1999 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 gasoline (AQY) from Finland


Fun and comfortable car for all driving, but can cost lot to maintain


Power window switch broke.

Side view mirrors' heaters are not working.

Driver's seat heater is not working (to fix it would need new heating elements inside the seat).

The engine bay is cluttered, not much room to do maintenance. Requires patience. Permanently removing the plastic engine and battery covers makes 'em easier. And once you get hang of it, you'll know exactly where to put your hands.

The tires/rims are quite big -> getting decent quality tires will cost quite a lot. Especially northern Europe's winter/studded tires.

The trunk itself is awfully small, barely fitting your shopping bags. But if you don't have passengers on the back seat, you can flip the seat down and get wide space for even small furniture.

The car is heavy, so the stock rear disc brakes are little bit too small and heat up very easily in harder driving. It needs bigger, vented discs in my opinion.

Fuel efficiency is bad in these times of high gasoline costs.

General Comments:

The car is mechanically similar to the same year's Golf IV models, which are very popular, so the parts are easily available everywhere and are relatively cheap. But the New Beetle specific parts, like interior or body, they can cost a lot.

The seats are very comfortable, you have huge amount of head space -> fits perfectly for taller people. Also, very short people can also find surprisingly good seating positions, thanks to the wide adjustment possibilities.

The handling and performance is brilliant and sporty. If the car is in good condition, you feel like you're driving a bigger and more luxurious car than it really is.

Small but important thing: The windshield washer system is excellent - wide blades and high water pressure!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2014

1999 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2 door Hatchback 2.0 from North America


Looks good from afar!


Interior is literally disintegrating. The shifter cover is gone, seats are cracked and peeling, the headliner is sagging, every part that has a handle attached is broken, and the power mirror switch is gone.

Windows do what they want, when they want. I try to power them up and they will slowly, but then come back down. The passenger control works when it wants.

Constant oil leak from a hard to reach gasket.

Skid plate is tore to you know where and back (I am a very cautious driver) and plastic clips have all been ripped off as well, at where they attach to the bumper.

Replaced the alternator pulley, belt, serpentine belt, and tensioner at 112,000 miles.

New brakes and rotors at 114,000 miles. Recently the ABS light comes on while driving.

Shift linkage needs to be replaced

I cannot lock my car with the key in exterior cylinder; if I do, I cannot get back in for a few days without the alarm going off.

Burning plastic smell when the heat is turned on.

Steering wheel vibrates sometimes when braking.

Looked through the owner's manual, and all regular maintenance was performed, along with all the recalls.

General Comments:

I knew the car was aged when I purchased it, and I expected the normal wear and tear that comes along with that and neglectful owners. I was however very disappointed with the amount of money I have and will be putting in the car's internal systems. Everything in the engine compartment is hard to get at, which ends up costing me much more in labor, and finding someone that will even touch the car is almost impossible outside of dealerships. It feels like I get one thing fixed, just to have another part of the car go out on me a week or two later.

The bug has its upsides. It still handles well, has a great looking body (I've had all the dents pulled), and gets great gas mileage. Unfortunately, I am afraid to take it on road trips, because of the past and existing issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2013