1999 Volkswagen Beetle GL 2.0 from North America


An Automotive Nightmare from First to Last


My check engine light came on after driving the car 300 miles. It remained on for four months, and went off after $700 expenses: 2 dealer diagnoses which turned up nothing, spark plugs replaced, new ignition wires, and a leaking valve.

Excessive oil consumption discovered after driving 500 miles. Ongoing issue, which VW claims is normal in technical bulletin 1701 (2001). Car consumes 1 quart per 1000 miles and has to be checked every three weeks.

Interior door handles, parking brake finish worn.

Transmission died from sudden 'internal failure' at 67K. Repair cost 3000, with a clutch (75% worn at this point, according to the mechanic) thrown in for another $500. This occurred 2 months after a major service, and a replacement of the starter motor (500).

Battery dead at 58K miles.

Tire rims damaged.

Grid in front is a lousy piece of plastic which has cracked twice from a tiny knock in a car park.

Power mirrors have never worked.

Locking system started mistiming immediately after transmission replacement. $250, and could have been more.

Piece of plastic on a vent broke off, so that no AC will come through that vent anymore.

Trouble with trunk latch in past.

General Comments:

I like the drive and style of this car, but it was by the far the worst car I have ever purchased. One year of ownership cost me nearly 6K and the car has spent more than a month in repair.

VW USA told me the 100K power train warranty doesn't cover the second owner, so I had to bear the transmission costs myself. The dealerships were all hostile and the customer service is awful.

My Beetle is an utter nightmare, and I would never buy VW again. I am currently selling it (since I am deep in the hole with repair bills already) and will buy a Scion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th August, 2004

29th Oct 2007, 00:09

I wouldn't buy a scion if you don't want anymore problems, honestly just looking out for you, they are lots of problems also...

1999 Volkswagen Beetle LX 1. from North America


Low opinion of the car


My transmission went out at 25000 miles, luckily the car was still under warranty.

The gas lid does not open, had to stay at gas station for 30 minutes with no gas trying to pry it open.

My seats look like someone has taken mud and scissors to them, very embarrassing.

My headlights go out all the time.

The check engine light comes on at random intervals, a.k.a. all the time.

The brake pads take a special tool to change, which is not cheap. Took the car to a garage, had to pay outrageous fee to have them changed.

The brakes still make terrible noises.

The O2 sensors have gone out twice.

My cup holders have decided to all break at the same time.

The air conditioner is horrible, when it is on you sacrifice a ton of gas.

The passenger side door handle sticks, and makes a loud poping noise when it decided to become unstuck.

General Comments:

I will never own another VW vehicle.

I am in college and wanted a car that is cheap on gas, but reliable. (not reliable)

This is not a car that I would want anyone I know to purchase.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th June, 2004

12th Sep 2010, 03:00

There is no special brake tool needed to change the pads. You were misled.

19th Apr 2012, 21:40

There is a special tool. The calipers need to be turned in. Autozone will lend you it.

1999 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0L I-4 from North America


Good for looks, but not much else


The New Beetle was nice for the first year that I had it, then it started having problems for the following 2 years until it got wrecked. It was a very safe car though!!!

Had the car for 3 years and 46,000 miles and went through 3 sets of tires. Aligned a few times, but never figured out what was causing the tire wear.

The EVAP canister needed to be replaced after only one year and 10,000 miles. Would have normally been covered under warranty, however dealer would not cover it. Since the car had a couple scratches on the rear fender (from a parking incident) the dealer claimed it was damaged by the "accident". Filed claim with VW, but they refused to cover the repair, cost me over $500 to fix.

At 34,000 miles the speedometer would stop responding now and then, never was able to figure that one out.

At 40,000 miles, car would hesitate and/or stall under anything more than very light acceleration. In the shop 4 times, but dealer new figured it out before the car was totalled. I assumed it was something to do with the distributor/ignition system.

General Comments:

When it first came out it was more of a spectacle than anything else. Felt very solid and quiet, but the interior looked cheap.

Fairly comfortable in the front, but very cramped in the back. Lackluster performance, mainly because it is quite heavy for a 4-cylinder car. Decent low-end torque, but no real power. Got around 30mpg most of the time, and has a 14 gallon fuel tank. It's a decent around-the-town car, but not great on long trips.

Handles OK in bad weather, but not as well as the Jetta or Golf. Brakes work nicely, but ABS is quite intrusive. Lots of body roll in turns, but still grips the road well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2004