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Hello! I have been looking at purchasing a NBC for about 6 months and I am ready to finally make a purchase! I have narrowed my search down to 2 cars and need help deciding which is the best value...

Both cars are red and in mint condition...

2004 manual 5 speed turbo with tiptronic (not sure what that is?) and 78k miles and a brand new top. The interior is beige which is a plus for the hot alabama sun! Asking price is $7900 plus $699 dealer fee and $149 tags and title. It is being sold by a very large and impressive VW dealer outside of Atlanta which is 2.5 hrs away. I would be the fourth owner.

OR

2007 automatic 5 speed with 53k miles. The interior is black which will get extremely hot in the sun, especially in the alabama sun. Asking price is $10,998 plus $299 dealer fee and $16.95 title fee. It is being sold at a new used car lot in our area which I trust for no other reason than the nice manager. I would be the third owner.

I am drawn to the '04 for several reasons....manual transmission, tan interior, new top but I am second guessing the price. I went to edmunds.com and they gave me a dealer price of $7300. When I told the salesman this he dropped the price from $8455 to $7900. I also feel like the dealer fee is excessive but have not asked for that to be removed yet.

My bottom line question....is a manual transmission a better choice for a beetle, specifically an '04? And are either of these cars a better deal than the other?
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,417 Posts
If its a Tiptronic its not a manual transmission. Its an automatic that gives you the ability to select gears yourself.

The biggest thing with the '04 is the timing belt. Its due for the whole job and can be about $700 or so to get done. So unless there are records for it, I would factor that into your thought process and attempt at getting the price lower. The '07 will have a 2.5L which has a timing chain, which is a bit more durable. But the turbo is definitely fun! It does take premium fuel though.

Do you have any links to the cars? Might help to have some visuals.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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629 Posts
I wouldn't buy either one. The first car is overpriced. Not sure about the second. I'd look for a 1.8T manual trans with good service records (if you want quick/decent mileage), or a 1.9 TDI manual trans (if you want very very good mileage). Both need timing belt/tensioner/idler/water pump service or you will destroy the engine, so use that in your negotiations.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,417 Posts
I wouldn't buy either one. The first car is overpriced. Not sure about the second. I'd look for a 1.8T manual trans with good service records (if you want quick/decent mileage), or a 1.9 TDI manual trans (if you want very very good mileage). Both need timing belt/tensioner/idler/water pump service or you will destroy the engine, so use that in your negotiations.
They are looking for a 'vert and they never came with the TDI.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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Oops, I missed the part that they were both verts. I'm out of my depth on rag top values. Maybe someone else can jump in. Gut reaction tells me overpriced, though. Have a quick search on Autotrader to see what people are asking, and SOLD auctions on ebay to see what they're actually selling for.

If I HAD to pick between your two cars, I'd choose the 2007. No timing belt to worry about, and a better transmission (but still not as good as a manual). A black interior in vert only gets hot when it sits. I have a 1965 Impala convertible with black vinyl. No problem when driving. It will heat up when parked with the top down, so I just put a reflective windshield shade on the seat. If it's going to be outside for a bit, I put the top up.
 
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