2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Manual Consumer Review - Let Me Tell You What's

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback - Consumer Review

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Let Me Tell You What's BUG'n Me
By steelfab on


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


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.

Favorite Features

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

Suggested Improvements

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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