Having learned to drive on a 1962 bug, I have a certain affection for the Beetle. This new one does not disappoint and is uber fun to drive. Owing a new Suburban and also a HD bike, I use the Beetle for daily chores and business commuting. At 6'1" and 250lbs, I have plenty of room. I specifically wanted a turbo diesel, manual because a small car should be fun and involve the driver in the experience. Can't complain abut the 44mpg I am getting as well! I also have a grin on my face knowing that it does not meet current EPA requirements!!! Global warm this.
The turbo diesel, manual. A lot of pull, performs more like my Harley than a small diesel engine. Well done, German engineers. Performance does not disappoint.
Cosmetic. Bumper strips and door panel rub strips to minimize parking lot dings. Also, the battery removal process is absurd (but so German).
Yes you change oil every 5000 miles, but you have to go to the dealer and buy SPECIAL VW oil?? To do any basic maintenance you need a degree in mechanics?! Even then, you may not be able to reach the fitting or part that you want to service because it is so cramped and difficult. Now after 3 years we have problems: (a) difficulty in starting cold engine in the morning, (b) things fall apart inside the cabin (ashtray, window controls, hand-brake knob, etc.), (c) when you start engine lots of white smoke is delivered by exhaust pipe.
2003 5-Speed TDI. My expectations of VW quality have been all shut down. This is the worst new car purchased. 2 year old car that needs repairs all the time. Things that should work for years to come break, for example the gas cap release mechanism is a part of a large list of things. Gas milage of this vehicle is great, but what others do not tell you is that maintenance required for this car is horrible, Timing Belt Change every 40K miles required. Parts Sales person from VW told me that all the money you save on gas milage are spent on either repair or maintenance [TDIs mostly]. Have you checked VW reliability ratings? Search the web,you will be surprised that VW is in the Daewoo region!
Gas Milage, Very tourque car.
Rear Seats headroom and angle of back rest. Timing Belt change intervals are way to frequent. VW dealer knowledge of their own cars is not impressive. Quality of dealer repair work is poor. I found dropped tools in my engine bay when I changed oil. Parts and Labor pricing is way overpriced.
The 2004 5-speed stick shift VW Beetle
diesel has gotten me 52.1 mpg, average
is 49.0 highest of any car I have
owned. And more fun to drive than the
2003 4-speed auto model which never
got over 40 mpg.