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.
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
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
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. There has been zero unscheduled maintenance expense with every Toyota I've owned.
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!
Update: the beetle had great crash safety & performance. We were in an accident where a drunk driver pulled out in front of us & we hit him at nearly 70mph. We both survived.
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
This was my first car at the age of 18. When I got my Beetle, it had about 72,000 miles on it, and not even 4 months after receiving it, the problems began. Immediately, my transmission died completely. My warranty company gave me a $4,000 check and voided my warranty after seeing the $12,000 repair bill. Then, the battery died. Twice. As did the alternator and air conditioning. My rear window also got stuck and that would have cost me 4 hours of labor fees just to get to the broken bits. It's not like I drove it a lot - over a course of 3 years I didn't even drive 10,000 miles. For the love of god, stay away from this car. It is one problem after another, literally every 3-5 months.
Update: It has been two years since I got my new car I have nicknamed "Not Beetle," and have had zero problems with it. Turns out the secret of German engineering is to buy a Korean car instead.
I bought our 2003 New Beetle Convertible Turbo with auto 6 speed in June 2003 for my wife's birthday. We had to go to Arlington, TX, to order one of the first to come into the USA. My wife has loved this car! The handling and comfort are great, and she loves to leave the pickemup drivers standing at the lights. We don't drive it much, but one highlight was trip from Huntsville, AL, to Ashville, NC, in October. But I worry a bit. There have been several service issues, including one coil recoil. The latest service, with 57,600 miles, was the appearance of Service Engine light. Dealer wants only $2200 to fix everything!
Convertible (what can I say?)!
Good headlamp illumination at night!
Many small details concerning assembly and engineering, as we have had about a dozen service issues.
Expensive to service, i.e. new battery required tow to shop and $229 to replace, burned out headlamp over $100, wiper blades nearly $100.
Part of this is due to worsening exchange rate from 03 to present.
Part of this is simply exploitation of exotic import.