2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2005 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 32/41 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle

  • The image car in VW's lineup (and the original retro-mobile), 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, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Tight rear-seat accommodations, limited cargo room, Turbo S model priced much higher than comparable performance coupes.

  • What's New for 2005

    Changes for 2005 include a new optional six-speed automatic transmission with the 2.0 and 1.8T engines, a standard MP3 connector for the radio and a satellite radio (either XM or Sirius) option. The 1.8T engine gets squeaky-clean with a ULEV emissions rating. Color changes (always an important factor in any New Beetle purchase) are as follows: Shadow Blue replaces Galactic Blue, Tornado Red replaces Uni Red, and Blue Lagoon is no longer available.

Gas Mileage


  • 32
  • cty
  • 41
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Yet another lemon new beetle

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

The worst VW I have ever owned. Hideous number of electrical problems with multiple trips to the dealer for air bags, engine indicator lights, turn signals and so on. Transmission died a few miles from expiration. I actually pulled to the side of the road, called the dealer on my cellular phone and reported the problem and gave them the mileage a told them the problem occurred UNDER warranty. The timing belt broke, roughly a 300 buck fix, but it took out all but 2 valves. Cost over 3,000 to put back on the road and then more problems with the exhaust and gaskets. Now the turbo makes a funny, and not ha-ha, noise and I am looking at my fourth set of tires. Will never own another VW.

Lemon beetle

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

Bought this cute bug 6 years ago for my daughter. Has been in the shop more times than I can count. I've always had it serviced right on time either at a dealer or by a VW specialist and still have tons of problems. Main ones: - SUNROOF LEAKS - ruined interior! Have taken it to a VW dealer 4 times and an independent specialist once. Still leaks. Really bad design! - POWER WINDOW MOTOR - Replaced - Misc Buttons - pop off. Design is also really a 2-seater as the rear seats are virtually useless for anyone over 5 feet tall. My daughter wanted this based on looks alone. At least this has been a great lesson for her. NEXT TIME SHE'LL BUY QUALITY IN ADDITION TO LOOKS. AVOID THE BUG!

A fun little car!

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

I LOVE my bug!!! I have flowers decked out all over it and it really turns heads! It is zippy and fun and the convertible top is great for Florida. I have had it in the shop for multiple repairs, but they've all been covered under warranty. The tires get bald quick, and the battery only lasted a year, though. Warranty covered a complete re-do of the electrical system, and a new top as the back window was falling out. The interior paint is so fun, but it does chip and that looks tacky. But I do looooove my car!! Also, with the Turbo engine, the mileage kind of stinks, and it requires premium fuel...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Mixed bag

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

This car is used for work purposes, and is covered in advertising. While I was nervous to purchase based on review it has turned out to be an okay car. I've had issues with airbag and check engine lights but there is a ton of information on the internet to help out with those issues. The car is fast and fun to drive, and has a lot of nice features for the cost. Luckily, knock on wood, my issues have been small and hoping for a few more years of reliability.

Love bug

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

I love my beetle, and would keep it for the rest of my life. It has never given me any problems. I can rely on it to be my best freind and never has let me down. I did not have to spend a Penny on it so far... Never had any problems specially with Windows or airbag or others mentioned by other reviews.

Hate this bug: buyer beware

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Vehicle: 2004 Volkswagen New Beetle

This was the car I always wanted. Although parts of the first two years of ownership were fun, overall this is the worst purchase I have ever made. I will NEVER buy another Volkswagen! I've owned this car for 4 1/2 years. In the last year, my bug has been towed into the dealership 3 times because it will not start, and I've shelled out $3,000 in repairs. I've had the seat handles replaced multiple times, the trunk will not open on the first try, the headlights short out constantly, etc. To date, I've had the following replaced: throttle body ($800), front airbag sensor ($450), alternator ($500), windshield ($350), front grill ($500). I know the bug is very cute, but don't buy this car!


Full 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

What's New for 2005

Changes for 2005 include a new optional six-speed automatic transmission with the 2.0 and 1.8T engines, a standard MP3 connector for the radio and a satellite radio (either XM or Sirius) option. The 1.8T engine gets squeaky-clean with a ULEV emissions rating. Color changes (always an important factor in any New Beetle purchase) are as follows: Shadow Blue replaces Galactic Blue, Tornado Red replaces Uni Red, and Blue Lagoon is no longer available.


When the Golf-based Volkswagen New Beetle debuted, America went bonkers over it. It was cute and retro cool at the same time. But that was 1998. Just like cute puppies, cars grow old. And unless something is done to keep the interest up, the public's fascination wears off. Indeed, New Beetle sales have cooled considerably in recent years. In 2002, Volkswagen energized the lineup with the introduction of the Turbo S. Building off the now-defunct GLX 1.8T model, the Turbo S has a more powerful engine, a more aggressive-looking body and unique interior treatments. Indeed, the Turbo S is the most powerful and sporting New Beetle ever offered in the United States. Accordingly, it's also the most expensive. Interestingly, the TDI diesel versions of the New Beetle are the only VWs in the North America to offer the innovative Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission. This is the same highly acclaimed unit featured in Audi's TT 3.2. Essentially a six-speed manual transmission, the DSG removes the clutch pedal and associated operation, and places it under the control of computer chips and hydraulic servos. When left in full auto mode, it's as smooth as or smoother than any conventional automatic. When shifted manually via the floor-mounted shifter, the DSG offers quick, precise gear changes that make a traditional manual seem unnecessary. Beyond that, the long-awaited convertible New Beetle finally made its appearance midway through the 2003 model year with such features as a power-folding cloth top, a rollover protection system and, a first in the price range, a six-speed automatic transmission. The New Beetle is entering its eighth year of production, an undesirable position given that most cars received full redesign after just four or five year. For now, VW will rely on the Beetle's large array of standard features, premium cabin furnishings and playful on-road demeanor to keep the nameplate competitive.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The two-door New Beetle is available in two-door hatchback and convertible body styles. Hatchbacks come in GL, GLS and Turbo S trim; convertibles are either GL or GLS. GL models come with 16-inch wheels; air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; seat-height adjusters; a tilt and telescoping steering wheel; and a manually folding top on convertibles. The GLS adds a sunroof, a center armrest with storage, alloy wheels, foglights and a power-operated top on the convertible. The Turbo S has all of the above items, plus unique 17-inch wheels, leather seating, a sport-tuned suspension, distinctive body add-ons and a unique interior.

Powertrains and Performance

GL and GLS buyers can choose one of three engines. First up is a 115-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder. More interesting is the 100-hp, 1.9-liter diesel four (called TDI) that gets close to 50 mpg on the highway and makes an impressive 177 lb-ft of torque (not available in California emissions states), or the 150-hp, 1.8-liter turbocharged four (called the 1.8T). All of these engines have adequate power for easy city driving, though the 1.8T is the most fun, and it provides fuel economy on par with the base 2.0-liter. The performance-oriented Turbo S gets a 180-hp version of the 1.8T. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all trims, except the Turbo S, which gets a six-speed gearbox only. A six-speed automatic with Tiptronic automanual shifting ability is optional on 2.0 and 1.8T engines. A Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) is available on the TDI, essentially a six-speed manual tranny with an electronically controlled clutch. It can be operated in a full auto mode like a traditional automatic or manually shifted.


Standard on all New Beetles are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, side airbags for front occupants, head curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Convertibles have a rollover protection system. Stability control is optional on GL and GLS models and standard on the Turbo S. In government crash testing, the Beetle earned five stars in both frontal impact categories. It received a "Good" rating (and "Best Pick" status) from the IIHS in frontal offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though smaller inside than the Golf, the Beetle (seats four, 12 cubic feet of hatch space) compensates with style: its tablelike dashboard, huge circular speedometer and round vents distinguish it from everything else on the road. The convertible's top is easy to fold and well insulated from wind and road noise. With its top down, the bug has a classic but polished appearance, thanks to the handsome aluminum trim along the beltline.

Driving Impressions

Like other VWs, the Beetle is both fun to drive and comfortable for long trips. The Turbo S has a slightly stiffer suspension -- it's still too soft for performance freaks, but just about right for most drivers who want a little more sport from their Bug.


Talk About The 2005 New Beetle

2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Discussions See all Started By

I have a 2005 New Beetle. I am the second owner and I was never even aware of the valve body having any issues. I got the vehicle in 2010 with 31,290 miles on it as a high school graduation present an...

2005 New Beetle, 55,000 miles. Put new tires on rear 5 months ago, 5,000 miles on them and insides of both tires completely worn. Can not adjust rear wheels. Dealer says axle is bent. We bought ca...

Defective brake lights on Golf, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and R32 are a potential safety hazard and should be replaced....

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