Paint from new wasn't marvelous, and at some points it peeled off. I had to send it for repaint in those parts. This happened when the car was less than one year, already fixed, the paint never peeled again.
Clutch went at 60,000kms, and I am careful with the clutch always - the Mercedes A Class I have today has the original clutch at almost 200,000kms.
New front quarter window at 75,000kms, the metal support was already damaged.
Some piece in the base of the gear shift made a noise after some 10,000kms.
The suspension had to be tightened up every 30,000kms or so.
Dampers didn't last more than 50,000kms, at most.
Clarion radio died when the car was about 75,000kms; I changed it for a Blaupunkt that continues to function well.
I had to change all engine gaskets at 100,000kms.
Brake master cylinder broke at 100,000kms. The authorized VW dealer installed an aftermarket brake cylinder in my car that begun to give trouble very soon; They didn't tell me about the origin of this piece. When I discovered it, because of the trouble it was causing, and another dealer told me about the low quality of this piece, I was furious and did enter a complaint against the dealer. They had to change it for me for an original piece.
New front suspension about the same time (100,000kms).
The pulley at the end of the crankshaft had some abnormal play -movement- and that was a serious and very expensive repair. Always at the authorized VW dealer - my big mistake.
Finally and most painful: the engine "mono-block - as the authorized dealer calls it, although Beetles don't have a mono-block as far as I understand - or to describe it differently: the engine carcase, developed a tiny crack from which oil was massively lost. I had to change that too, and that was the point when I didn't want to know anymore about that car.
This was my first car, and I loved it. It was an special and very nice edition. The interiors had a high quality velour on the seats, an special gear shift knob, a good stereo with cassette player, a nice metallic blue exterior, door panels where in dark blue. I liked to drive this car, it was very simple, with nice handling, very direct.
I babied as no one I know of has babied a car, and nevertheless the car was quite expensive to maintain and did gave a some trouble at not very high mileages.
I now own a Mercedes A-160 that I bought new in 1999, the car has 198,000kms and nothing has gone wrong. I spent a lot more money on my VW Beetle! That is outrageous for a peoples car... VW has a terrible customer attention. They are unprofessional, very expensive (they charge you for a Beetle what you would expect from a Passat...).
Now, I know, because of my Mercedes mechanic, a very decent guy, that the engine crack was a common problem on Beetles from those years and that it could be weld without changing the whole piece - which looks like the entire engine, it is where the engine goes into. I didn't know back then and VW changed it for a new one although it was very expensive.
The performance on this car was quite good for the engine horsepower. This was the first model with electronic fuel injection in Mexico - in Germany Beetles were fuel injected since the '70s. Models from 1992 had a carburetor. In fact, I drove this car at some high speeds always in intercities highways. Once I was doing 140kms/hr -top speed I achieved with this car- and a Smart fortwo Brabus - which cost here at that time about $25,000usd; Beetles cost in those days the equivalent to $7000usd - couldn't go that fast, the driver wasn't very happy about that. Handling was very predictable and you could go fast even in curves. Because of the engine and weight distribution of this car, at high speeds in tight turns you had to accelerate more to turn more sharply - tending very little and controllably to an oversteer.
Front seats were very comfortable, and all in all it was a simple car, with nice handling, but with some serious problems at early mileages.
I know the second owner and he loves the car, and it hasn't been too problematic.