2001 Volkswagen Beetle GS from North America
Purchasing this car is the greatest regret of my adult life
Bought in October '11.
Needed to be towed within first week of ownership, wouldn't start. I'm sorry, but I can't remember why.
Check engine light comes on and stays on, within minutes of every time it is repaired or serviced. When I bring it back, they read the code and then turn it off, and it just comes on again right after I leave the lot.
Engine cold and engine overheating lights come on randomly, and switch randomly, regardless of weather or being in or out of garages.
Towed in November '11. The car wouldn't go faster than approx 10 mph, regardless of gear. Throttle parts replaced, paid $170 after warranty coverage.
Brake and other lights can't stay on at the same time, ex. while signaling left and braking with headlights on, left turn signal comes on, but left brake light and both tail lights go out.
February '12, the car stopped in the road after driving 200 feet. Towed to dealership, timing belt, thermometer, some caps and other small things replaced. $450. Changed oil and refilled other liquids.
March '12, check engine light comes on (a daily occurrence since I bought it). Coolant was low. Refilled coolant, check engine light goes off for remainder of the day, then comes back on as usual.
May '12, take it in to change oil, worker there notes that the pad under the oil pan is completely saturated with oil, suspects oil leak as oil is almost 4 quarts low after 3 months and <3100 miles. Take to dealership to repair, not leaking.
June '12 After changing from 2nd into 3rd gear, the gearshift pops back into neutral and begins rapidly moving on its own.
June '12 emergency brake fails. Now in the shop, repair cost to yet be determined, but estimated to be at least $250.
About the same price as many newer, nicer, more reliable cars.
Performs modestly for its class. Barely makes it up most hills, and stalls occasionally.
Very little cargo space.
Gas mileage in the mid-twenties; comparable to my 1997 Honda Accord.
Very small gas tank, seems to not hold much more than 11 gallons.
Clutch pedal requires more pressure to depress than it takes me to stand. It feels like someone is on the other side pushing it back as hard as they can, and also it must be pushed all the way to the floorboard to engage fully, stretching my leg as far as I can. The gas and brake pedals don't do this. This makes it truly exhausting to drive.
Handles to adjust seat forward/back and to tilt forward to access the backseat, are almost completely inoperable.
Placement of buttons and switches on the console and the steering column don't really make sense.
Stereo, air conditioning, heat, seat comfort are average for its class.
Armrests on the doors are too far from the seats.
Back seat has almost no headroom, for no reason other than the design.
The car smells strongly of crayons for no apparent reason.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 13th June, 2012
Update: will cost $1500 to fix the emergency brake and some part that has something to do with the exhaust, which was what the check engine light was on for this time. I didn't speak with the mechanic, so this is as specific as information I could get from my wife. Naturally, the extended warranty doesn't cover these things. Not paying for repairs this time, it will just have to be parked on level ground from now on. Paying $300 for diagnostics and rental car though.
I forgot to mention that the price tag to fix the electrical issues and other repairs to make the car legal to drive would be over $2000. I didn't have those repairs done either.