I bought this car last year with 100,000 miles on it, and throughout the additional 16,000 miles i've driven, the problems have been minor, few, and far between. I felt confident buying it with so many miles already on it because Volkswagen engines seem to be bulletproof. Initially when idling, the engine would have a tendency to overheat in the Florida summers but having a mechanic for a father and adjusting the cooling system there haven't been any problems since. The transmission is a little rough during acceleration and deceleration, but it's 14 years old. I rear ended a pickup once pretty hard and the truck suffered a lot worse than the Beetle! Very safe, love this car.
If you can buy one used these days, do it. I got mine for under 3k and it has 180k miles on it. I got it because I found it at such a great price and VW mechanic owned. I never expected I'd ever like owning a new beetle and just saw it as a cheap, clean car that gets incredible gas Mileage. Being 6'2" I usually would never have bought a car this small but I do have a good 6 inches of headroom between the top of my head and the headliner. It's not fast, but it's quick. The torque is a lot for that little bug and it really does get around. Overall I'm very happy with my second hand purchase and maybe I just got a good one by the looks of the mixed reviews here.
This car is a great 1st car . I'm in love with my Red Buggy! Having to refill the gas tank can be kind of hectic but it's a very cute and enough room for me and my friends to ride in comfortably. It's not for a group of 5 at all, I love the long dashboard and how I can adjust the seat just right so I can get comfortable. My car is 18 years old my parents bought it through a friend and when we got it , it barely worked now it runs as good as any car on the road today just needs tint and a paint job and she'll be back to good.
I bought a 1998 Beetle, 5 speed manual transmission from my neighbor. They saw me coming! The car now has 112,000 miles on it and the control module, catalytic converter and ignition module all went out. It is going to cost me more to fix it than its worth. Don't bother with VW. The glove box and trunk release are broken. The clear coat has peeled off. Regretting spending $3K on this car. My Honda has 200,000 miles on it and runs like a top!!
Rough around the edges but never one to let me down :)
written on 08-25-2013
Bought this car to go back and fourth to university with. Its a pretty good little car for one person if you ask me, it drives smooth and is easy to maneuver. the interior is a bit vexing, but easy to accept given the lovable exterior :) would never wanna sell it! its become my partner in crime.