2004 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand
Remarkably solid machine, and great fun to drive and own
The usual maintenance items have required attention. Brake discs and pads, tyres, alignment, oils and filters. In addition one of the door check straps broke and required a plate inset to replace the damaged bracket.
One of the small rear soft-top mechanism covers was broken and required replacement. Later models, after 2004, seem to have deleted these small fragile electrically operated covers.
Engine check light illuminated a couple of times, but after a change from 91 to 95 octane fuel, the issue hasn't repeated. The check light was able to be reset by disconnecting the battery for an hour or so.
Boot (trunk) gas struts plastic ball and socket joints broken, seems to be a common fault.
I find the vehicle quite lively, easy to drive with the automatic tiptronic transmission, and it has a very solid feel on the road with no creaks, groans, rattles or vibrations.
The large doors allow for easy access to the front seats and the seating position is relatively upright, so providing good visibility forward and to the sides. Rear visibility is not so good, but the car has the benefit of a proper heated glass rear window. The fabric roof provides surprisingly good sound insulation and also provides excellent headroom with the roof up.
The vehicle is comfortable to travel on its 205/55 tyres and standard 16 inch wheels.
The engine requires 95 octane fuel and is more than adequate to power the vehicle, and the VW returns about 25mpg (Imp) town and 30mpg (Imp) on a run.
Due to the shape of the front and rear, there's quite limited space in the engine compartment and access to some service items is awkward; additionally the boot space is also limited to 3 or 4 bags of shopping and is fiddly to use.
A bracing plate under the engine must be removed to get access to the engine and gearbox drain plugs and filters.
The car has been designed as a homage to the original Beetle and is therefore compromised in terms of access and servicing, but it nevertheless has a certain charm as a result of the retro design. A future classic?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th April, 2019