Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Consumer Reviews - 112 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback - Consumer Reviews

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback

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112 Total Reviews

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A chuggy Volkswagen!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Briana
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This is far the worst car I had! When I bought it at 151,000 miles, a few weeks later I noticed a lot white smoke coming out my tail pipe as I accelerate and it was chugging during that time. (Worse in winter). It faced a lot oil leaks and found out I had coolant leak too. I tried to get this oil leak under control after 3 repairs and still hasn't been fixed and spent slightly over $1,000 for that same oil problem. Oi! She was an oil eater! Until I finally got a tune up, that helped the chugging to stop, but then still got blue smoke coming out tail pipe. Not to mention, this is a turbo engine. My mechanic who specialize in European cars mentioned that turbo goes out every 75,000 miles. A turbo itself is $700 and labor? Probably $1,000. Eventhough, two Volkswagen dealerships told me I needed a new engine.

Sitting in that driver bucket seat is uncomfortable. My lower back started to feel the burning and aching. The headlights are always loose, the rubber sealing doesn't reattach properly. The lightbulbs? They burn out frequently. My CD player skips or stops music for few seconds. I always had fast right turn blinker...even with all lightbulbs seemed to work.

Too many problems! I'm not totally against the beetle, but she was a real BUGGER! Not buying VW again.


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Warning..do not purchase a new beetle
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Robert
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Purchased this car for my daughter in high school. Now I spend all my spare time trying to keep it running. Plastic motor parts crack and need to be replaced almost weely. I have replaced the anti freeze overfill tank and heater hose connections. The transmission is junk. Jerky and shifts hard. Dangerous to drive. Many electrical issues. Interior gets wet when it rains. To many issues to remember. Do not get ducked into the cuteness of the car. They are totally worthless vehicles


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Let Me Tell You What's BUG'n Me
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By steelfab
on

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.


Best Features

The moon roof was nice and the leather interior was attractive. But the red seat panel leather on the passenger seat faded.


Worst Features

Volkswagen, you should start over or forget this model. The original Beetle was very inexpensive and super reliable. They seemed to survive anything, though they were lacking a bit in comfort. The new Beetle is a complete 180 on that idea. The MSRP for this vehicle is outrageous for the low quality parts and manufacturing the consumer receives. Sure it's more comfotable than the original. I guess that is convenient when you are sitting beside the road waiting for roadside assistance to rescue you. I understand that all vehicles in a model year perform differently but this one has prompted me to warn everyone I know away from Volkswagen.


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German Engineering?
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By julse520
on

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


Best Features

My leather is beautiful blue matching the exterior color of the car. Turbo is awesome when it's not lagging. And also, you'll probably never get pulled over because really? What cop is suspicious of a bug?


Worst Features

The cup holders are in an awful place. Can't even fit a big gulp! If you're going to make a tiny econemy car, at least make it with fuel econemy over 25 mpg. My moms SUV does better than my car!


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Spend your money elsewhere
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By julianna33
on

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


Best Features

Shape and cuteness of car


Worst Features

This car needs so much help, terrible parts and exspensive


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