2003 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo convertible turbo from North America


Cute, but definitely not worth $28,000


* Interior easily damaged (interior painted surfaces). Seems to be lined in cheap, thin plastic that is extraordinarily easy to chip.

* Seat heaters will only work when the temperature goes below 32 degrees F. VW refuses to acknowledge this as a problem. Previous car, Cabrio (97), had seat heaters that would heat on demand, regardless of outside temperature. Seat heaters are used to extend the range of temperatures passengers can comfortably ride with top down. They're useless in this car, especially down South.

* Ignition switch failing.

* Roof lining sagging on one side.

General Comments:

* Blocked/limited rear view at the expense of 'nostalgic look' (dangerous).

* No trunk space due to roof motor (Cabrio was manual with much more trunk space).

* Driver must crank up seat (10 manual cranks) to be able to see over folded down roof. Seat must also be moved forward when seat is cranked up because the seat slides back when cranked up. Too much adjusting must be done to seat just to be able to see over the folded roof. Bad engineering!!! This was not a problem with the Cabrio.

* Sound system (Monsoon) is worse than standard Cabrio sound system. Vibration in doors when bass is even slightly elevated very noticeable.

* 'Leather' seats turned out to be leather uppers and plastic surrounds, including shift boot. Cheap. Cabrio has all-leather seats AND leather door linings.

* Cost: $28,000 for Beetle Convertible, $22,000 for Cabrio Convertible. The Beetle is VERY overpriced compared to their previous convertible.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th January, 2004

25th Jan 2004, 22:37

OK, if you really have that much of a problem with the New Beetle Cabriolet, and you claim that the predecessor VW Cabrio is a better car in many ways... why did you get rid of the Cabrio in the first place?

This survey entry is either a bogus one, or one that was filled out by a not-too-observant car buyer.

22nd Feb 2004, 22:30

He bought the new one because he couldn't afford $70K worth of expensive parts to rebuild the old one.

5th Jun 2004, 16:26

Going on other surveys I have read about the new beetle I would tend to believe this one. Its funny how offended people get when they hear something about a car that they don't want to believe. Bogus survey- who would bother!

14th Nov 2006, 21:00

Things that have gone wrong:

Driver side turn signal, release button on parking brake, both headlights, driver side seat cradle.

Things the dealership service department has done wrong:

Left cap off oil crankcase, left glow plug loose causing expressway breakdown.

All in all, I'm not in love with this car!

2003 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 Liter from North America


A fun car for a girl without much baggage


I have not had any major problems with my New Beetle Convertible.

I have noticed, though, that the windows seem to get "stuck" once in a while when using the button that controls all windows at once. This problem is fleeting and happened only a few times in the eight months I've owned the car. Since I've heard in the past that Volkswagens tend to have faulty windows, this worries me a bit.

The seats can be unbelievably hot in the summer with the top down. Be prepared to have a sweaty back and legs!

The cup holders in the front seem almost pointless. The holder does swivel, but still only realistically fits one medium-sized soda and maybe one small can in the other.

Also, the casing for the electrical outlet in the backseat seems very cheap and does not stay in the compartment very easily once opened.

Finally, I've had complaints about the lack of leg room in the backseat. Since I am short, this is more of a problem for the person sitting behind the passenger seat.

General Comments:

Overall, I love this car. It does not have the quite the pickup speed that I expected, but handles very well and has not given me any real problems.

I am quite fond of the silver trim around the windows and the blinkers on the side-view mirrors; they make the car look much more classy.

It's a great car for someone who wants a 4-seater convertible and doesn't expect to fit much in the trunk. You'll love cruising in it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2003

28th Sep 2004, 22:58

Yes I did notice the lack of legroom in the rear seats. I was playing around with one on the showroom floor today, and found that with my normal configuration (driver seat pushed all the way back) there was no room at all in the rear seat. I suppose VW could correct this by making a slightly larger car in future models. I doubt you would notice much difference. Most foreign cars have gradually become a little bigger.

14th Sep 2015, 01:52

If you look at the current model year (2015) you'll notice that it's nearly a full size car, with lots of leg room front & back. It's longer, wider, and taller. But... It's no longer the Beetle 2.0 that held so closely to the original body size. It's a behemoth by comparison.