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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've sold my daily driver as I will be deploying outside the country soon, and I'll be gone for awhile. When I get back I will need to buy another daily driver and I've been thinking about New Beetles (98+).

I have a few questions. I don't know much about newer VW's, although I have a 71 Bus, a 72 Beetle, and I used to be a Chrysler technician so I know my way around autos.

I assume stay away from the automatic transmissions? I prefer manuals anyway.
Which is better long term reliability wise, 2.0 or 1.8T?
Which is better for performance or performance upgrades, 2.0 or 1.8T?
Are they easy to lower, or raise (for a quasi baja look)?
Should I avoid 98's? (the first year of production, kinks aren't worked out yet sorta thing?)

I'll probably only be spending around $3k on it, maybe up to $3,500. I know I won't get something super nice for that, but I'll have plenty of time to shop around.
Thanks for any help!

-Andy
 

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Apprentice Org-aholic!
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I've sold my daily driver as I will be deploying outside the country soon, and I'll be gone for awhile. When I get back I will need to buy another daily driver and I've been thinking about New Beetles (98+).

I have a few questions. I don't know much about newer VW's, although I have a 71 Bus, a 72 Beetle, and I used to be a Chrysler technician so I know my way around autos.

I assume stay away from the automatic transmissions? I prefer manuals anyway.
Which is better long term reliability wise, 2.0 or 1.8T?
Which is better for performance or performance upgrades, 2.0 or 1.8T?
Are they easy to lower, or raise (for a quasi baja look)?
Should I avoid 98's? (the first year of production, kinks aren't worked out yet sorta thing?)

I'll probably only be spending around $3k on it, maybe up to $3,500. I know I won't get something super nice for that, but I'll have plenty of time to shop around.
Thanks for any help!

-Andy
Welcome, you've come to the right place.

Your best bet is to steer clear of autos, although the newer trans the better.
Long term reliability: probably the 2.0... Better yet, a 2.5-no timing belt.
Better performance: probably the 1.8t...that's what I have and I love it.
They are fairly mod friendly. We have many orgers that have them lowered, some on bags. There are a couple with a lift... Which is what I want to do.
I was told to get a 2002 or newer when I bought mine.

If you settle on a 2.0, 1.9tdi or a 1.8t make sure you check the timing belt. These are a very common failure on these cars. Also the water pump as well.
 

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I was going to say you won't find a 2.5 in that price range because they didn't come out until 2006. I know you said you prefer manual, but IMO, and FWIW, I believe the stigma surrounding automatic transmissions in these cars to be greatly blown out of proportion. My 2000 auto with 101K has had no issues whatsoever.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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Don't rule out the TDI! The 2000-2004 are the best ones. Decent performance, and a big aftermarket for more power. Ridiculously good mileage. 45mpg easily with a standard trans, and most people will get 50mpg. If it has to be gas, the 1.8T. Both engines require proper timing belt service! Put that in your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys.

From all that I've read so far, I'm really into the Color Concept Beetles. Seems like I could find a decent one in my price range too. More than just a 'regular New Beetle', I like rare unique cars.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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Don't rule out a "Sport". Pretty much a top line Colour Concept. Black interior bits to match the black paint. My wife has an 01.

Here's one for sale in FL:

 

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Welcome fellow Samba member new here myself you'll find much better info about the water cooled Beetles here much less negative! on my second water cooled Beetle love it! I had a 98 for 4years first put 100k miles on it with no problems just got a 14 sunroof model its fantastic so far (Still love the air cooled cars the most though:D)
 

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Welcome to the great and wonderful ORG! Many fantastic cars, people and answers lurk in this great land. If you haven't done so already, take time to fill in your profile and thanks for posting a few photos so we can ORGle them!!
 
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