1998 Volkswagen Beetle from North America


Great car to own if you live in a congested city


Minor repairs:

Front headlights go out about once a year.

Engine light comes on if you forget to put the gas cap back on. You have to take it back to the dealer to reset it.

Side window got stuck and dealer replaced the control.

Sometimes hard to move it out of park into drive. You have to wiggle the steering wheel to get it to move to drive. Never had to call dealer regarding this though.

Levers on the side of the seat (to get into the rear) have come off and the headrest on the back needed repaired.

Side airbag punctured due to my trying to fit too much in the car.

General Comments:

Overall, I love my Beetle.

It has a bumpy ride, but the best turn radius I've ever had. I can squeeze into most city parking spots as well.

I love the dome as it gives so much room and makes you feel as if you are in a bigger car (except when you are in the back seat)

The rear seat folds down which allows you to cram a lot of things into it.

The 16" tires really hug the road making it fun to drive on the curvy Pacific coast highway.

Blind spots do exist - so watch out!

Seats and look are very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th July, 2003

27th Feb 2011, 23:15

The reason all VW Beetle owners have so many electrical problems is because the wiring harness is the same one used in the Rabbit. You need to replace it with a new heavy duty harness and your problems are mostly gone.

I just bought a 1999 that the guy had so many problems with. He put it in paper the for $1300 with 80000 miles. It is a TDI 6 speed. First thing was to replace wiring harness and I went to the junk yard and bought a 1999 TDI donor car for $800.

I have driven this car for a year and had no problems so far.

Your comments were real good. Thank you.

1998 Volkswagen Beetle LX 00 from North America


Cute, but not worth the trouble and cost


I bought the 1998 Beetle used in 2002. Within two weeks the battery died and had to be replaced.

The key then had to be re-keyed to the satellite.

Then the engine light came on. The mechanic said that the brake light switch needed to be replaced.

The left fog light needed to be replaced.

Then the fan stopped working; the mechanic replaced melted fuses.

A headlight needed to be replaced; it took an hour's labor due to the fact that the headlight is part of the general electrical system.

The radio was playing, when it suddenly sucked in a cassette tape that was perched in the radio. The tape wound round inside and killed the radio. Radios weren't on hand, so the part took six weeks to order.

The battery suddenly went dead. The mechanic said that this had nothing to do with the radio draining juice, but that the battery was bad. The dealer replaced the battery for free, but I'll have to pay for the bizarre death of the radio.

The driver window switch, apparently plastic, suddenly broke with a loud bang while I was driving, practically giving me a heart attack. The window couldn't be raised; the part had to be replaced. The mechanic said I should replace the other window switch while I was at it. I heard that this is a common problem.

All this happened within six months of buying the car.

General Comments:

The car is cute and is fun to drive -- while it works.

I'll never buy another Volkswagon product.

These window parts and battery failures are part and parcel of the engineering and there should be a recall or a major discount on electrical repairs -- at all times, not just under warranty until the design problems are corrected.

I can't blame the dealer -- exactly. How can the Dealer be expected to absorb the costs of poor design. However, the Dealer needs to be up front with the car's problems. (Dream on.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2003