peppy. I would never ever ever sell this car!"

My last VW ever

By on Sunday, October 30, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "good acceleration, decent handling after upgrading"

Cons: "seat freezer, terrible reliability, quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I've owned 5 VWs but I'll never own another, thanks to this car. It performs well. It's fun to drive. After I installed GTI shocks and springs, plus a rear stabilizer bar, the handling improved dramatically. Many design features are just awful. VW has been making Golfs and Rabbits for 30 years, how can they design a car that dumps snow and rain on the driver's seat when you open the door? Other cars have seat heaters, this car will literally frost your rear. All Golf IVs leak. It's a question of how bad, not if. Expect soggy carpets after any rain, fogged up windshields, occasional bouts with mold. The door seals are a joke and air noise during cruise is quite loud. The reliability was terrible. This model year had multiple recalls. The ignition coils were junk and VW replaced them under recalls. The window regulators failed so often they had to extend the warranty. I closed the driver’s door one day and the front passenger window fell into the door. Cost: $440. The back-up light switch fails on every Golf - unless the car is wrecked first. VW doesn't sell a replacement. I bought this car new and maintained it carefully. It cost me over $7,000 in repairs, above expected maintenance items like brakes, batteries, and tires. My wife's Prius, bought within a few months, has had zero repairs in the same period. I hope to unload this car on some kid who can chip it and blow up the turbo. I'm going to buy another hot hatch, but it won't be a VW. I've driven them since 1976. Never again."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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