I bought my '99 Beetle with 38,000 miles on it. It now has 52,000 miles. It is pretty good overall, despite the little "Mickey Mouse" problems that most bug owners complain about (cup holders, visors, etc.). The cloth seats do stain easily. The plastic does melt and scratch/break easily. The lights are iffy, however they are not as hard to replace as most think. Get a Haynes Repair manual (about $12 at any auto shop). My car's headlight was replaced in 10 minutes and for only $3 (the cost of the bulb). Everything seems to be working fine except for the CD player which is located in the trunk and a leak in my a.c. evaporator. The shop quoted me about $2,000 to fix it. I said "no thanks" and just added freon. It's good for now until it all leaks out again, in which case i will add more freon.
The acceleration, handling on curves and turns, exterior styling, good gas mileage, front seats are roomy, good sound system, interior lights, and how it shifts easily.
It should have better cup holders, smaller blind spots, bigger sun visors, and and what's up with the cheap plastic?!?! How about something that doesn't melt? I should have more room in the backseat, maybe some power seats? The turny knob to adjust the seat is a pain in the butt. It should have a bigger trunk and easier engine access.
I've owned my '99 for seven months. I had a '98 Beetle for a year and half before I got this one. When I got into an accident there was no doubt I was getting another Bug. It's a great car, and it does well in the mountains and on long high trips. I've had to change both headlight bulbs, window motors, serpentine belts and the AC has a leak. Aside from these minor things (which I've come to find EVERY car manufacturer has) the car runs great, is fun to drive, and I get tons of compliments on my cute red car. I'm hoping to upgrade to a newer, higher model soon.
The space, three-way adjusting seats, telescoping steering wheel, easy to shift, and the "zippiness" of the 2.0 liter engine.
This car is hard to work on for do it yourselfers, the sun visors are useless, the cloth upholstery is hard to keep clean, and wish I had leather and a sunroof.
After seven years of daily use, I am still very happy with my Beetle. Other New Beetles have had reliability problems, but I have had no problems with the engine or transmission. I have had minor problems with the window switches breaking, but the replacements seem to have held up. This is a much better engine than the 2.0L gas, and it gives far better economy. The downside is whenever we go somewhere I always have to drive!
The engine is the best thing about this car. It gets great fuel economy and has great torque. I can pass almost everything on the long uphills, especially at high altitude. Everyone who drives it is impressed with the power. The styling never changes, which is good.
Cons: Many impractical features due to the design, I wish it had bought a Golf instead. For instance, car does not have a rectangular trunk - cannot carry golf bag. Also, the rear seat headroom is not good. The front pillars interfere with visibility. Finally, it badly needs extensions for the sun visors.
I love my Beetle. It is fun to drive...like driving a big go cart. I have had to have the transmission replaced and a new starter. That is all that has been replaced and it has almost 91,000 miles on it. If it had better gas mileage that would be good. It is a great little car. I will definitely buy another...only it will be a manual with a sunroof or convertible.
I have a 1999 (2/24/99) GLS bug with 200,000 miles on it, and I drive the heck out of it. I drive it fast, hard, and occaisionally offroad. (get the sport springs). I'm very hard on the things I own, and the fact my Bug is still with me is a testament to it's inital design and early warranty recalls (window switches and a couple sensors back around year 2) - all the "bells and whisles" worriers can forget about it for their next car - and get auto door locks and windows already! All of my issues have stemmed from things thrown at my car on the freeway (rocks, ladders, etc) and as long as you keep up with the maintaince, shocks, and a failed engine sensor every year, you're good.
I love the good cabin room, design, dhape, front seats, handling (after sport springs), fit of build, overall engineering of the car and individual pieces. It is better than any US car I've ever sat in / drove (and yeah, I've owned 'em).
Improve the engine access, make it easier to remove the front clip? automatic transmission fluid level and filler cap please! no 100$ trips to the dealership so they can use a water bottle and a hose to add fluid - I can do that! My car currently leaks fluid from oil and ATF fluid the dealership can't find it (boo!)