2003 Volkswagen New Beetle - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 204 Total Reviews
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The not too bad, the good and the great!
By ruzzeld on 09/23/14 13:36 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M)

Review

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!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
My Horror Story
By azuki on 03/19/14 21:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Review

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.
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1 of 3 people found this review helpful
2003 New Beetle Turbo
By iatros on 11/16/12 06:58 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLX 2dr Convertible (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Review

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!
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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 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 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 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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disposable car
By ruizd on 06/14/11 01:34 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Review

I bought a 2003 convertible beetle with 60k. one week after driving it i notice a hard shift, a few days after an oil leak was noticed. I took it a Volkswagen dealer and they did a diagnostic and confirmed what I told them, suggested that I do a transmission fluid check and it could fix the problem I said BS. I had read all the complaints about this car and my mechanic also told me that I should have never bought it, he pointed out the the transmission could not be serviced and all of the hoses are made of plastic that with heat they become brittle and break.. so I took my loss and bought a Honda accord. don't buy this car is disposable. I would never buy a volkswagen again..
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Over Powered Go Cart
By johnrushing on 03/17/11 18:34 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 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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Poor build quality and transmission lets it down
By ricochet65 on 02/23/11 04:42 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle GLS 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Review

2003 Convertible, lightly driven with 43000 miles. Transmission failed, due to what now appears to be a known problem with the "valve body". VW support extremely poor. This car looks nice but has been nothing but trouble: windows do not work correctly, have been fixed twice, roof gets stuck and VW fitter wanted $1500 to repair (it took me 10 minutes to snap the loose clip back on and cost nothing - so much for service. Everything is a hassle to repair - battery is over $200, bulbs cannot be replaced easily, airbag light cost $250 to temporarily repair. If you want the beetle style spend the money on a restored air cooled one, from when VW knew how to make serviceable vehicles!
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BEETLE A GOOD CAR
By KELLY on 11/15/10 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 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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