2002 Volkswagen New Beetle Consumer Review: After 5 Years of Ownership

2002 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback - Consumer Review

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
After 5 Years of Ownership
By PJC on


2002 Volkswagen New Beetle Sport 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


I was shopping for a WRX when I spotted the new Reflex Silver New Beetle Sport that had just arrived at the VW/Subaru dealer. Having stepped out of a Lincoln MKVIII, it took some getting used to, but I learned to lov... make that really like the little car. The major disappointments were harsh ride quality; having the driver side window motor suddenly quit (warranty); a short in right rear tail light assembly requiring 5 dealer visits for bulb replacement in 1 1/2 months (warranty, after $80 in repairs); and having a defective "leather" driver seat cover replaced (with another defective one)((Warranty, 1 time only).

Best Features

Long-legged and stable highway cruising capability, with plenty of passing power. I can drive for 10 hours and not be tired. 57,000 miles and still going on standard Michelin Pilots, with plenty of tread life left. Great winter driver with traction control and ABS. Decent stereo/CD player.

Worst Features

Better quality materials. There's no excuse for a "leather" seat cover to wear through in 3 months, have it replaced with another defective one, then refuse to replace it a second time. Up the speed limit for the automatic sunroof closure from 90 to 100 mph.
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