2002 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 from North America


Happy Beetle, but several little problems


Odometer had to be replaced within the first week.

Back cup-holder always falls off.

Strong crayon smell that everyone notices.

General Comments:

Does anyone else here live in a hot climate?

I have a 2002 New Beetle, and all my friends tease me about the crayon smell in my car. I thought it was karmic payback haunting me since I melted a box of crayons in my mom’s car when I was two years old, but I’m so glad, bittersweet as it is, to not be alone with this!

I live in Phoenix, AZ and was thinking that maybe this smell is a product of being in such a hot area - leaving the car parked out in the sun where it’s 120 degrees might make various plastics or waxes or whatever start smelling weird… Maybe they don’t account for that when they design these in a place with cooler weather like Germany?

I haven’t been able to get rid of the smell – everything I’ve tried (Febreze, car fresheners, Bounce, etc.) is just the two smells mixed together, ugh. Even leaving the windows down all the time doesn’t fix it.

I still love my car though!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th June, 2007

21st Jun 2007, 09:26

All "new" volkswagens have that crayon smell. Hot climate or not. I am a car salesman in northeast ohio and every VW 1998 and newer has that smell inside. I believe it is from the rubber coating they put on the trim pieces, like the inside door handles and vents etc.

16th Nov 2009, 03:03

Actually it's the plastic backing on the carpet that makes them sell like crayons. Volkswagen has a replacement carpet that you can buy that's suppose to eliminate the smell.

2002 Volkswagen Beetle from North America


Sad - cause I really could have loved this car... get it together VW


Engine blew at 3 years 36,000 miles - exactly two weeks after I bought it from the original owner. The dealer said, and I quote, 'I can't tell you what happened because there's a 1 liter soda bottle's worth of shrapnel inside what remains of the engine...' They didn't seem concerned, or surprised.

It was all pretty unexpected. I'm picky and would have bolted if I'd suspected anything was wrong with it, but when I test drove it it ran great - was in great condition - had consistent service records, and had low mileage. Should have been a no-brainer. The day before the engine blew I was sitting at a gas station with my boyfriend and heard a new noise, one that I know wasn't there the day before, a slight knocking. I thought I was being paranoid and that it must be bad gas... but I distinctly remember thinking that, though I'd never heard a rod knock, that sure sounded like one. On the freeway in the fast lane at 10PM the following evening that was confirmed... luckily I was able to coast to the shoulder.

General Comments:

Let me just first say that I have really enjoyed the way the car has driven (when it has), it's comfortable and fun - and let's be honest - they're adorable and that's part of the allure.

But seriously. I have never spent this much time at a dealership/repair shop and this is the newest and lowest mileage car I've ever owned. I'm on a first name basis with the service schedulers and I've been there enough that I'm going to qualify for free service loaners in the next couple of months - that's scary. Still, so far I've gotten away pretty easy I think, considering I own a Beetle: I've replaced the same headlight three times, a taillight more than once though I lost track of exactly how many times, the engine, and judging by the creak in the front end there's something expensive brewing there as well. I'm running away before it bursts into flames.

Sad - cause I really could have loved this car... get it together VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th May, 2007