The TDI Beetle is a great idea, I bought it because I assumed it would get good mileage and last a long time. Yes and no. It generally gets good gas mileage but there is a problem. Our diesel fuel isn't all that good and the engine has a tendency to combine some of the bad components with carbon particles which, over time, ends up clogging the intake manifold. There has been a solution (a rather expensive one) but VW no longer supports it. You can get to about 30,000 - 40,000 miles before something has to be done. Know this going in, if VW figures out a solution to this problem, the car is a great buy, if they don't stay away.
The engine has been updated and has more power for 2004. It is a great little car to drive and practical. The back seat folds down completely.
They have to figure out a solution to the fuel problem.