• (4.0) 40 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,275–$7,383
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 25-42
  • Engine: 115-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2004 Volkswagen Jetta

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Volkswagen Jetta

What We Don't Like

  • Seat adjustment
  • Price

Notable Features

  • Sedan and wagon body styles
  • Gasoline and diesel engines
  • Manual or automatic
  • FWD layout

2004 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Volkswagen’s Jetta sedan is built from the same design, and features similar front styling, than the automaker’s Golf hatchback. But the Jetta is equipped with a trunk at the rear. The Jetta is Volkswagen’s most popular model in the United States.

A revised standard-equipment list was the big news in 2003 for Volkswagen’s four-door Jetta sedan and wagon. The GL version gained heated power mirrors and a premium cassette/CD stereo system. All models offer Volkswagen’s Electronic Stability Program, which is either standard or optional depending on the trim level.

The GLX version exits the Jetta lineup, leaving only the GL, GLS and GLI for the 2004 model year. A new 1.9-liter TDI (turbo-diesel) engine is rated at 100 horsepower. The taillights have been restyled, the front end features a fresh chrome grille and bumpers, and a Monsoon sound system goes into the GLS.

The Jetta is a four-door sedan with a trunk, and it uses the same sheet metal as the Golf hatchback for the front half. At 172.3 inches long overall, the Jetta is more than 7 inches longer than the Golf but is several inches shorter than the Honda Civic. The Jetta rides the same 98.9-inch wheelbase as the Golf. Optional 17-inch alloy wheels may be substituted for the standard 16-inchers.

A taller stance translates to more headroom and a comfortable upright seating position. The Jetta seats five people. Cargo capacity is 13 cubic feet, but the deep trunk has more usable space than that figure suggests. A split rear seatback folds for additional storage space.

Most of the Jetta’s controls are high enough to be seen and reached easily. The gauges have red needles and blue backlighting. Air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel are standard.

Climatronic is standard on the GLX, and a Monsoon sound system is optional in the GL. An optional Cold Weather Package includes heated front seats and heated windshield-washer nozzles.

Under the Hood
The GL and GLS are equipped with either a 115-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a 100-hp, turbocharged 1.9-liter direct-injection four-cylinder diesel. A 180-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder propels the GLS 1.8T models, and a 200-hp, 2.8-liter V-6 powers the GLI VR6 models. The 115-hp gas engine comes standard with a five-speed-manual transmission, and a four-speed automatic is optional. The 100-hp diesel and 180-hp gas engine come standard with a five-speed manual, while a five-speed automatic with a Tiptronic manual-shifting provision is available. The 200-hp gas engine comes only with a six-speed-manual transmission.

Antilock brakes, side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags that deploy from the ceiling are standard. All-speed traction control is standard on models with the 1.8-liter turbo.

Jetta Wagon
Other than the wagon body style, the technical details and driving experience of the Jetta Wagon are virtually identical to the Jetta sedan.

Driving Impressions
Exuberant throttle response is immediately evident in the turbocharged 1.8T sedan with the Tiptronic gearbox. Excellent transmission reactions and a lack of awkward gear changes add to the pleasure. The Jetta is pleasantly quiet at all times, and it yields a satisfying ride through harsh pavement. Even on wet surfaces, the sedan reacts with total control that is aided by quick, precise steering.

Volkswagen’s vehicles are known for their European character and responsive handling skills, and the Jetta is no exception. Buyers get an impressive array of standard safety features and can count on far more than basic transportation — especially with the latest turbocharged engine on tap.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 11/5/03

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 40 reviews

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bad transmition sytems

by ed from Hollywood on September 15, 2017

Do not work well the transmission systems, when is turning the shift do not work well and suddenly change to a wrong shift

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13 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Volkswagen Jetta trim comparison will help you decide.

Volkswagen Jetta Articles

2004 Volkswagen Jetta Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 4 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years