Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 review: Model, Engine, Interior, Problems, Price in Nigeria, Specifications & More (Update in 2020)

Feb 23, 2018

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The Volkswagen Golf was born to be a small car for families made by the German carmaker Volkswagen since 1974. Until now, the car has gone through 7 generations with a large number of variants, body styles and nameplates. In Nigeria, the Volkswagen Golf is named as one of the best-selling cars on the market with a great reliability and reputation. Especially, with the birth of the third generation, the car has received a special favor of car enthusiasts. This time, we at pick the Golf Fourth Generation (Mk4) to inspect as the case study, and bring you Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 review. Let's check it out! 

1. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 model

Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 model comes available with 4 variants including the GTI, Match, Anniversary and Final Edition. Options for the car engine are the 1.8 L, 1.8 L turbo and the 2.0 L. 

2. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 review: History

The Golf 4 comes with a larger and more elegant design than its predecessor which already had a big body, boasting one of the hardest chassis in its class and unmatched quality of building.

Volkswagen Golf 3 2002 angular front

The Golf 3 comes with a larger and more elegant design than its predecessor

The 1.8 L model comes with 125 horsepower under the bonnet while adding a turbocharger can boost the power to 150 horsepower. In May 1998, side airbags were added, and in May 1999, the lineup was re-equipped with the 2.0 L model adopted as the base model.

In summer 2002, the car manufacturer decided to premiere the Volkswagen Golf GTi Anniversary to celebrate 25 years of the GTi’s production. With this model, the GTi is powered by a 180 bhp engine, making the GTi become an admirable sport hatch. 

3. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 model: What you get

The Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 boasts an evolutionary style which is a big difference from other on-market models. Unlike other carmakers who try to limit their cars’ budget, Volkswagen seems to be a generous one as it invested millions of Deutschmarks to make the most quality floorpan in the world of compact cars.

No Golf GTi engine can be described as an exact “state-of-the-art”. The 1.8 L is the best in the range. In comparison, some French contenders can sometimes bring more fun while driving but they do not feel safe or secure like the Golf does.

Volkswagen Golf 3 2002 interior

The Volkswagen Golf 3 2002 boasts an evolutionary style but it is a big difference with other on-market models

All Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 models come equipped with side airbags, rear seats combining with the intelligent Isofix system to attach a children's seat, a reach-adjustable and height steering column, ABS and twin front airbags. Small touches but make you impressed the most.

Rear seats of the Volkswagen Golf 3 2002

Rear seats of the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 

VW Golf 4 Variant 1.9 TDI (2001) on German Autobahn - POV Top Speed Drive

The car also has cup holders in the rear and the front, the chrome tie-down in the cargo area, the self-dimming interior lights, the special cover on the boot locking pin and the gas struts to keep the bonnet, all of which make its rivals feel cheap. It's also a car that will satisfy those who have an eye for the completness and attention to detail, if not those who remember what the original Golf   GTI was made for.

4. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 engines and performance

The Volkswagen Golf 4 is an astonishing 48% heavier than the Golf 1. This also means that the later generation requires much more power match the previous models. Although having 20 valves, turbo engines and modern electronic management, the Mk4 GTi 1.8 Turbo fail to match even the modest 1.6 GTi in terms of power/weight ratio.

Volkswagen Golf 3 2002 engine

The later generation requires much more power to be honorable enough to the previous models

The Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 engine is capable of cranking out 180 hp, showcases a smooth and refined drive. However, the driving sense that the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 brings is not highly appreciated as the steering wheel is quite light and the chassis appears a little ancient.

Even though, the 1.8 L GTi still received a good evaluation for its performance as it displays a syrupy, pleasant and mild drive with none of the verve of previous models.

Volkswagen Golf 3 2002 on the road

The 1.8 L GTi still received a good evaluation for its performance as it displays a syrupy, pleasant and mild drive with none of the verve of previous models

5. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 problems: What to check when buying a secondhand one

Although the Golf is known as a car with a great reliability and reputation, there are some of its parts that need to be inspected carefully when buying a secondhand one. Check out the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 problems as follows:

  • The first thing is the manual transmission in high-mileage Golfs. If you hear a lot of annoying noise from this part, it can be diagnosed that the car’s bearings are worn, so check it carefully.
  • Corrosion rarely happens on a Golf because the car uses good methods for rustproofing and good quality steel.
  • Pay more attention to a Golf with rust. It is a clear sign of a bad repair after serious accident damage. For example, a bent chassis may cause some corrosion and the car’s panels located incorrectly.
  • You also need to consider the premium you have to pay for the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 before making the final deal.

6. Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 specs

​​​Below are full specs of the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003. Check it out:

  Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 specs
Power (kW)  
132 kW 
Horsepower  180 hp 
Rev. at Max Power  5500 
Torque  235 Nm 
Torque (lb-ft)  173 lb-ft 
Rev. at Max Torque  1950 – 5000 
 4149 mm
Width  1735 mm 
Height  1439 mm 
Track, Front   1513 mm 
Track, Rear  1494 mm 
Wheel Base  2511 mm 
Turning Circle  10.9 m 
Ground Clearance 102 mm 
Curb Weight  
1213 kg 
Gross Weight  1780 kg 
Max Trailer Load, braked 12%  1300 kg 
Max Trailer Load, unbraked  600 kg 
Cargo Capacity  567 kg 
Max Roof Load  75 kg 
Top Speed 222 km/h 
Acceleration, 0-100 km/h  7.9 s 
Fuel Type  Petrol 
Tank Capacity  55 l 
Fuel Consumption
  • City  11.7 l/100km
  • Highway  6.5 l/100km
  • Combined  8.4 l/100km

7. Volkswagen Golf 4 2004 price

Please consult the table below for the fair market price of the Volkswagen Golf of all generations in Nigeria:

  Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 price
Model Price 
Golf 3 1993 – 1998  N500K – N600K 
Golf 4 1998 – 2002  N600K – N800K 
Golf 5 2003 – 2008  N1.1 million – N1.5 million 
Golf 6 2009 – 2012  N1.5 million – N1.8 million


This car has received a number of prestigious awards since its launch, which also means the car is a worthy choice for car lovers. With a number of standard and state-of-the-art features and a good performance, the Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 promises to be a perfect partner for your trips. At the end, hope that our Volkswagen Golf 4 2003 review will be helpful for you and inspire you to drive home a Golf. 

>>> Reviews and prices in Nigeria of Volkswagen products:

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