2003 Volkswagen New Beetle - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 203 Total Reviews
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Never again
By twilliams on 04/10/10 15:03 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 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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New Beetle Convert - Always a Problem
By New Beetle Convert on 03/07/10 12:26 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

When it's all working? How fun. But most of the time something is broken. Windows, Convertible top mechanism, lights. Convertible mechanical flaps. Very expensive to fix any of it. Don't buy this car for the quality.
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electronic issues
By Heidi on 01/09/10 09:42 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Very disappointed in the electronics of my bug - it has had so many "bugs". I've had the seat belt/airbag sensors replaced, various other sensors, the catalytic converter and every time I get in it there's seems to be some dash light that comes on indicating a problem. The car has 75,000 miles on it and is a lot of fun to drive, but I'm not recommending purchasing a Beetle because of the issues it has had. I've written a letter to the headquarters regarding the issues along with receipts from my repairs. Every time I take it to the dealer they want to charge $80+ for diagnostics. I'm at the point now that I'm looking to purchase another vehicle because of the problems I've had.
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Love/Hate Relationship
By Sarah on 12/27/09 18:26 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 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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6 years of Reliability
By Karlos on 06/21/09 20:01 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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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 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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lemon beetle
By verna portugues on 04/19/09 04:47 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I have spent over $8,000 trying to get my beetle to stop jerking without avail. Now I have to spend another 6,000 to replace the transmission. And I still owe on the car. the beetle is a pretty car but not worth the hassle.
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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 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 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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Great car, horrible top
By Todd on 07/30/08 12:31 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I love this car. I'm a BIG guy and I have all of the comfort of my Chrysler 300. The only issue I've had is with the convertible top. I've had it in 4 times because some cables in the raising and lowering mechanism come off track and get caught up in the whole works and it screws up the top liner. It seems to be fixed, but now it happened to the other side and it pulled more cables loose, part of the interior molding and broke some other pieces that are down inside. I've only had the car for 9 months and have only been putting the top down for 3 of them. It only had 24,000 miles when I got it!
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