1999 Volkswagen Beetle Reviews

1999 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2 door Hatchback 2.0 from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance114500 miles
Previous carFord Focus


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

1999 Volkswagen Beetle GLS from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission Automatic
Distance when acquired118000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles


Cute, but not reliable at all!


I had always wanted a Bug, and was so excited when I finally got one... But I would definitely say that this is NOT a reliable car WHATSOEVER.

Of course this was my first car, so I was suckered into buying it. My car stalls on me all the time, shifts horribly, and jerks when I put it into drive and step on the gas, even when I step on it with the slightest touch.

I have been to 2 different mechanics, one being the VW dealer themselves, to "fix" the problem, but it hasn't done anything.

My mirrors don't move anymore, I had to fix the gas door when I got the car because it didn't work, and it sucks on gas. I can't wait to buy a different car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st March, 2012

1999 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2.0L from North America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0L Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance42000 miles
Previous carFord Ranger


Cute and reliable car but not recommended to someone who is not "car savvy"!


I purchased the car from a towing company, and it had extremely low miles, so of course a few things were bound to stop breaking.

This is the work done since I purchased it (obviously routine oil changes have been done):

25,000 - The car came with a check engine light - replaced throttle body and computer (not the car's fault - my mechanic burned mine).

27,000 - Mass air flow sensor - I went on a road trip, bad idea, my Bug wasn't ready for one.

29,000 - Trunk won't open - I don't even use the trunk, so I could care less about fixing it.

30,000 - New brake pads and rotors (routine maintenance).

35,000 - Oil gasket - Apparently I have to change this after every oil change, or else my Bug will leak oil - No biggie, it's a $2 fix.

36,000 - Radiator flush (routine maintenance) - My car overheated for 2 days due to an air bubble. Downside to Beetles - they don't have a bleeder.

40,000 - New light bulb for front head light - easy fix. Side note: Beetles are known for going through light bulbs. That doesn't bother me.

General Comments:

This is an excellent first car, however I do recommend that you know a mechanic or have a "car savvy" friend, because these cars are known for having their little fits.

I do recommend you purchase this car with LOW miles - 50,000, I got lucky with my car! $4,000 - 25,000 miles, and about $2,000 in maintenance and repairs. Not bad considering my car was sitting for, hmm.. like 10 years?

As long as you do all the maintenance and immediately get your car checked out when any sort or warning light goes on (my friend has the same cars as mine - her car isn't the best), it should be fine, and will last you at least 175,000 miles.

Also - It gets great gas mileage considering its age, 27-30MPG!! But I don't recommend it for road trips - I love my car, but Bugs are very dainty cars, so they are best suited for college students and people who don't commute far.

Overall this car is fun, reliable and gas saving car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2011

24th Jan 2013, 20:48

I never looked under the hood of the newer Beetles, but now I bought one just to play with, and what a piece of JUNK. Anyone who knows anything about auto repair & thinking about buying one should look under the hood. What kind of idiot designed that thing? You can't get at hardly anything without taking all kinds of things off first. JUNK. On some, if the battery goes dead, you can have all kinds of trouble

Average review marks: 5.7 / 10, based on 38 reviews