Used Car of the Day: 2003 Volkswagen GTI

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

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.

[Images: Seller]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
3 of 17 comments
  • L.Hutz L.Hutz on Feb 10, 2023

    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.

    • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Feb 10, 2023

      I too had a Mark IV, a '00 GTI, GLX VR6 manual, silver over black. Added some 17" MSW wheels, it looked like a much more expensive car. Great driver, supremely comfortable and the VR6 was smooth, almost turbine like. The suspension was soft, but it would hang on despite massive lean and remain planted. The VW dealers in Atlanta at that time were all awful and routine service was expensive. I ended up trading it for a '00 BMW 740iL that was beautiful but, once the warranty ran out made VW service look like a bargain. Sure wish I'd had kept the GTI.

  • L.Hutz L.Hutz on Feb 11, 2023

    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.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.