Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle
List price
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle


  • Cute yet classic styling, range of engine choices, long list of standard features, good crash test scores.


  • Tight rear-seat accommodations, limited cargo room, high price of Turbo S model.
Volkswagen New Beetle years

Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback for Sale

Volkswagen New Beetle 2003 GLS 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
177,835 miles
Used 2003
Volkswagen New Beetle
Fitzgerald Volkswagen of Frederick Maryland
26.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $85/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
"Take a look at this very nice and MARYLAND STATE INSPECTED 2003 Volkswagen Beetle GLS! Great color combination with Platinum Gray Paint and Gray Leather Interior. Clean Auto History Report. Get great fuel economy with the 2.0L 4Cyl and 5-Speed Manual Transmission. Financing available. Call or email for more details. You will love our NO HAGGLE

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The image car in VW's lineup, the New Beetle offers a unique combination of safety, fun and upscale features for its price range.

vehicle overview

When the Golf-based Volkswagen New Beetle debuted, America went bonkers over it. It was cute. It was retro. It reminded people of their youth, free love and smoking lots of, well, you know. But that was five years ago. Just like Saint Bernard puppies, cars grow old. And unless something is done to keep the interest up, the buying public's fascination wears off. Indeed, New Beetle sales have cooled considerably since 1998. Last year, Volkswagen energized the lineup with the introduction of the Turbo S. Building off the 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. The New Beetle is entering its sixth season for 2003. At this point, many small cars get a full makeover. Instead, 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. The availability of the TDI and 1.8T engines at the base GL trim level should make the car more appealing to shoppers who prize value above image. More importantly, the long-awaited convertible version will finally make its appearance midway through the 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.

2003 Volkswagen New Beetle configurations

For 2003, the available trim levels include the GL, GLS, GLX and Turbo S. The GL comes with air conditioning; cassette stereo; four-wheel antilock disc brakes; side airbags; 16-inch wheels; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; seat-height adjusters; a telescoping steering wheel and a bud vase on the dash. Options include stability control (ESP), a premium Monsoon sound system, heated front seats and a dealer-installed CD changer. The GLS adds a sunroof, a center armrest with storage, alloy wheels (also available on the GL 1.8T) and foglights. Besides all the GL options, you can get leather or a trim package with sport seats and interior accents that match the exterior paint (GLS 1.8T buyers can also get 17-inch wheels). Step up to the GLX and leather, Monsoon sound, rain-sensing wipers and a self-dimming rearview mirror are included; ESP and 17-inch wheels are optional. The Turbo S adds standard 17s, a sport-tuned suspension, metallic-colored trim, distinctive body add-ons and a rear spoiler that deploys at 45 mph. Convertibles will be offered in GL, GLS, and GLX trim; the first ones to arrive will be GLS models. A power-folding cloth top will be available.

2003 Highlights

Volkswagen makes the TDI and 150-horsepower 1.8T engines available on the base GL trim level. All GLs now come with power windows and cruise control, and the GL 1.8T and all GLS models get alloy wheels. Stability control (ESP), heated seats, and the Monsoon sound system will be available across the line. All models except the GL get a standard sunroof and a larger center console container, and the GL and GLS have new cloth upholstery. Note that last year's Sport model has been discontinued. All models have a more comfortable rear seat, a clock/temperature display on the rearview mirror and turn signals mounted on the outside mirrors. Finally, if you've been holding out for a Beetle convertible since 1998, your wait is almost over -- the first drop tops should arrive at the dealers just in time for, well, winter. The first ones will be 2.0 GL and GLS models in February 2003, 1.8T-equipped GLS and GLX models later in the spring.

Performance & mpg

GL and GLS buyers can choose one of three engines. First up is a 115-horsepower, ULEV-certified 2.0-liter inline four. More interesting is the 1.9-liter diesel four (called TDI) that gets up to 49 mpg on the highway (and makes an impressive 155 pound-feet of torque) or the powerful 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 -- it's standard on the GLX. A five-speed manual and four-speed automatic are available at all trim levels. The performance-oriented Turbo S comes only with a 180-hp version of the 1.8T paired with a six-speed manual. New Beetle Convertibles will be available with the 2.0-liter and the 150-hp 1.8T and either a five-speed manual or a segment-first six-speed automatic.


Side airbags are standard, but unlike its Golf platform mate, the Beetle doesn't offer head curtain airbags -- which may account for its three-star rating in NHTSA's rear side-impact category. Otherwise, the Beetle is a model of safety, having earned five stars in both frontal impact categories and a "Good" rating (and "Best Pick" status) from the IIHS for the offset crash. Convertibles will have a rollover protection system.


Like other VWs, the Beetle is fun to drive but 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.


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. Cabin materials are high in quality.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Let Me Tell You What's BUG'n Me
We bought our 03 Beetle with the 1.8L with about 50,000 miles on it. Within weeks it had an engine light on. I have battled the engine light, among other things, ever since. We changed an injector and a coil pack on the number 2 cylinder because of a persistent miss. This was after diagnosis of codes would not narrow the problem down. Immediately following it began cranking hard on start and not starting until the second attempt. First code said crankshaft sensor so we replaced that. Had to replace camshaft sensor thereafter to fix the problem. Next it threw a coolant system code so we replaced the ECT sensor. After that the thermostat. This car was a reliability nightmare. Never ever again.
A chuggy Volkswagen!
This is far the worst car I had! When I bought it at 151,000 miles, a few weeks later I noticed a lot white smoke coming out my tail pipe as I accelerate and it was chugging during that time. (Worse in winter). It faced a lot oil leaks and found out I had coolant leak too. I tried to get this oil leak under control after 3 repairs and still hasn't been fixed and spent slightly over $1,000 for that same oil problem. Oi! She was an oil eater! Until I finally got a tune up, that helped the chugging to stop, but then still got blue smoke coming out tail pipe. Not to mention, this is a turbo engine. My mechanic who specialize in European cars mentioned that turbo goes out every 75,000 miles. A turbo itself is $700 and labor? Probably $1,000. Eventhough, two Volkswagen dealerships told me I needed a new engine. Sitting in that driver bucket seat is uncomfortable. My lower back started to feel the burning and aching. The headlights are always loose, the rubber sealing doesn't reattach properly. The lightbulbs? They burn out frequently. My CD player skips or stops music for few seconds. I always had fast right turn blinker...even with all lightbulbs seemed to work. Too many problems! I'm not totally against the beetle, but she was a real BUGGER! Not buying VW again.
Coil Packs, Coil Packs, Coil Packs.
Purchased this 2003 Beetle with 39k on 12-31-08 for daughter. I've had to replace three coil packs, the 4th was already replaced when the car was purchased. VW had a problem with issue, but told me this car was not covered under the recall back during 2003. I was also told that I could take this car to the dealer and pay $100.00 to get the codes read and if I keep the receipts and if they ever do recall this issue, then I could send in for a refund. I decided to use the $100.00 code fee and purchase new coil packs. I did buy a code scanner off of eBay for less than $30.00, it reads and clears the Check Engine Light after you make the repair. This car has the 1.8T engine.
A good car, only for the first 3 years
Jane Doe,07/09/2016
These fall apart. At 140k miles I've replaced/ repaired so many stupid things. Like what? The rear 3rd brake light seal leaks. This lets water into the trunk lock which sets off the alarm every time it rains. And, requires replacing if the trunk latch! The water pump and mini fold are made of glass reinforced plastic that doesn't stand up to prolonged hi temps. Both cracked and needs replacement at different times. Quite the unreliable car if you keep it more than 3 years
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Features & Specs

20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
180 hp @ 5500 rpm
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
150 hp @ 5800 rpm
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed automatic
115 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle
Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Overview

The Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback is offered in the following styles: GLS 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Turbo S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M), GLX 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A), GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GLS TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GLS 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), GL 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 4A), GLS TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 4A), GLS 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GL TDI 2dr Hatchback (1.9L 4cyl Turbodiesel 5M), GLX 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and GL 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback GLS is priced between $4,144 and$4,144 with odometer readings between 177835 and177835 miles.

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Which used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchbacks are available in my area?

Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback Listings and Inventory

There are currently 1 used and CPO 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,144 and mileage as low as 177835 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $218 on a used or CPO 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Hatchback available from a dealership near you.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen New Beetle lease specials