NewBeetle.org Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
I am a new driver, recieving my license in late September. I already have a car, old and very high mileage hand me down. I have to drive that car for a few months(until my birthday in January hopefully). In the meantime, I am researching my dream car(new beetle). I have read many, many reviews by owners and seen lots of negative aspects. I would like a trouble free car that will last me all of my university years and more. My dad is pursuing a used Toyota Corolla or the 2012+ Beetles(used and our budget would be much higher). I do not want to spend too much for issues or headaches.. I really love 98-2010 Beetles. I found some great deals on Craigslist on 1998-2001 Beetles(problematic years?). My dad and I already looked at a beautiful Creme 2006 Beetle but the mileage was too high. I am guessing our price limit would be $10K but I would like to spend more like $3K :p I would have to drive automatic since I've been driving for only 5 months. I am a good driver with automatic and I'd feel more comfortable with it but I am willing to learn manual if it causes less problems with the transmission. I have been researching all summer. Based on the reviews I've read, my mind says "don't buy the car" but my heart is so in love with this car. I've loved them since I was 5. :)

Sorry for the long intro, but what is the most reliable, least problematic year of the New Beetle based on your or someone else's experiences?

My preferences:
Sun roof
TDI(gas saver)
Under 100K miles(most necessary)

Thanks!


PS: we already have a 2010 VW Routan with 5K miles so we haven't had any problems yet, it has a beautiful engine.
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,171 Posts
I would say, if you are looking for a college car, if you want a Beetle, I would get a 2.0 with a 5-speed manual. That's what I had and it served me very well. Decent gas mileage. No turbo to worry about. Less picky about oil, etc. Much cheaper to maintain than the other options.

BUT! I also wasn't shy about working on my car and I am pretty car savvy.

If you want an auto, and need something to last you for a number of years, you may want to consider something like a Honda or Toyota for the reliability. I didn't have many issues with my Beetle, but VWs in general tend to be more on the needy side when it comes to maintenance and not the most reliable. I love VWs and I love Beetles, but I also know that they aren't for everyone, at least in certain points in life. Being a cash strapped college student combined with VW ownership can be a bit stressful.

But its all about doing your research and making sure the car you buy was well maintained. Or you have money set aside to get it up to date.


Good luck in your search!


And as for your Routan, good luck. Its mostly a Chrysler product with a VW badge on it. I think even the engine is Chrysler :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I would say, if you are looking for a college car, if you want a Beetle, I would get a 2.0 with a 5-speed manual. That's what I had and it served me very well. Decent gas mileage. No turbo to worry about. Less picky about oil, etc. Much cheaper to maintain than the other options.

BUT! I also wasn't shy about working on my car and I am pretty car savvy.

If you want an auto, and need something to last you for a number of years, you may want to consider something like a Honda or Toyota for the reliability. I didn't have many issues with my Beetle, but VWs in general tend to be more on the needy side when it comes to maintenance and not the most reliable. I love VWs and I love Beetles, but I also know that they aren't for everyone, at least in certain points in life. Being a cash strapped college student combined with VW ownership can be a bit stressful.

But its all about doing your research and making sure the car you buy was well maintained. Or you have money set aside to get it up to date.


Good luck in your search!


And as for your Routan, good luck. Its mostly a Chrysler product with a VW badge on it. I think even the engine is Chrysler :(
Thank you for the response, I truly appreciate it!

I am able to have my dad to do some basic things. He can change the oil, brake pads and other things. I am 100% willing to take it for regular maintenance such as oil changes and filters. I know if I get a Beetle that I will baby it and take lots of care of it.

Thank you again, you have helped me a lot! I believe that all cars do have problems, some more than others so it's just something I will have to accept.

I do remember the Chrysler town and country is the same design but I didn't know the engine is the same too! That sucks :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I would be more concerned about the condition of the car rather than mileage or year. A new car is generally going to have less wear/sun damage/ etc. When I was looking last month in central Florida for a used TDI auto, I drove a "MINT" TDI, I think it was a 2002 with about 70K miles, but it was a 5speed and my wife says I have to have an auto. But I would have bought the car in a second, because it was solid. I then test drove a 2001 with 40K miles which was advertised as "gread condition". The engine/transmission may have been great, but the car was a total disaster :( The interior was completely gone from sun damage of spending 12 years outside in Florida sun. Almost all the plastic was cracked.

I ended up with a 2013 TDI auto, but if you have the time and patience, there are good cars out there. Car Fax can help you understand the history of the car, but a simple test drive can tell you if it is worth even considering it.

I love the TDI, going 500+ miles on a tank is great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
A TDI with a manual 5 speed could last you through college, your first job, and then some until you get married and have your first child and need a larger car.

But that will take maintenance.

For the purchase, one thing you mentioned was wanting a vehicle with low miles. Be careful with this as you may be looking at a vehicle where the previous owner wanted to avoid the cost of a timing belt job. Depending on whether there is competition in the area or not, the timing belt can range from expensive to insane. Where I live there are two options, VW dealer or one shop. So no one has an incentive to lower the cost and as such a timing belt job here will cost me $1500. Yes, 1500 after taxes.

Another option is to look at a 2010 or so with a 2.5L engine, it will be new enough to have some warranty possibly. The 2.5L engine seems like it should be a lower maintenance engine.

I would also recommend a manual tranny, once you learn stick you always know stick. That means any car could be your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Later model with a 2.5l would be my suggestion.

No timing belt to worry about.

2008 or newer would be my suggestion so hopefully VW made some improvements in the transmission??

I was only offered $5k for my 2003 1.8t GLX Convertible with 72k miles on it 4 years ago, needless to say I kept it.
 

·
k i t s u n e
Joined
·
50 Posts
I was basically in your same position a year ago. I was 16 and had been researching and reading reviews on beetles non stop for like 6 months. It took forever to find a decent one under 5k and I ended up getting a 2001.5 white bug w/ 5sp manual and a sunroof. I thought that by getting a 5 speed I would be saved from the horrible horror stories I've read about peoples auto transmissions failing. To be quite honest, the 5 speed gets old, but I'm lazy. Right now I'm saving up to buy an 06 beetle convertible (they appear to have more reliable engines) and with a 6 sp auto tranny. It just depends what car you find really..like, go for low mileage. 5 speed is not for me. I use my phone to play music in my car w/ a tape adapter and I'm constantly changing the song and it's sort of difficult to do when you're shifting gears, and things like eating etc.
 

·
Daisy's Mae's Mom
Joined
·
171 Posts
I've had 3 air-cooled Beetles from the 70's and I now have a NewBeetle 06. I've only been on this forum a couple of months but I read it daily. From what I've experienced and read so far, these precious babies take some serious money to repair.

I think if someone is going to own one of these, it needs to be only driven in fair weather and for a cruise around the town but not a daily driver unless you have the money to put into it.

I also own a Toyota Solara and a Toyota Sienna van. They aren't nearly as fun to drive and aren't nearly as comfortable but they are absolutely 98% maintenance free. You can drive them for YEARS without ONE thing going wrong. Those Japanese people don't know anything about bells and whistles on a car nor do they have a clue about comfort but their cars are probably one of the most well made in my opinion.

I think if you want something that will last through college without problems, get the Toyota for now and then after you get a great paying job, get the Beetle you want so you can afford the costs of keeping it up.

JMHO though.....
 

·
No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
Joined
·
5,639 Posts
I agree with Smileybug, if your heart is set on a Beetle and 3k is what you want to spend, then the 2.0, 5 Speed is the way to go. With proper maintenance, your 2.0 NB can go this far ... Also there are DIY's on the ORG for the frequent maintenance issues, which your father could use if needed.

If reality sets in and you find your price range is around 8K +/- 2K, then the 2.5, 5 Speed is your best bet. If it were me, I would not get an NBC or one with a Sun Roof.

Also from a safety point, any manual transmission car helps to keep your attention on driving and not playing with other electronic devices.
 

·
Go Blue!
Joined
·
293 Posts
Also from a safety point, any manual transmission car helps to keep your attention on driving and not playing with other electronic devices.
This statement is so very true. A manual transmission helps to keep you focused on your driving. You learn so much more about a car from a manual trans and it is a great 'skill' to have in life, like mentioned before.. once you learn to drive a manual you can drive any car out there.

I personally would always choose a manual over an auto, I find them so much more fun and I feel more tuned into my car. My husband on the other hand prefers to drive an automatic :)
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,171 Posts
I use my phone to play music in my car w/ a tape adapter and I'm constantly changing the song and it's sort of difficult to do when you're shifting gears, and things like eating etc.
You should be focusing on the road ;) I can eat, etc. in my manual cars, no problem. But I tend to not. Its just not safe. Getting an auto just so you can do other things while driving isn't smart. And if you drive a manual long enough, it becomes second nature. I rarely really think about shifting. It just happens. I hate driving an auto now. I love being in control and putting the car into what gear I want it in. Plus, manuals are way cheaper to maintain. Clutches can last 100,000+ miles easily and that's the most expensive maintenance. Fluid changes are cheap. No trans computer, no filters. Just simpler.
 

·
Worry less, drive more
Joined
·
4,270 Posts
You should be focusing on the road ;) I can eat, etc. in my manual cars, no problem. But I tend to not. Its just not safe. Getting an auto just so you can do other things while driving isn't smart. And if you drive a manual long enough, it becomes second nature. I rarely really think about shifting. It just happens. I hate driving an auto now. I love being in control and putting the car into what gear I want it in. Plus, manuals are way cheaper to maintain. Clutches can last 100,000+ miles easily and that's the most expensive maintenance. Fluid changes are cheap. No trans computer, no filters. Just simpler.
I was going to post the same thing...having little experience driving you are at greater risk of causing a crash and that increases when you're distracted. I rear ended 2 other cars at 19 because I was distracted for about 3 seconds. When you're driving you're basically operating a potential weapon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I've had 3 air-cooled Beetles from the 70's and I now have a NewBeetle 06. I've only been on this forum a couple of months but I read it daily. From what I've experienced and read so far, these precious babies take some serious money to repair.

I think if someone is going to own one of these, it needs to be only driven in fair weather and for a cruise around the town but not a daily driver unless you have the money to put into it.

I also own a Toyota Solara and a Toyota Sienna van. They aren't nearly as fun to drive and aren't nearly as comfortable but they are absolutely 98% maintenance free. You can drive them for YEARS without ONE thing going wrong. Those Japanese people don't know anything about bells and whistles on a car nor do they have a clue about comfort but their cars are probably one of the most well made in my opinion.

I think if you want something that will last through college without problems, get the Toyota for now and then after you get a great paying job, get the Beetle you want so you can afford the costs of keeping it up.

JMHO though.....
Thank you for the input!
Funny you mention the Sienna because we also have one and like you mentioned, we have had so little problems. It is my favorite car to drive out of the 4 since it is so comfortable.
Your suggestion is very logical, I'll keep it in mind if I can resist the alluring nature of a beetle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I agree with Smileybug, if your heart is set on a Beetle and 3k is what you want to spend, then the 2.0, 5 Speed is the way to go. With proper maintenance, your 2.0 NB can go this far ... Also there are DIY's on the ORG for the frequent maintenance issues, which your father could use if needed.

If reality sets in and you find your price range is around 8K +/- 2K, then the 2.5, 5 Speed is your best bet. If it were me, I would not get an NBC or one with a Sun Roof.

Also from a safety point, any manual transmission car helps to keep your attention on driving and not playing with other electronic devices.
Wow, that is amazing. I think if we want to keep a car for a long time, we will spend around $8K. I'm the one who wants to spend $3K, haha. I am trying to convince my dad to allow me to buy a manual, I pay a lot of attention to the road and my phone is always ignored even if it rings. As I mentioned before, I am a focused and safe driver even with automatic :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all so much for the advice!
I myself have decided on a 1998-2001 5 speed 2.0. Dad on the other hand still wants a used automatic 2012 Beetle. We'll see how it goes. I remembered that my dad is able to change the transmission of a car too so I may be ok with a beetle. Rest assured, any car I receive will be greatly maintained and taken care of :)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top