1998 Volkswagen Beetle TDI turbo diesel from North America


Worst used car decision I ever made


Air conditioning compressor, transmission second gear and reverse, driver's side power window failing, can't open the trunk or gas hatch without prying them manually, check engine light on all the time, overall sluggishness.

General Comments:

Very cute and very fuel efficient. However, a disastrous money pit. It has cured me of my VW fetish -- I'm done, Honda here I come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th March, 2010

10th Aug 2018, 23:06

I bought a 1998 VW Beetle new. A 1.9 TDI.

At 150 thousand miles I had to have the engine rebuilt. It cost me $5,000.00.

The seats broke on me.

The alarm killed the car.

The air conditioner never worked from the start new!

Don't buy a VW!

The hatch back does not work.

The hood release does not work.

The E-brake does not work.

The paint is pealing.

The windshield cracked on its own. WTH!

Rocco Incorvaia

1998 Volkswagen Beetle Tdi 1.7 turbo diesel from North America


Very disappointing in every respect


A multitude of various electrical problems plagued the car from the moment I drove it from the dealership. The car left me stranded on several occasions. Battery dead. Starter malfunctions. Alternator failed at 7000 miles. During the first year of ownership the following was replaced.

Alarm system and associated electronics. Ignition switch. Alternator and starter. Rocker panels had to be repaired and painted after the dealer lifted the car under them.

The second year of ownership marked the deteriation of the coatings that are on the interior door handles and other surfaces on the dash. Very unattractive looking like a skin peeling off.

One of the glass fog lights shattered. $$$

The power window regulator on the driver side door failed and shattered the glass inside the door. I had to open the window because the air conditioning began to fail. Back to the dealer. Replaced the window and failed regulator part. Put additive in the Air Conditioning system to find the leak and was told to return once the freon drained down. Upon returning to the dealer at just over 36,000 miles I was told that the Air Conditioning would require $1500 in repairs that were not covered under the warranty that ended at 36,000 miles. As you can imagine I became furious and told them to keep the car. I was able to negotiate the price down to $750 but had decided that it was the last VW I would ever buy.

General Comments:

Loved the diesel engine. The handling and comfort of the car were lovely.

The reliability ruined what was my "dream car".

The three VW dealerships that I took the car to were awful to deal with. It was the worst experience with any type of purchase that I have ever had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd December, 2007

1998 Volkswagen Beetle New from North America


My headlights went out two years after having the problem fixed. You can get something called a "harness" that will keep headlights from going out every few months like mine did before I got the harness. I can't believe that this problem hasn't been taken care of by the manufacturer,. I found out about the harness from a Toyota service manager. My VW dealer didn't even know about it.

My check engine light came on and it cost 300.00 to have problems fixed.

The switch in my emergency light box which controls those lights and my turn indicator lights, inside and out, went out at 85,000 miles.

I consider myself extremely lucky after all I have read here.

General Comments:

I love my car, it's green. It is safe and handles well, is sporty and roomy. I feel claustrophobic in most cars because the windshield comes close to my head.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd December, 2007

1998 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 Liter 4 Cylinder from North America


Fun to drive, but theres always something wrong


3 weeks after buying car from a police officer, the check engine light comes on. It has came on 3 times in 4 weeks and was reset each time. It was reset about 1 month ago and has not been on since.

Taillight burns out at 112,000 miles.

Turn signal burns out at 113,000 miles.

Loud rattle from the cargo area in back noticed at 107,000 miles.

Shift nob top broke off at 107,000 miles.

AI hit a raccoon going about 40MPH and it did over $2,000 dollars in damage.

Cruise control only works sometimes. It works randomly.

General Comments:

The overall value of the car if very good. The engine has plenty of power along with the 5-speed manual transmission. The engine and transmission are sound and run great. The problems I can report though are all electronic. The check engine light comes on sometimes even when there is nothing wrong. A taillight and turn signal have both worn out in the past month.

A loud rattle is noticable coming from the hatch. I don't know what it is. My only thought is that the 6-disc CD changer is rattling. The sound system is great although the rear speakers are muffled and the sound is very poor coming out of them.

I recently hit a raccoon going about 40MPH. The raccoon somehow went through the bottom grill, hit the radiator, overheated the engine, and then somehow hit the air conditioner! It was over $2000 in damage.

The suspension squeaks sometimes and the cruise control works only when it feels like it. I have to hit the hatch release button at least 2 times in order for it to open.

Both of the back-up lights went out at the exact some time. Had to replace them.

Overall the car is a good value, although the repairs and electronic problems are galore. I'm glad I purchased it for I love VW, but I think a Honda Civic would have been a smarter purchase.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2007