2002 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 liter inline 4 from North America


Fun, but be prepared to take care of it


2002: One assembly defect was found a week after purchase. The rear window defogger had a bad ground. Cost: $0, it was under warranty.

General Comments:

The impressive parts about this car are its retro-style, and the high level of fit and finish.

First impressions was that the car was built very well, and precise. The problem with high tolerance design is that it requires more maintenance.

The car handles crisply and exact with a good center feel. It has very little pitch in the turns and gives a feeling of confidence. The lightweight engine and wide wheelbase gives the car decent weight distribution.

The manual five speed shifts smoothly with good weight behind the throw.

The interior is very comfortable for the front two passengers. Head room is excellent for tall people. The seats are very firm and supportive, especially for long trips.

Visibility takes time to get use to because the dash board is like sitting at a giant table.

Maintenance on the beetle is difficult. The layout under the hood is hardly form follows function. For a simple oil change, plan to spend the entire afternoon removing several panels and dodging radiator and condenser hoses to get to the oil filter. Good thing the oil change interval is at 10,000 miles when using synthetic oil.

This car is fun to drive and a pleasure to own. It will take extra maintenance for the German car, but it is well worth it, if one is a fan of European cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2003

1st Feb 2003, 19:32

10,000 mile oil change interval? geez.. wish I could do that with my Celebrity (probably could, but don't wanna risk it ;)

17th Aug 2003, 10:28

For $30 I take my VW Passat to the dealer for oil changes.

Parts cost over $20 to do it myself and then I have to bring the oil to a recycling station, after struggling for 2 hours lying on my back with debris and oil dropping all over me.


2002 Volkswagen Beetle SEDAN 1600i from UK and Ireland


The ultimate style statement


Nothing much.

Seat belt would not recoil.

General Comments:

This is a new "original" beetle that I bought from a UK importer. I was after a supermini and when I found I could have a "real" beetle for less money, brand new, with a 3 year warranty I was excited beyond belief. I would recommend this to anyone, a fantastic classic without all the aggro of a real classic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2003

25th Oct 2008, 15:11

Adore my 1500cc VW Beetle. Have kept it longer than any other car. It's now 6 1/2 years old and I am reluctant to part with it.

My 1st brand new car was a VW Beetle--1969 and I loved it too.

Do not think my Beetle is as efficient as my last 6 year old Toyota Corolla but the bodywork and the upholstery of the Beetle far excels that of the Toyota.

2002 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0i from North America


Well worth the $20,000 price tag, it's built like a Mercedes or BMW


Someone read-ended me on the freeway a month after I got it. It took the 25 MPH accident very well, it just needed a new bumper, plastic bumper cover, and rear tow hook cover; costing $1500.00.

I took the car to Jiffy Lube at 4500 miles like the manual recommended, it burned about 1 quart after 3000 miles (I think Jiffy Lube screwed me), VWoA said that it was normal for all 2.0i's.

General Comments:

The 2.0i is a little sluggish in its stock state. I installed a Neuspeed P-Flow ($260) and a Neuspeed ECU P-Chip ($200). I like the look of the new European models, so I installed the front euro markers ($60), and euro emblems ($70).

I took delivery of the car with the Monsoon sound system upgrade ($400), which is a excellent upgrade from the stock system. The Monsoon systems has a 200w amp, and 8 speakers over the stock 6, but still no CD changer which I hear will come out later in 2002. Another package I ordered was the Luxury Package, containing black Leather seating surfaces, 16 inch alloy wheels, and a moon roof. As far as audio upgrades, I installed a Sony XM satellite radio, which is awesome!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2002

22nd Aug 2005, 00:14

I don't think those other teutonic masterpieces (BMW/MB) are any better. Take a look at their reviews and let's not forget the slight price difference.

12th Jul 2008, 12:39

You are right about the Beetle. It is a car that women just have to have no matter what. I tried to tell my wife to stay away from it but she would not listen. She bought a used 2002 with only 17K miles and paid too much. Looked great but 6 months and $1000 in repairs is a bit much for something that looks cute.

28th Apr 2010, 08:42

Be prepared for an $800 alternator repair bill, which does not include the battery, because the alternator shorts out the battery.

Oh, the automatic transmission will not last beyond 134,000 miles, so save up for the $4500 price tag if you want to repair it. I really considered converting it to a manual (opposite of what most people do).

The leaking sunroof is always appreciated, as I can enjoy a day at the beach in the back seat.

Let's talk about the headlights, which do not last more than 12 months. Changing them has got to be to most awful experience in my life. The plastic retaining rings break ($17 each) and the whole assembly has to come out just to change the bulb ($4.55). The dealer fee starts at $50 to change the bulb (per side).

I have put more into this car than I paid for it. Never again will I buy or recommend a VW. Buy a used Dodge. Parts are available everywhere, and they cost half as much.