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I'm considering purchasing an '04-'07 Beetle for my sixteen year old daughter. I'd very much appreciate numerous opinions on the reliability of the vehicle, its crash ratings, and which engine type is best.

Thank you,

Tracey
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Safety is great in these cars. My parents were looking at getting me one and were sold on it when they saw a crashed one at a dealer. Covertible that was rolled. Car was trashed. 4 passengers. All walked away. I got my car at 18 and have been driving it for 4 1/2 years. Its a great car. I have a '99 with almost 88k on it. No major issues besides basic maintenance.

I would recommend a 5-speed transmission. Its pretty bulletproof and its always great for us girls to learn a manual transmission :p I never really wanted to but my parents got me my car and I am so happy that they got me the manual. I love driving the 5-speed! And once you learn that, you can drive any car in an emergency, which I've had to do.
 

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They are very safe, they tend to bounce off of what they hit:D,
I would suggest getting a 2.0 5 speed, its the cheapest to maintain and you probably dont want to get her a turbo:p
 

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They are very safe, they tend to bounce off of what they hit:D,
I would suggest getting a 2.0 5 speed, its the cheapest to maintain and you probably dont want to get her a turbo:p
Yes.. 2.0s can take more punishment and not complain and the engine is a little harder to mess up. Just make sure you get the timing belt and waterpum changed when they should.
 

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I'm considering purchasing an '04-'07 Beetle for my sixteen year old daughter. I'd very much appreciate numerous opinions on the reliability of the vehicle, its crash ratings, and which engine type is best.

Thank you,

Tracey
I think an NB would be a great choice for your daughter. The NBs seem to be very reliable and have proved themselves to be very safe. They are at the top of the list for crash ratings. My only experience has been with the 2.5. I don't know if I can say it is the "best" engine, since I haven't owned a 1.8 or 2.0 yet, but in your situation, it is the one I would recommend. You can find the 2.5 in an '06-'07. Not sure if your daughter wants to drive a standard or automatic transmission but either way, you can get either the 5 speed manual or the 6 speed automatic. We have the 6 speed auto and it is a great transmission. I have a few friends running the 5 speed manual and I've never known of any problems with them. Whichever year and engine/tranny combos you pick, I don't think you will ever be disappointed with the NB.

And welcome to the Org! :)
 

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For reliability ratings I cannot recommend Consumer Reports strongly enough! It is the best, most accurate report around in my 30 years of owning automobiles. For crash survivability I always look here for the nhtsa test results. The '06 NB has some pretty good safety ratings. The Germans really engineered this car well. I was very impressed.
 

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I'm slightly biased. After much research, I went with a used 06 TDi (manual trans) from Carmax with 45k on it. Bought the extended warranty just incase. I have put 35k on it now and love it. No problems. So if she will drive a lot... 40-50 mpg is hard to turn down. Its green. Its also got the best saftey rating in its class with all the airbags. Do be careful of seat covers as they can interfere with the ones inside seat shoulder. The car is not fast, but not really the point. But can be made that way if choosen http://www.tdiclub.com has more info on doing it for the diesel. If your up north, you may consider raising it or putting a skid plate on it. The only complaint is on how low they are with driving rough roads, weird angled road entry/exits, and road debris.
-Chad
 

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You've chosen the right years to look for. I did a lot of research before buying my used Beetle. The '03's didn't have as good of a rating/reviews on Consumer Reports...more problems. '04 on up seem to report less issues. I have had my '04 NBC Turbo with Automatic transmission for a few months now and I absolutely love it. The turbo costs a little more for maintenance (oil changes, etc.) but I think it's totally worth it.

Good luck in your research and search for the perfect car for your daughter. She is a lucky girl who hopefully realizes that when you "borrow" her car all the time. My advise would be to take your time to find just the right one. I actually looked and researched for about 2 years before I found my beautiful bug. Good things come to those who wait for just the right one.
 

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If she can drive or learn stick, by all means avoid the automatics. Especially the 4 speed. Get the timing belt and waterpump and all associated parts replaced every 60K miles. These are the 2 most common scary expensive problems. Buy an '01 or newer, get a 2.0L 4 cylinder or the 2.5L 5 cylinder. Don't know if it is still true but the NB was the safest subcompact out there when first on the market.
 

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I've had my bug for about a month now and i must say its been very reliable. The only things that have broken were really minor things such as the doorcards, glovebox, and 2 bulbs. The doors and glovebox were broken when i bought it, and the dealership offered to fix it for me for free. Unfortunately, the driver's side was VERY much broken, but its not like i can't go and buy a whole new one someday.

Mechanically, my car is great! I have the 1.8T which is a great little engine that is good for zoooooooooooooooooooooooming along.

As someone put it when i was looking, if you mostly drive under 60mph, you really can't go wrong with the 2.0L. If you drive above that then 1.8T is a better choice IF you like to drive fast. The TDI diesel engine combines the best of those two engines and adds an easily attainable 40+mpg (discontinued after 2006). The 2.5 is like a better 2.0 and if you can afford one (only in 2006+), by all means go for it.

If broken plastic and two lightbulbs is unreliable when the rest of the car is mechanically great, then :screwy:
 

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Just don't get the 4AT.....
I said that earlier because when a VW auto goes--the minimum it will cost you is $4K and up. TDI owners commonly convert the car to manual over replacing the auto, because it is actually cheaper to do that...the 4 sp. auto is very problematic. Unless you are someone who doesn't keep any cars over about 100K miles, stay away from them.
 
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