2001 Volkswagen Beetle New GLS Turbo 1.8 turbo from North America




The car refuses to start on an intermittent basis. It starts fine for days, then suddenly will not crank or turn over. I can jump start the car without difficulty. Or, if I wait a while (a few minutes or few hours) it will just start up as if there were no problem at all.

The fuel tank cover latch sticks.

The plastic coating on the interior door handles is peeling off. Especially on the passenger side, which gets almost no use at all.

General Comments:

This starting problem makes the car unreliable. Reliability is, in my opinion, the most important function for a vehicle. Also, since the problem is intermittent, I can't seem to get it diagnosed and fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th July, 2005

31st Oct 2005, 10:00

Two of your problems are so common as it's not funny.

On 98-2001.5 cars, the gas tank cable stretches and prevents the latch from operating. VW have a replacement cable that does not stretch as much. You're out of warranty, but this is a very easily fixable item, and is fixable by yourself if you have an afternoon, patience, and some metric tools.

The 2001.5 door handles don't peel as they're not coated. Swapping them out for new items is cheap, simple and fast.

See newbeetle.org for details.

18th Sep 2006, 21:10

I have the 2001 beetle Turbo 1.8L. The door handles are peeling (or delaminating) as the dealer calls it with little use or no use on passenger side. They will not replace them as they are out of warranty. It is obviously a bad design/paint process. Also, the dashboard material is quite fragile, just placing an object on it can mar it, again a bad choice of materials.

As for the intermittent starting problem: I had this, and solved it with a new battery. Mine was taking or keeping only a partial charge, so at times it didn't have enough juice to start or even crank. Batteries can need replacing after as little as three years in some climates. The car is fun to drive, but I don't know if it will have the staying power and reliability overall to keep it as the original beetles did.

2001 Volkswagen Beetle TDI TDI from North America


Slug Bug lives on!!


Glow plugs burning out have been a constant issue with this vehicle. Have had to replace several times. Dealership recommended to replace all four at once as one going bad will trigger others to go bad. Not true. 2 months after spending $300+ replacing all four plugs - one went bad again.

Air Mass Flow Sensor clogged - the part costs about $175 and very easy to replace. Replacement of this part made a huge difference in acceleration power. One comment - when this part went "bad" the dealership attempted to convince me to have the EGR Valve (approx. $1200 job) replaced/cleaned. This would not have solved the problem.

General Comments:

Very fun to drive! Very economical & versatile - can run both diesel and/or biodiesel (vegie oil)! Comfort level is great, but space really only allows for 2 people with luggage. Too crowded for any more than that. Great commuter car. Advice for Beetle TDI owners - Avoid the Dealership for repairs at all cost. Try to find a reliable private repair shop.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2005

30th Mar 2007, 08:00

Ya the diesel of the 2001 bug is slow, but I got the 2001 turbo and it is fast I bet a mustang the other day n I plan on to race again I do have fun with it, but the only problem is the MPG sucks I only get 17 your suppose to get 23 MPG.

9th Apr 2007, 19:47

I really get confused when I hear someone only gets 17 MPG with a Turbo diesel 2001 Beetle. I write down each fueling since 2 years, and I average 54 MPG per Imperial gallon. If you convert this to US gallons, this is over 45 MPG. I do a lot of highway driving. But summer driving is even more efficient: I average 58MPG (that's close to 50 miles per US gallon) from May to September. For a car this size, Volkswagen have the most efficient cars on the market.

2nd Jan 2009, 13:09

I have a 2001 VW Beetle TDI and it has a manual transmission. The brakes as well as the gas are very touchy. Also it is next to impossible to get the car going without killing it.