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.

General Comments:

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

2004 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Fun and solid, but not problem free by any means


Airbag warning light comes on after moving the seat.

Coolant blue warning light flashes and stays on sometimes when the engine is fully warmed up.

When turning the engine back on after it's warm, it stumbles a little before idling properly.

Front windows rattle when the roof is down.

General Comments:

This is our second Beetle; great fun all round. The first had reliability issues such as the above, plus more, so we bought this one, which has lots of extras such as alloys, cruise, leather, fogs etc... For a 1.6 it moves well. Very quiet in the normal VW way, feels very solid.

It's a shame VW can't build something that isn't plagued with silly issues such as airbag warning lights coming on when moving the seat - same with the other car, but it also had more serious faults. For a car with 31,000 miles, this is inexcusable. Buy Japanese for reliability.

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

Review Date: 21st August, 2010

2004 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8 turbo from North America


Great car, and would buy another one!


- In 2 years needed 2 batteries

- When the battery dies completely, electronics fail (when battery of course is replaced), like the as gauge is negative, radio does not function and gives error codes.

Can had installed NetworkCar (anti-theft device)

General Comments:

Great car to drive.

Great performance for its size.

Nice seating near the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2009

2004 Volkswagen Beetle GLS 2.0 from North America


Beetles are LEMONS. Beetle lover turned beetle hater.


Two weeks after buying my beetle there was a vibrating noise that was bothering me. I took it to the dealership and they said that it was my rear view mirror. They ordered me another mirror, but it was the wrong one because I had a sunroof and the mirror in my car had a light on it, the one they ordered did not. One week later the right mirror came in and they replaced it. The noise continued so I took the car back, they ordered another mirror and replaced it again. The noise never went away, I felt like I had wasted enough time.

Oil change went wrong, the engine block looked the same as oil pan. Whoops, it was the transmission fluid. The car had to be towed an hour away to the dealership because the transmission was not like a normal car, it did not have a dip-stick. The block had to be removed and transmission replaced by scanning to make sure that there is a correct amount, which can only be done at a VW garage. Car three months old and this cost me $458.00, was not covered under the warranty- was my mistake.

Then a couple months later my air bag light came on. They told me that it was a sensor in my passenger seat for the air bag. They ordered me the sensor.

Later that week my drivers side speaker blew. I called to tell them so that they could order me another one and replace it when they replaced the sensor. They told me that I would have to bring it so they could see if it was blown. I told them I knew that it was, they did not care. So, I drove an hour (that is how far I drove to get the car serviced every time I needed something, that is where the closest VW service station is located.) they said you’re right the speaker it blown. We’re going to wait to replace your air bag sensor because we have to take the drivers side door off. So, I went another two weeks with no air bag, passenger side.

After that was replaced, my gas tank would not latch correctly.

My trunk release button you had to push once, pull up on the trunk and then press it again to get it to open. I addressed both of these issues with the dealer; there was nothing they could do.

Then my headlight went out on the passenger side, I recommend taking it to the dealer to get it changed. My husband changed it and said a clip broke off of it, but he had placed it back in correctly.

Then about two weeks later by driver’s side headlight burnt out. You have to go around the engine to change it so he told me to take it to the dealer. They changed it for me.

Then about one month later by check engine light came on so I called them. They said is it blinking? I said no. They said, then it is okay, I said no it is not the check engine light it on! It was an air intake sensor which was replaced.

Then another month or two went by my air bag sensor light came on again. This time it was a sensor in the bumper so hey ordered a sensor. Two weeks later I drove back up there to get it fixed they told me they had to take the entire bumper off to replace the sensor. The clip my husband accidentally broke off, well yeah, that releases the headlight to release the bumper. The only was to get it out would be to break it and it would cost me $350.00! Plus mind you I have an extended warranty that I paid for, but this was not covered because my husband broke it.

So after all this, I had my beetle for three years, my warranty was going to expire in two years or 28,000 miles. So I traded it for a 2007 Honda CRV which I now have 10,000 miles on and have not had one problem with. I loved my beetle, dreamed about having one my whole life, but it was not worth all the trips to the shop, plus once the warranty expired I am sure each trip would have cost me an easy $500-$1,000.

General Comments:

Mechanically I have not had a problem with my beetle, never broke down, left me sit somewhere.

Car handled very well, loved driving it.

Loved the way it looked.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th October, 2007