I'm thinking of buying a beetle for my wife (because she wants one), but I am now put off by all the bad reports I have read.
After reading a load of the comments, I can't believe how some people are berating a vehicle for stone chips in the paint, (hardly the manufacturers fault) or driving to the dealers to change a bulb 3 or 4 times in three months. Bulbs blow from time to time, look in the supermarket the shelves are full of them.
It appears to me they have a couple of issues, air bag sensors, convertible roof problems and other minor electrical problems.
The problems with the New Beetle are not 'common' problems that you should expect. Sure changing bulbs is 'common' unless you try to change the bulb in a New Beetle, which is very uncommon. The owners guide warns you that you should go to the dealer for any bulb changes because they are very difficult to do.
Now for the common problems, specifically with the number of common problems found in the auto tiptronic transmission. I can testify first hand, this is a very, very costly repair and very, very time consuming, hit me totally unexpectedly. Car was kept maintained as per VW by VW. Look at the internet and see how many hits you get with New Beetle transmission problems. Terrible.
All the comments above seem mediocre compared to what I have been through with this vehicle.
It is now 5 years old, I've had to have a valve body replacement, a crank sensor replacement, a tiptronic replacement, I could go on. To keep it any longer after the warranty is welcoming a money pit - it's an absolute lemon... and do you think VW themselves did anything to rectify this matter?
Everyone told me not to buy a VW, mechanics told me to get rid of it as soon as the warranty was up - cars are suppose to last longer than 5 years. I will never buy another VW again, and I will make sure everyone I speak with (and I have a national job) knows how horrible this experience has been.
Car is junk. Multiple repairs of bulbs, light cover blew off while driving, wire harness replacement, mystery problem causing the "check engine" light to go on (no problem can be detected). I want to sell it, but I am not confident there isn't an engine problem, and I don't want to pass a problem on to another unsuspecting schmuck.
I have had too many problems with my VW Beetle. I just want to get rid of it. Don't buy a VW. I will never, ever buy VW. Let me know if anyone is thinking about a lawsuit. I want in!
Re; the BULB problems... I also had some problems with that, and the problem turned out to be a very simple fix. The light socket itself has a little metal flap that can easily be pulled up/forward, in order to create a better contact. These just settle down after awhile.
Aside from that, I have had no problems whatsoever with my VW, except this issue.
I am on year '5' with a diesel/auto/trip/engine. I haven't even needed to do the brakes yet.
I have recently decided to hold onto it another few years, so I just decided to get a new timing belt and water pump and a new starter.