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2003 Volkswagen Golf

  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,170
  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,370
  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GLS Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      31
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/122
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,520
  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      49
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $18,710
  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      49
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,720
  • 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL TDI Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      45
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      90/155
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $18,105
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  • Review

2003 Volkswagen Golf Review

The 2003 Golf is a fuel-efficient fun-to-drive economical vehicle and convenient for urban driving.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Volkswagen Golf is a long-running two or four-door compact hatchback from the German automaker. Models have been in production since 1974 with a wide range of offshoots and variants. It is currently still part of the Volkswagen lineup in its seventh generation. The Golf is known for its convenient dimensions and models from recent decades, for the fun-to-drive feel. It is also noted for its affordability and impressive gas mileage for all models, particularly the diesel engine. The 2010 clean diesel model was named Top 10 Green Cars by Kelley Blue book.

The Range

Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 90-hp 1.9-liter I4 diesel, 115-hp two-liter I4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic with overdrive, five-speed manual with overdrive
Models: Volkswagen Golf GL two-door hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GL four-door hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GL TDI two-door hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GL TDI four-door hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GLS 2.0L four-door hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI four-door hatchback

What's New

While the exterior style remains much the same for the 2003 Volkswagen Golf, there are a range of new additions both standard and optional. The GL version gets power windows and mirrors, cruise control, and an upgraded CD stereo all standard. The two-liter engine was formerly a Low Emission Vehicle and is rated an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle for 2003, the lowest possible rating. The GL and the GLS get an optional Electronic Stability Control. The 15-inch wheels on the GL model are new. The GLS model added a sunroof. Midway through the model year backlights were added as an option to some of the controls on all of the models. An upgraded Monsoon sound system became available on the GL model. A Cold Weather Package is optional on all models with heated front seats and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Exterior

The 2003 Volkswagen Golf has a compact hatchback body style with either two or four doors. The addition of the rear doors does not change the body style for each trim. The Golf is only 57 inches tall, 164.9 inches long, and has a 98.9-inch wheelbase. Some of the exterior features include heated and power door mirrors, optional spoiler on all models, power moonroof on the GLS models, rear window and defroster standard, and 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels standard on the GLS models and an option on the GL models.

Interior

The 2003 Golf is meant to seat five with two front-bucket seats and a 60/40-split rear bench. The front driver and passenger seat provide plenty of room, and the rear is adequate with two (for a compact) but gets crowded with three adults. The Golf has 18 cubic feet of cargo space, and this increases to 41.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Standard features on all models include air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, tilt and telescoping steering, and an eight-speaker sound system with cassette and CD player. A power moonroof is standard on the GLS models only. A remote CD player and heated front seats is optional on all models.

Performance & Handling

A 115-hp, two-liter, four-cylinder engine is standard on all models and a 90-hp. 1.9-liter, direct-injection, diesel engine is available. Either engine can be paired with a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission. Despite the low horsepower the Golf is described as quick and fun to drive, though not as sporty or aggressive as its GTI counterpart. Though it is responsive at low speeds and gets off the line quickly, it can struggle while accelerating at highway speeds. The ride can become a little rough on roads that are not in good condition and passengers will be jostled about when taking sharp corners.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2003 Golf include the required front-impact airbags, overhead airbags, dual front-side impact airbags, and ABS brakes. Optional features include traction control, brake assist, and stability control.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Golf: 23/29 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Golf diesel engine: 42/49 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Convenient dimensions
  • Responsive feel
  • Fun to drive
  • Price

You Won't Like

  • Acceleration at high speeds
  • Standard convenience features
  • Low-quality interior

Sum Up

The 2003 Golf is a fuel-efficient fun-to-drive economical vehicle and convenient for urban driving.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Insight
  • MINI Cooper

See the New 2015 Golf.

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