2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback - Consumer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Let Me Tell You What's BUG'n Me
By steelfab on 09/16/12 10:59 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Turbo S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Review

We bought our 03 Beetle with the 1.8L with about 50,000 miles on it. Within weeks it had an engine light on. I have battled the engine light, among other things, ever since. We changed an injector and a coil pack on the number 2 cylinder because of a persistent miss. This was after diagnosis of codes would not narrow the problem down. Immediately following it began cranking hard on start and not starting until the second attempt. First code said crankshaft sensor so we replaced that. Had to replace camshaft sensor thereafter to fix the problem. Next it threw a coolant system code so we replaced the ECT sensor. After that the thermostat. This car was a reliability nightmare. Never ever again.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
German Engineering?
By julse520 on 07/13/12 15:07 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GLX 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

Review

I bought this as my first car thinking I was being smart by buying something with good fuel econemy and reliability. I love to drive the car when it's working properly.For the first two months or so, she provided me with all of that until one day, during rush hour traffic, the car lost ALL power completely. After that, car SLAMS into gear. Now, the car likes to do that randomly in awful places. The turbo lag on a hot day is ridiculous. I feel like I'm going to be killed sometime soon. And also, all the plastic finishes in the interior break. Car is made extremely cheep. Oh yea, german engineering? It's made in MEXICO if that explains the awesome reliability haha
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Spend your money elsewhere
By julianna33 on 11/28/11 12:19 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Turbo S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Review

From my experience with VW my car and others they are junk. They all break easily. I have had to repair so many things a 1K a pop 5 times at least. Not including maintenance things. The design so compact requires many hours of labor to remove and replace to get to certain things. Plus the headlight lens falls off and cost ALOT of money to replace which i have done twice now at $400 each lens assembly and its falling off again! Just a crappy car. My sister has a golf the transmission and engine are going. Other family members have toyota and honda and hey i have never seen a repair as stupid or as costly or as often as VW repairs are. Junkie cars and they say German engineering is the best HA
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Over Powered Go Cart
By johnrushing on 03/17/11 18:34 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Turbo S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Review

I've owned my Turbo S for almost 6 years and have loved every minute of it. I love the power the little 1.8t makes and how smooth the power comes on. I left mine stock up until last year and then started modifying it. I love the look on Mustang drivers when a little beetle pulls ahead of them. The handling is great, like it's on rails, and the fuel economy is good. Before modifying the engine I got my best mpg of 32 mpg by driving no faster than 65mph and not doing any jack rabbit starts. With the mods I am still getting 29mpg. I plan on keeping the beetle and seeing exactly what type of performance the 1.8t has in it, have seen a few putting out over 350hp and still very drivable.
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BEETLE A GOOD CAR
By KELLY on 11/15/10 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GLS 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Review

BOUGHT AN 03 BEETLE AND PUT SOME MONEY INTO IT AFTER A ELECTRICAL PROBLEM AND IT HAS BEEN AN EXCELLENT CAR. i HAVE PUT SO MANY MILES ON THE CAR, THAT I WAS AMAZED THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO PUT AS MUCH MONEY AS AN AMERICAN CAR. IT IS DOWN TO THE WIRE AND I AM GETTING READY TO GET A NEW CAR AND THE BEETLE WILL GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE BEST CARS EVER MADE. tHE vw HAS SOME QUIRKS BUT I NEVER DROVE A CAR THAT DID NOT. tHE GERMAN TECH IS amazing!!! THE CAR LOOKS BRAND new ON THE OUTSIDE AND I HAVE BEEN GIVEN OFFERS TO SELL THE CAR BECUASE OF THE UP KEEP. VOLKSWAGON IS NO LONGER MAKING THEM AND I DOUBT THE BEETLE WILL RETURN SO I THINK A BEETLE IS BEST AS A SECOND CAR . I AM SAD BUT READY FOR NEW!
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Never again
By twilliams on 04/10/10 15:03 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Bought car w/only 17,000 miles-1 owner. Brakes/front needed new w/rotors @ 37,000 miles. R/brakes w/rotors @ 58,000. R/hatch takes 2-3 hits to release. Have had 4 low beam bulbs burn out! Dealer charges $$$ 2 replace. Check engine light on, thermostat eng. Temp light on yet nothing wrong at all. Interior continues to fall apart- radio presets, visor clip, hand brake knob, dash vent close knob, tilt/tele. Rubber knob loose, glove comp. Latch ready to fall apart anytime now. Will never buy a Volkswagen again no matter what model. Have a few months to pay off, then selling it before it fails me for good. I maintain my cars well & drive them easy. Worst car ever owned- period.
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Love/Hate Relationship
By Sarah on 12/27/09 18:26 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GLX 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

Review

I bought this car just 3 months ago and the love of the car died very quickly. 2 weeks after having the car the check engine light came on and it needed a thermostat and temperature sensor ($600), then a few weeks after that the oil light comes on, can't figure out why, now 3 months later the moon roof has decided to pop up and down all on its own, its creepy, I have just gotten to the point that I laugh at the car when one of the lights comes on. I love the look of the car and its fun to drive, people wave at you and smile when they see you but Volkswagen did a horrible job at making this vehicle and really makes German engineering look bad. I will never buy another Volkswagen product again
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Worst car I've ever owned
By Glenn Acheson on 06/07/09 20:17 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

This car is the worst car I've ever owned. The transmission shifts hard when its warm - dealer says that's normal. When shifting from Reverse to Drive or vice versa, you have to wait several seconds for it to engage. Replacing the battery was a royal pain, not to mention expensive. Replacing one of the front headlights was even worse. Now one of the front lenses has fallen off... The front left turn signal fell out of place from some clip that's broken. Now the check engine light is on - who knows how much THAT's going to cost. Performance is wretched, even for a 4 cyl. Mileage is only 25 mpg hwy. My 6 cyl 2000 Taurus gets 28!!!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Coil Packs, Coil Packs, Coil Packs.
By Dozier450 on 02/11/09 09:37 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GL 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Review

Purchased this 2003 Beetle with 39k on 12-31-08 for daughter. I've had to replace three coil packs, the 4th was already replaced when the car was purchased. VW had a problem with issue, but told me this car was not covered under the recall back during 2003. I was also told that I could take this car to the dealer and pay $100.00 to get the codes read and if I keep the receipts and if they ever do recall this issue, then I could send in for a refund. I decided to use the $100.00 code fee and purchase new coil packs. I did buy a code scanner off of eBay for less than $30.00, it reads and clears the Check Engine Light after you make the repair. This car has the 1.8T engine.
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Dead at 66.000 Miles!
By Rick on 01/07/09 20:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Turbo S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Review

I purchased my Beetle for 4 years in 2003. It was in the shop 6 times the first year! Now at 66,000 miles the engine has lost all compression. My local mechanic could not find a reason so I had it towed to the VW dealership to see if they could tell me what happened. They did not have a clue, but said the engine is definitely dead. I had the oil changed every 4000 miles. The power train warranty expired at 60,000 miles (before 2003 it was a 100,00 mile warranty. I am through with VW's! (oh yes, and I still owe money on this pile of junk)
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