This is/was our 2nd VW New Beetle TDI. Both 2003's. I can say that I've been very happy overall with both cars. The only downside is the maintenance expense compared to Toyota's (zero unscheduled maintenance expense with every Toyota I've owned). But kinda boring.
BOTH Bugs: FUN to drive! More comfortable (I'm 6'3"). Great road trip car, for my wife and I with plenty of room for luggage with the back seat folded down. GREAT mileage (never less than 43 with everyday driving and up to 55mpg on road trips). We used it as a 2nd car and whoever had to drive the furthest that day.. WANTED the bug. Fun and cheap!
Great economy from a fuel standpoint. Great performance - handled awesome and plenty of power over mountain passes, freeway passing etc. Not a race car, but for cruising it was awesome, predictable and safe.
Oh did I mention safe? A car pulled out in front of us from a side road as we were cruising the speed limit at 70mph in rural Texas. 10 car lengths. Brakes and handling were flawless, we nearly avoided the accident. Impact at approximately 50 mph and walked away with relatively minor injuries. THAT is Gods grace and German engineering!
Maintenance is expensive comparatively speaking to American and Japanese cars. Although the car performs and handles well, with both cars we could count on little piddly electrical, and mechanical system repairs totaling about $600-$900 per year. That pretty much offsets the great fuel economy. The plastics look substantial, but are always breaking on the interior and in the engine compartment. Just degrading, becoming brittle and falling apart. Expensive to replace/fix and keep up.
This is one of the best and most reliable car I have ever owned. Special Ordered before the big gas crisis. I can count on my hand how many times this car has been to the dealer for unscheduled service. First 100 miles the waterpump failed and was replaced without any hassles. Second time was due to the city of Chicago not posting any hazard warning for street work, destroying the bottom oil pan at 40,000 miles. The other times for regular wear and tear over the span of time.You will not be disappointed.
Firstly the fact that it's a TDI, you save lots of $$$. The heated seats are help cold morning starts.Average mileage ranges from a frugal 58 mpg to mad gas stomping and fast driving 38 mpg.
Firstly the radio casette player, it needs a cd player, why Vw in 2003. Next the am amplified antenna failed, I listen to alot of am radio,the reception is non-existent.Daytime running lights on my 3rd set. Lastly the window regulator is failing after 84000 miles.Hence the 9 on build
This TDI was purchased with the intent of commuting. It returned 47 mpg the first two years of ownership but just 43 mpg since a new set of tires was put on at 60,000 miles. It starts right up in cold weather (as low as -8 F), handles well, and has more than enough power. The car is comfortable and has been dependable to date other than the repeated replacement of headlights (three in 65,000 miles). The interior has held up well despite the miles and three kids. I bought it as a leftover for $16,600 and it has proven to be very reliable. My uncle owns an auto 2002 TDI and gets 42 mpg. Mine is the 5-speed stick. I am looking for a second one for my teenage daughter.
The great gas mileage, style, and practicality.
The cup holders are poorly designed. The rear seats should fold flat to horizontal.
I was told when I bought this car it would get 42/52 MPG because it is a deisel I have never even gotten 40 MPG ever! I felt ripped off! by the Dealer! They told me to write to VW, even though the salesman told me and repeatedly told me about the high MPG the best I've ever gotten is 35 MPG city and highway, which isn't bad, but it's not 42 or even 52 as promised by the salesman! I will never buy another car from this DEALER ever again! I feel ripped off every time I fill up.
It handles well, has a great sound system, and the heated seats are a plus in the winter!
Stop lying about the gas milage. A 4 door model would be nice!!! instant heat would be nice.
The TDI Beetle is a great idea, I bought it because I assumed it would get good mileage and last a long time. Yes and no. It generally gets good gas mileage but there is a problem. Our diesel fuel isn't all that good and the engine has a tendency to combine some of the bad components with carbon particles which, over time, ends up clogging the intake manifold. There has been a solution (a rather expensive one) but VW no longer supports it. You can get to about 30,000 - 40,000 miles before something has to be done. Know this going in, if VW figures out a solution to this problem, the car is a great buy, if they don't stay away.
The engine has been updated and has more power for 2004. It is a great little car to drive and practical. The back seat folds down completely.
They have to figure out a solution to the fuel problem.