Used Car of the Day: 2003 Volkswagen GTI
Today's UCOTD is a 20-year-old sporty hatchback at a reasonable price. This 2003 Volkswagen GTI isn't expensive, but it is showing its age, as the seller admits.
This manual-transmission, GLX-trim car has 158,000 miles on it, and the seller says it runs well and everything functions as it should. He or she also says the car has been well-cared for and maintained and the recent maintenance records are available. The car is stock -- no mods -- and the suspension is new.
So, too, are the brake rotors and pads. Other items have been replaced over the years and the car has a new catback exhaust.
The bad news here is that the car looks every bit of two decades old, there are scratches and dents, and there is some rust.
For $4,000, you may be able to snag a sporty hatchback that runs well but needs some TLC for the exterior. Click here for the full listing.
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I had a 2004 VR6 with the 6-speed, and it was one of the best cars I have ever owned. It ran great, and as long as you have a mechanic who knows VWs, the maintenance was not too bad. The only reason I got rid of her was because we were having a baby, so I traded it in for a 2016 GTI 4-door. I still have the 2016 GTI, running great with 100k miles, and it is a superior car in every objective measure, but I still miss the 2004 and the VR6 engine.
Before the MkIV I had a 2006 Audi A4 3.2 MT, and had a similar experience with post-warranty maintenance. It was insane, so I sold it and picked up the MkIV for a steel because it already had high mileage. The Audi was a great car but the GTI was so much fun I didn’t miss it.