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VW New Beetle (GL, GLS & GLX)

mznmzn Member Posts: 727
Friends, I had to freeze our earlier discussion
because after 500 posts or so, things can get
unstable. So, let's continue our conversation here.

There is always something good to say about this
lovely car!



  • scarls13scarls13 Member Posts: 11
    Since the last thread was frozen, I'll repost here ...just in case!

    Hello, everyone...I'm new to this site, and I'd
    appreciate a bit of advice!

    I just graduated from college and I'm looking at
    getting either a 99 GLS 2.0 Beetle, a 99 GLS 2.0
    Jetta, or a 99 Dodge Stratus. I have my heart set
    on a Beetle, but I doubt I can afford it unless I
    can get it under MSRP. I've been to one dealer
    here in Grand Rapids, Michigan (there are two VW dealers in town), and they seemed very helpful and nice, but I haven't yet asked about price on the Beetles. I'm wondering - is there anyone here
    within a few hours drive of Grand Rapids that knows of a dealer that would sell for less than MSRP? And should I wait till July or August since the 2000's are coming? And finally, would you expect that my chances for a deal on a Jetta would be better since the Beetles are the hot sellers right now?

    Thanks in advance!
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    Thank you Steve. It is hard to find the right place to close out a discussion. I did put a note in the frozen discussion directing folks to answer your question here.

    Have you tried Auto-by-tel? It can't hurt and it might help!

  • scarls13scarls13 Member Posts: 11
    Ahhhh, nevermind. I went to a dealer today, and they have a four month waiting list for Beetles. I think I might get a Jetta instead! I got a pretty decent deal ($800 under invoice for a GLS 2.0 with AT) and the guy I worked with was awesome. Very nice, didn't play any games...

    Thanks anyways!

  • scarls13scarls13 Member Posts: 11
    Oops, I mean $800 under MSRP, not invoice...;-)

  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    Jettas are nice cars, I did just the opposite, went in to look at a 99 Jetta and bought a Beetle instead. My dealer has more Jettas in stock than any other VW model, even a few TDI's. Still happy with the 99 GLS New Beetle.
  • suldes2suldes2 Member Posts: 2
    Waited on lists for 9 months for a cybergreen turbo and jumped the gun when I came across a Dark Blue w/cream turbo sitting on a dealer's lot. Drove it and bought it. Impressions: First, I'm 6/7" (had 4 bugs in past life) and even though I have a sunroof, I have a ton of room in all directions. The seats are plenty comfortable (215lbs) and with the telescoping/rotating wheel, anyone should find a comfort level. Even the ratchet for seat height works real well. Second, the turbo is quiet and powerful. So much pull through the gears--even with the AC on and in 5th gear at 70mph. Third, all around mileage is 29-30. Fourth, sunroof is excellent. Fifth, fit and finish was superb. No squeaks, rattles or mystery noises. Sixth, trunk is lame, but, it's a bug! Beats putting it under the hood --like the old days.
    One problem: how dumb is having a spoiler that deploys at 93mph? Even dumber is the placement of the hidden button for manual deployment. For such a well thought out car, this is just... dumb.
    Last positive note: I just love getting in this car and driving. I loved the old ones, and that feeling has been successfully translated back into this wonderful (not so) little bug.

    PS: MSRP and great dealer at NEMER VW in Albany NY
  • mintcar25mintcar25 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for letting me know about the Turbo Bug. I want a cyber green one too and I love that spoiler!? ARe you kidding me that it deploys at 93mphs and you have to hunt around to manually deploy it!? I'm laughing my head off. Thanks for warning me about that. I'll skip the Turbo and get back to basics for my new bug.

    -- BeetleBabe --
  • coherencecoherence Member Posts: 6
    Spoilers do absolutely nothing for the performance of a car until you reach speeds of over 90 mph.

    What makes it truly hypocritical, is that most cars have tires that are only rated up to 88 mph, beyond which they are exponentially more likely to blow out.

    Both speeds (tire rating and spoiler effectiveness) are over the legal speed limit as well.

    In the end, spoilers are worth nothing more than appearance. If you have a "Turbonium," you may as well deploy it manually and leave it that way.
  • toddhtoddh Member Posts: 1
    Interesting comments on the New Beetle. I'm shopping the vehicle, and am still a little "green" on it, though I've been tracking popularity and MSRP loosely since '98. Any info anyone can offer on whether they think the turbo is worth the extra $$ over the other gas models is appreciated. I'm also interested in the ACTUAL price people have paid for their Beetles, if I may be so bold as to ask. I'm in a quandry between going for a new one, or saving a few bucks and looking for a 98. Any insight is welcomed. Thanks in advance to all replies.
  • suldes2suldes2 Member Posts: 2
    Read BeetleBabe's comments and was sad to hear that the spoiler deal would "spoil" you thoughts about the turbo. The spoiler was a half-baked idea at best, or meant for those who cruise the autobahn, but it is neat anyway. And don't just settle for the gas model. If you want to really zip and never want for power, go for the turbo. I've compared the two and the difference is enormous. And when all is said and done, pull up alongside a gas Veedub and contort your wrist and pop that spoiler button-- and smile!
  • copelandukcopelanduk Member Posts: 14
    doesn't the spoiler reset (lower) if you go below 10mph, I don't know where I heard this but I would like to hear from some direct experience. If so does this mean you have to be over 10mph while you are reaching for that button?
  • sredmon149sredmon149 Member Posts: 1
    I have two teenagers, one driving and one wanna drive, and currently have a 96 Dodge Caravan which I love. Unfortunately, I also have beetle mania and want a bug. I was thinking of talking my son into driving the van for two years and getting myself a NB. Will the 2000 models provide us wannabugs with some leveraging regarding price and dealers without heart? I can wait, but not long.

  • karnesjmkarnesjm Member Posts: 15
    Seeking red, silver, or white GLS 5 spd 1.8T. We are located in a "low volume" VW area and the dealers nearby just don't get many NBs. Will consider flying if right car and at MSRP. Simply won't pay over MSRP and willing to wait.
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    sredmon149, if you can talk a teenager into driving a van for 2 years while you drive a New Beetle, you have my deepest admiration! :-)

  • mlleb70mlleb70 Member Posts: 1
    I am currently in the throes of decision-making regarding the purchase (or lease) of my next vehicle. One model I am seriously considering is the '99 New Beetle GLS (silver). I test drove it and thought it handled well. Of course, I was charmed by its styling -- there's no other late-model car on the road today that even comes close to the personality offered by the NB.

    I am concerned, however, that this car may turn out to be all style and no substance.

    Is this an unwarranted fear? I'd love to hear from any NB owners out there and what, if any, problems they've had with their NBs. Save me from buying a Civic!!!
  • laturjlaturj Member Posts: 45
    besides the often mentioned trunk rattle (for the 98's) we have had no problem with our NB through 8500 miles. VW really is a better car than a decade ago, I don't think the same issues about quality apply. If you are really concerned consider the extended warranty, you already have 2 year complete and 10 year powertrain.

    by the way, whay is the facination with everyone wanting to pay less then msrp?? It is soo relative and in many ways msrp is arbitrary, it's all part of the game, I know. Just decide if you like the car at that money, compare it with other cars at 3% over invoice (for the other cars) and decide. Don't let the feeling that you HAVE to get less than msrp, because that is the norm, prevent you from buying what you want.
  • laturjlaturj Member Posts: 45
    I should have added DONT pay over msrp, that is part of the game that i believe in not acceptable.

    ahhh, but what do I know (i did get ours at msrp, here in austin texas)
  • karnesjmkarnesjm Member Posts: 15
    We drove and loved the New Beetle (NB).
    The Honda has a good reliability record, but has zero personality. The #1 reason we are pusuing a NB is resisdual value. NO car matches the NB for resale value. Used '98 NBs are selling for more than the original MSRP.
  • karynsellskarynsells Member Posts: 3
    Hi, I've read all 500+posts and need to know from the current TDI owners/drivers if they are all driving a stick-??
  • coherencecoherence Member Posts: 6

    I read a few conflicting reports, but it seems the New Beetle TDI is strictly manual. No automatic transmission available.

    That's very disappointing to me, considering how much automatic helps resale value. Of course, we are also talking about a diesel, and that can hurt the resale value, as well. Unfortunately, there is a certain stigma attached to diesel cars, that they are noisy, polluting, gas-guzzlers. This is not the case with modern diesel engines (except the noisy part, perhaps), but many people remain ignorant.

    I had been considering a TDI when gas prices skyrocketed here on the west coast, but changed my mind when I found out that automatic transmission was unavailable.

    If anyone from VW reads this: BIG MISTAKE!! ;-)
  • karynsellskarynsells Member Posts: 3
    Hmm. in the auto magazines I've read they are reporting that a auto trans is available and if you want one on any Beetle the TDI is way to go
    because of its superior low end torque. They are in extrmely short supply, availble in CA but I am just wondering if anyone has one. I am in Seattle and drove a stick for 20+ years now just want to be a bit more lazy as I know in the congestion I would be shifting every 5 minutes and yes, gas is very high price.
  • boscobosco Member Posts: 1
    Wow, we are getting a lot of conflicting information on this AUTO/TDI Beetle...I too have read an Auto is due out in July, Edmund's even lists the new car prices for one. Yet the local dealers, and there are plenty here where I live in Northern Virginia, 5 miles outside of Wash.D.C., are in a FOG about availability or they are holding back on it. If anyone wants a Beetle these Dealers have plenty in stock here. Most sell at MSRP. One even had $800 off on TDI diesels last week but they had no sunroofs. I hope someone can clear this Auto/TDI problem up, I too have been holding back for one. I am about to go for a 5 speed, I bet it's actually more fun to drive. Comments?
  • veecapveecap Member Posts: 1
    I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the year 2000 Bug because I plan on buying one. I want the 150 horse power turbo charged and was wondering what owners felt about their 1999's with that engine? Also wondering if dealers "deal" much because it appears their isn't much markup. Thanks.
  • mgrmgr Member Posts: 40
    I have seen invoice, and there is very litle mark-up. Yes, the spoiler does re-set at 10mph. So, when you hear your door locks activate, you can manually raise your spoiler.

    Mine is a 99 non-turbo gas. 3700 miles with no problems, until this week-end. Airbag light came on. Also, punctured a tire(took about 15 minutes to change). I have Michelin tires and a Goodyear warranty(go figure). And someone backed out of a parking space and grazed my paint job :((
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    I know they exist because I saw one sitting on a dealers lot here in town. It was there for about a day before it was bought.

    From what I have read the TDI VW's actually have a higher residual value than the gas.
  • coherencecoherence Member Posts: 6
    Nice to know they have finally released them! This is what VW wrote me back in April:

    "Thank you for contacting the Volkswagen
    Web site. We appreciate your interest in
    the TDI engine and your comments have been

    At this time, the TDI engine is not
    available with an optional automatic

    We are tentatively planning to see this
    option arrive within the 1999 model
    year, although no production, or arrival
    dates have been released."

    Now that it is being released, I probably still won't get it. Why? It only has 90 hp. That's not enough when I have to drive over the mountains from Vegas to California. My Tercel struggles (actually seeing the speed drop, despite having the pedal to the floor), and it has just as many (or as few) horses. I'm looking at a GLX now. :-)
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    Check out Hatchback topic 146 about the TDI engine. It will make you feel better about the hill climbing ability of the TDI engine. This car is a great hill climber because of the great torque. Better than the gas engine. Horsepower isn't everything.
  • laturjlaturj Member Posts: 45
    I feel for you, my rear wheel well got rubbed, it sort of sticks out, etc. I bought some touch up paint and that helped (from VW). Interestingly just the paint rubbed off, none of the rubber (or whatever the compound is) so not a big deal. So maybe try some touch up paint.
  • gatordishgatordish Member Posts: 1
    I am looking to lease a VW Beetle and am wondering if there is a certain time of the year that is more optimal. Please e-mail me at [email protected] if you know. Thank you!
  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    To all of you fence sitting Beetle mania types I say go for it. I had similar concerns when I bought my 99 gas GLS 5 speed in January. I've had no problems with mine other than a broken floor mat clip in 7k miles. After the newness wears off you will still enjoy it. It is very well designed with a lot nice thoughtful features. I like the dash layout and the well placed controls, all the cubbies and storage, the night lighting is still awesome, the room, the cool switch blade key fob,it's fantastic safety rating, the folding rear seat that turns it into a station wagon and it's best feature is it's always glad to see you, what other car has a smile like the front of a New Beetle? Honda Civic?---YAAAAWWWWWNNNNN ZZZZZZZZ
  • scarls13scarls13 Member Posts: 11
    So, can someone please explain why alloy wheels are supposedly worth $310 on a new VW? What good are they over steel wheels, and do they change the *appearance* of the car at all?
  • whitenocwhitenoc Member Posts: 2
    When will the 2000 Bugs be out?
  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    The 2000 Bugs are supposed to start being built sometime in July. I agree about the wheels, the alloys aren't that much different in appearance than the plastic wheel covers, unlike other cars that have a big difference in appearance. Although $310 is pretty cheap considering what alloys can cost after market.
  • clkochclkoch Member Posts: 1
    I am planning to test drive a '99 automatic New
    Beetle within the next few days but need to know
    if there is any haggling room at all on prices.
    I have been quoted (by phone) a sticker price of
    $19,400 and am wondering if this is too high and
    if there is still little negotiating room on them. Buying "a little red Beetle" would fulfill a very delayed childhood dream.
  • mgrmgr Member Posts: 40
    I have a 99 automatic. Not as much get-up-and-go as a manual I'm sure, but still very crisp and hands free driving(if thats a plus). Expect MSRP, but no more!

    I also have the alloys. From a distance, you cant see much difference. But get close...I can see why I chose the alloys. And, I can have them chromed when I get tired of the look.
  • elainebearelainebear Member Posts: 17
    My sister bought a '99 New Beettle GLS in June and paid abotu $19,500 for an auto with alloy wheels and a CD changer. It is hard around here to get them without a markup but the markup on hers only turned out to be about $300 or so. Not bad compared to a flat $2000 markup on a GL. It's depending on what you buy. For a GLS I say that's not too bad (try to haggle) but for a GL NO WAY and look else where.
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    What part of the country does your sister live in? I was under the impression that most places around the country were willing to let NB's go for MSRP. We got ours in December last year (bright blue GL, gas, stick) and paid MSRP (plus dealer accessories like tinted windows and CD changer). Hard to believe that there are still dealers around who are still tacking on ADM.

    Hope she enjoys her new car!
  • elainebearelainebear Member Posts: 17
    We both live in Columbus Ohio. I went with her while she was looking and the $300 extra was the best deal we ever found. There are other areas out there that won't let them go for MSRP. They are still in great demand around here and so the dealers can charge what they please. Compared to the $2000 markup the $300 was a steal. But if you compare this to my car search (finding cars for invoice and below) she didn't fare quite so well.
  • BwummerBwummer Member Posts: 46
    Some good news, kind of. About a month ago our NB was parked in the parking space closest to a dumpster. When my wife came out, the Beetle was six feet out of the parking space with the left front wheel up on the curb!

    Apparently, the garbage truck had "connected" with the rear bumper of the Bug as it was pulling away. It didn't really hit, just pushed, but still!

    Only damage: a small dent on the right side of the license plate holder (where the truck's fork had connected) and a long scrape across the back of the bumper.

    We had it thoroughly inspected, and apparently there's not even any damage to the bumper or subframe. The front wheels are still in alignment, even.

    And still no trunk rattle after 6000 mi.
  • coherencecoherence Member Posts: 6
    I'm a 29 yr old single male, looking at new cars. The New Beetle is said to be the most eye-catching car out there, right now. However, despite this, does anyone out there think the car is too "cute" to be sexy? ;-)

  • elainebearelainebear Member Posts: 17
    I don't know what others think but I think this car is incredibly cute. I have a hard time thinking of my sister's as a real car but more as a toy. The upside for you though is that women are usually attracted to "cute" things like kittens, puppies, baby fuzzy animals and Beetles... so you may just get lucky and find a woman who notices how cute your car is... and the rest'll be history :)
  • elainebearelainebear Member Posts: 17
    I forgot to ask... did you have to be put on a waiting list for one too? My sister did and maybe that adds to some of it, or you pay $2000 extra for a car that doesn't meet your standards. I hope this hype goes down so some can try to save money and perhaps even haggle.
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    No, we didn't go onto a list. We went into the dealership the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year to see what they had ... lots of red and white, but we were looking for bright blue, yellow or green (it should be noted that we didn't have much opinion about equipment or trim level). The saleslady took our name and number and called us three times in the next week, each time to inform us that a car of the color we were seeking had arrived. Unfortunately, the yellow and green had been spruced up with many thousands of dollars of dealer accessories, which made the price too high. When she called the 3rd time, it was for a bright blue GL with the gas engine and a stick shift, which were our preference. We saw it, we drove it, we bought it! Took a week.

    We live in Denver, and the dealer we bought from is one of the largest in the Rocky Mtn. region, so they were getting plenty of stock.

    Now my wife is talking about a green Turbonium Beetle when our lease is up (and she goes to bed at night hoping that VW will provide a cabriolet version).
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    Also, the only dealer added options added to our "Beauty" were the CD changer, tinted windows and a clear bra that was applied to the front of the car.

    The yellow and green ones had custom wheels and fake wood or carbon fiber interior trim that added $1500 to $3000 to the price. They do this, I suspect, in lieu of additional markup.

    Still, we felt we got a good deal, and a great (fun, cute, etc.) car!
  • wleongwleong Member Posts: 6
    Has anyone heard about the New Beetle RSI model? Any news on when it will come out? I'm trying to decide if I should get a GLX now or wait for the RSI?
  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    From what I understand the RSI is going to be built sometime in 2000. VW wants to go after the BMW M3 type of vehicles. They are doing RSI versions of the Golf as well. 250 hp Turbo V6 with all wheel drive. The Audi TT will get similar mechanicals since it shares the New Beetle Platform. The Beetle RSI looks hot, I wonder what one of those bad boys will cost, my guess is at least $35k. VW has a convertible New Beetle for the show circuit to guage reaction for possible production but they are reluctant to build it. I got this info from a site called BeetleBuzz (may not be spelled correctly), I thought I bookmarked it but I didn't, this site had a lot of info on what VW is thinking of doing with the New Beetle. The New Beetle RSI sounds like it is heading for production, the convertible is not. VW is replacing the Golf based Cabrio with a Jetta convertible, a Jetta coupe is on the way as well. Jetta Cabrio is why VW will probably not build a New Beetle Cabrio according to what I read. Apparently VW does not want to compete with the after market conversion companys doing New Beetle convertibles, not enough market according to what I read. There is a company in Newport Beach Calif. that does an absolutley factory like convertable conversion for $10 to $12k, it has a power top and rear side windows.
  • govugovu Member Posts: 62
  • coherencecoherence Member Posts: 6
    Is that something new? I've been to the VW website, and they show the black bra for the New Bug, but I've never seen a clear one. Is it a third-party accessory?
  • kjaureliokjaurelio Member Posts: 33
    Early on in these NB conferences, folks were getting 'forced' into these clear bras. I think it was something applied to the paint. I couldn't get any additional info on them at the time. Michaell, please enlighten us on the clear bra. What does it look like, is it applied to the paint, does it change to look of the car at all, etc.

  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    I have one on my Audi A6 Quattro Wagon, actually it's more than a bra, it not only covers the paint on the front but the backs of the rear view mirrors and the inside of the door handles (where you tend to scratch the paint with finger nails when you open the doors). It's applied partially up the hood. What it reminds me of is clear adhesive backed vinyl, like contact stuff you line your cupboards with. It is almost invisible, you have to get really close to the car to even notice it. It looks like it could be peeled off if you wanted to remove it. I have a Perfect Fit bra for my New Beetle, I didn't want to put the clear bra on it. I bought the Audi in Colorado, the way they sand the roads in the winter there is brutal to a paint job, this stuff really protected the A6. I got transferred to Florida so I don't think it's necissary here.
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