1999 Volkswagen Beetle GLS from North America


Externally beautiful, Internally shallow


O.K. Here we go. Started having electrical problems with car within first year. Trunk open indicator light would come on whenever it would rain. The car would recognize the trunk as open, drain the battery and trigger the alarm. Spent first night running out to the car every half hour to turn off alarm. Neighbors not too happy. Brought to the dealer 3 times within first year for this problem. Each time they told me it was fixed and the next heavy rain the same thing would happen. The dealer did not believe me because by the time I brought the car in the trunk latch would dry and problem was gone. I had to convince the dealership to hose down my car to prove to them that I was not crazy.

Malfunction indicator light started to come on after 1 year. Dealer told me it was a problem with the oxygen and carbon dioxide receptors. First 2 times they were replaced was it covered. Following 2 times I paid out of pocket. Finally 2 years later car recalled for receptors. Parts covered this time. And a year later still having same problem. I drive around with light on now. I just ignore it since apparently it cannot be fixed.

At 2 years the battery exploded. Yes exploded. Went to start the car and boom, acid everywhere.

Both passenger and driver's side window knobs broke. I went through 2 summers not being able to roll down my windows. Which is horrible since the air conditioner sucks. Thank God I have a sunroof.

Side view mirror knob broke. Talk about blind spot.

Gas tank flap broke. Discovered this at the gas station when flap would not open. The flap is still not fixed. It actually does not close now.

Headlights and tail lights keep burning out.

Seat covers are horrible. Car interior gets filthy and the fabric is poorly made. The first time I took my car to be detailed the attendant told me to not let my dog in the car anymore. I don't have a dog.

At 57,000 miles I had to replace the catalytic converter. I was told by my mechanic it was covered under warranty, but when I called the dealership they told me 2 years 24,000 miles. Well they lied. It was 8 years 80,000 miles. Words of advice: always call Volkswagen of America before you bring your car into the dealer.

There are several other things I could mention, but I don't want to get petty. So I'll cut myself off.

General Comments:

There are many things I have learned in life: 1- You can't always get what you want. (sing it with me) 2- Never trust a man. 3- The grass is not always greener... but the most expensive lesson I have learned is don't buy a Volkswagen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2004

8th Jul 2006, 15:21

That was a very well written review. I was looking to get a Jetta, but guess not. Thanks.

29th Jun 2010, 22:13

I have had this car for 3 years and I have had nothing but problems and a lot of the same ones you are talking about.

My air conditioning never worked well and made a weird clunking noise and now it has completely stopped working. Not to mention transmission problems. The gas cap door is broken, the interior is falling out, it has electrical problems, the alarm goes off at random times, the list goes on.

Cute looking car, but pretty problematic.

1999 Volkswagen Beetle 2 litre from Germany


It's a V.W.-badged design icon


Driver's side window switch broke at about 35,000 km.

It consumes a bit of oil every 5000 km.

General Comments:

I like this car's unique image and design, both inside and out. The ride is a good compromise: it's comfortable without the grip or handling being affected. The two liter engine has plenty of torque. It's got very fine driving characteristics. Particularly good is the way it can be driven on country lanes. The torque and grip make for a nimble car that's as fun to drive as it is good to look at.

The interior functionality is well thought through: plenty of cup holders and those neat little 12v sockets are evidence of this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004