I just bought this car with 162k miles on it back in May. So far I love my car. I did have to replace the clutch, but that's nothing too bad. I've gotten a lot of the cosmetic issues worked out. I get 46 miles per gallon combined. That's great because I drive A LOT. I have loved Beetles since I was a little girl, and this is my dream car! I'd only recommend the diesels, wouldn't trade this thing for anything!!! Update: 2/12/16 I ended up getting rid of my VW. Things started tearing up and breaking down FAST! The power steering pump finally went out, and I said that was the last straw and got an Altima. I loved that little car but it was time to part.
I bought this car as a computer just before gas went crazy the first time in '03. I'm a big guy and I fit very well. I didn't want to but Japanese. I should have recognized the omen of the check engine light coming on during the test drive. The car is regularly in the shop. The dealer cashier knows my voice on the phone without me telling her. The VW dealer could never fix it the first time usually taking three times until I gave up. The independent shop is marginally better, mostly because he costs about 50% less.
After seven years of daily use, I am still very happy with my Beetle. Other New Beetles have had reliability problems, but I have had no problems with the engine or transmission. I have had minor problems with the window switches breaking, but the replacements seem to have held up. This is a much better engine than the 2.0L gas, and it gives far better economy. The downside is whenever we go somewhere I always have to drive!
Just like every other Beetle owner i've talked to, I have had nothing but problems with this car. Besides the horrible designs on the inside (cd changer in the trunk, cup holders unreachable, giant blind spots in every corner), i find new problems every day. After slightly over 3 years, we had to buy a new engine and there's been even more problems since we got it. There has been too many recalled parts to even count. The dealers are horrible and have broken more stuff than they have fixed. I just traded in this timebomb for a reliable toyota and will never buy another VW.
Lots of head turning, and a fast bug with 49 mpg. Could not have asked more. Have some interior youth defaults, fixed on the newer models. 83000 miles and still going like new. Love passing on the left lane, and seing the SUV stopping for gas. Love that Bug even if I did not really want one, was the only TDi on the lot.