1999 Volkswagen New Beetle Consumer Review: Not my Grandma's '58

1999 Volkswagen New Beetle - Consumer Review

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Not my Grandma's '58
By straightliner on


1999 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2dr Hatchback


First VW I've owned. Purchased used w/55K and doubled the mileage. Not bad in the beginning, but repairs have been escalating. Went through three water pumps, mass air flow sensor failed, intake leak (causing check engine light and failed emissions), radiator replacement. Funny, but all the electrical glitches and broken plastic others complain about haven't been a problem. The alarm system never seemed to work as advertised, trunk latch doesn't always catch and I got stranded w/the valet key once, but otherwise OK. Fun to drive, love the stick and still turns heads after all these years. I'm glad I tried it, but approaching 110K and $4,000 in repairs, I'm ambivalent.

Best Features

Cute styling, fun factor, non-turbo nets an extra 10 mpg (I get about 30 with city/hwy mix, but have seen as high as 37 pure hwy), cool way the seats fold fwd, spacious interior and head/leg room (in front only!).

Worst Features

Need a big quality improvement. Three gang cupholders under console are ridiculous for cups, but are perfect for a coin holder, small bottle of hand lotion, and cell phone.
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