2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback


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Volkswagen New Beetle Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 100 hp @ 4000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 32/42 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

  • The image car in VW's lineup, the New Beetle offers a unique combination of safety, fun and upscale features for its price range.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Cute yet classic styling, range of engine choices, long list of standard features, good crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Tight rear-seat accommodations, limited cargo room, high price of Turbo S model.

  • What's New for 2004

    For 2004, the New Beetle is no longer available in GLX trim. There's an improved TDI engine and restyled 16- and 17-inch wheels. Turbo S…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (110 total reviews)

Let me tell you what's

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

German engineering?

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle

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

Spend your money elsewhere

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle

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

Gas Mileage


  • 32
  • cty
  • 42
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

What's New for 2004

For 2004, the New Beetle is no longer available in GLX trim. There's an improved TDI engine and restyled 16- and 17-inch wheels. Turbo S models get uniquely styled 17-inch wheels as a late-year addition. New safety features include head curtain airbags and upgraded head restraints. The Monsoon audio system is now standard on the GLS and new GDL headlights are optional. Later in the model year a fixed rear spoiler will replace the power-operated unit and a CD player with MP3 capability will be added. Convertibles get new exterior colors and color combinations. All Beetles get a new fuel cap warning light this year. TDI models can be equipped with a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), which is a six-speed manual transmission with electronic control of the clutch and gearshifting. It can be operated in full automatic mode, like a traditional automatic, or shifted manually like a Tiptronic.

Talk About The 2004 New Beetle