1999 Volkswagen Beetle from North America


Fast and easy to drive, but not well-built


The summer after I began leasing the vehicle, the air conditioning failed. I brought it in for service, which was covered at the time. It turned out to be a failed microchip, they said.

Shortly after that, one of the headlights burned out. Not a big deal.

The check engine light has come on for no reason four times. Each time I was told by the dealership that it was a faulty sensor.

The airbag light came on for no reason. When I tried contacting the dealership, there was no staff in that day (a Friday).

There was a recall due to faulty fuel sensors, which were replaced by the dealership at no cost.

The gas cap door sometimes does not lock into place.

Frost light on the temperature display stays lit, even in the summer at 90+ degrees.

General Comments:

The dealership changed ownership a year into my four-year lease. They have been less than helpful in providing alternate transportation (rides or loaners). My service from them has been bizarre- getting mailings telling me to come in for maintenance, and then being told to ignore these when I call for an appointment. The procedure for making an appointment seems to change every time I call, and it often takes weeks to get in and have them turn off a faulty light. They stopped doing little things like vacuuming when I brought the car in for an oil change.

The car handles very well, brakes sharply, and can turn with a flick of your fingers. Best car I've ever driven- when it works, and when it's warm out.

On ice or snow, the car has trouble braking. It skids, and the ABS kicks in, pumping very hard to manage the stop. It makes a very loud crunching sound, even when slowing to a stop from slow (10mph or less) speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th April, 2003

20th Mar 2004, 16:56

When your car skids and you put on the brakes, ABS engages... that is what it is there for... to help you stop straight. The loud crunching noise is normal... all cars do the same. Plus, DO NOT pump Anti-lock brakes. They pump automatically. You are supposed to push firmly and hold your foot down even though the brake pedal pulsates and makes noise. Again, THIS IS NORMAL!! You really should read your owners manual!

1999 Volkswagen Beetle from North America


Check light on monthly.

Cloth seats get very worn.

Not a good Winter car... have had to get pushed out of many snow drifts I would have been able to get through with another car.

Takes a while to accelerate.

General Comments:

This was the first car I have ever had. I decided to lease it for four years and am glad I did so. My lease is up in about three weeks, and I can't wait to get rid of it.

I definitely am one of those people who got this car for the "cute" factor... and I liked the attention I received driving one. You will often get people (kids especially) staring at it or pointing.

However, I have had so many problems with this car. I live in Wisconsin and this is definitely not a good Winter car. It drives horribly in snowy conditions. I am always slipping and sliding. I have been pushed out of numerous snow drifts. The 2-door feature gets annoying... and there is definitely no leg room if you are sitting in the back seat. Another problem if you sit in the back seat is that if you go over a bump... your head is always hitting the window behind you. My check light has gone off every month since I got the car. My air bag light has gone off a few times. My ABS light is always going off. I have taken my car in numerous times to check out these problems and they are fixed for awhile, but always come back.

If you are looking for a fun, cute car with a lot of head room (great future for taller people) that will drive well in nice conditions, then this is your car. Otherwise, explore your options. I for one would never go back and lease this car knowing now what I do.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th April, 2003