This is/was our 2nd VW New Beetle TDI. Both 2003's. I can say that I've been very happy overall with both cars. The only downside is the maintenance expense compared to Toyota's. There has been zero unscheduled maintenance expense with every Toyota I've owned.
BOTH Bugs: FUN to drive! More comfortable (I'm 6'3"). Great road trip car, for my wife and I with plenty of room for luggage with the back seat folded down. GREAT mileage (never less than 43 with everyday driving and up to 55mpg on road trips). We used it as a 2nd car and whoever had to drive the furthest that day.. WANTED the bug. Fun and cheap!
Update: the beetle had great crash safety & performance. We were in an accident where a drunk driver pulled out in front of us & we hit him at nearly 70mph. We both survived.
This TDI was purchased with the intent of commuting. It returned 47 mpg the first two years of ownership but just 43 mpg since a new set of tires was put on at 60,000 miles. It starts right up in cold weather (as low as -8 F), handles well, and has more than enough power. The car is comfortable and has been dependable to date other than the repeated replacement of headlights (three in 65,000 miles). The interior has held up well despite the miles and three kids. I bought it as a leftover for $16,600 and it has proven to be very reliable. My uncle owns an auto 2002 TDI and gets 42 mpg. Mine is the 5-speed stick. I am looking for a second one for my teenage daughter.
This is the worst car that I have ever
owned. Repairs are as follows:
Headlights 2 times,Disc brakes and
rotors (at 30000 miles), Check engine
light on constanly(costing $90.00 every
time) EGR valve,Air dam,Brake
switch,Fuel line freeze up at 25
degrees. Not to mention the 24/24
warranty.Dealer is tired of me coming
back all the time. Save your money!!!
Also... At 50000 miles it will cost you
$500.00 to replace the timing belt.
I was told when I bought this car it would get 42/52 MPG because it is a deisel I have never even gotten 40 MPG ever! I felt ripped off! by the Dealer! They told me to write to VW, even though the salesman told me and repeatedly told me about the high MPG the best I've ever gotten is 35 MPG city and highway, which isn't bad, but it's not 42 or even 52 as promised by the salesman! I will never buy another car from this DEALER ever again! I feel ripped off every time I fill up.