2000 Volkswagen New Beetle

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2000 Volkswagen New Beetle
Available in 5 styles:  2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 2dr Hatchback shown
Asking Price Range
Estimated MPG

24–42 city / 31–49 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 3 of 3
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4.2 17
$ 1,730-6,430
October 6, 1999

When Volkswagen reincarnated the Beetle last year, it was only a matter of time before Anita hounded Paul into buying one.

The only real question was: Would it be a regular Beetle or the new turbocharged Beetle GLX? That led to a second question: Is the GLX, with its more powerful engine and extra features, worth nearly $22,000

She: I thought I was finally immune to the charms of the New Beetle, until that silver GLX model showed up in our driveway two weeks ago. All the emotions came flooding back. The hatred I felt when you sold my `76 Beetle, which was also silver. The love I felt for that old Bug, which was the first car I bought myself. The delight I felt when Volkswagen resurrected the Beetle early last year. Wow! Draining.

He: You make it sound like a flesh wound.

She: You know what? The Beetle is one of the few pieces of metal that evokes emotion in me. And I'm not alone. To make it even better, the inside of the New Beetle will seem like a Mercedes to anyone subjected to the vagaries of the old model. You won't be forced to hand passengers a scraper in the winter and inform them that they are "the defroster." You won't feel like you're stuck in the entry-level vehicle segment with few amenities. And with the new turbocharged edition, there's bound to be a blip in interest in the Beetle, even though our local dealers tell us they still have waiting lists of 30 to 100 buyers to purchase the car.

He: I'm so taken by the regular Beetle, the GLX with the turbo is almost gilding the lily. I was pleasantly surprised to see VW hold the line on price to less than $22,000. For the extra money, you get such goodies as leather upholstery, 16-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof and a speed-activated rear spoiler, much like the one Porsche uses on the 911 Turbo. You really don't need the turbo, especially if you get a Beetle with the standard five-speed manual gearbox. But that extra punch is fun to have. The normal 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 115 horsepower and 122 pounds-feet of torque, which seems like plenty of power for this car. But the turbocharged 1.8-liter four kicks those figures up to 150 horsepower and 156 pounds-feet. Amazingly, the fuel economy also goes up, from 23 to 25 miles per gallon in city driving and from 29 to 31 mpg on the highway.

She: Enough numbers. Tell the readers how you finally made amends for selling my old Beetle 20 years ago.

He: I remember that day. I came back home with a brand-new VW Rabbit. I think your first words were, "I'm calling the lawyer." I always promised to buy you another Beetle some day. I just never got around to it.

She: Until last week. We're now the proud owners of a yellow 2000 VW Beetle. My only complaint is that the dealership forgot to put a fake daisy in the standard dashboard bud vase. And I want to say that, despite my whining, it wasn't a total emotional purchase. We were determined when both kids left for college a month a go to cut our car payment in half. So we considered everything from a Pontiac Grand Am to a Mercury Villager minivan. We were all over the map, but that's OK. Lots of shoppers do that. I was very comfortable with the Beetle because of the fine attention to safety, a serious consideration when you're in a little coupe. My Beetle has four air bags, standard antilock brakes and daytime running lights. And the front seats adjust so you get the illusion that you'e in a taller car.

He: I actually thought briefly about ordering a GLX, but finally decided we didn't really need the turbo. So we got a regular Beetle with a few options, including the moon roof and the alloy wheels, for just under $19,000 - about $2,500 less than the GLX. Tell me that's not a major bargain. Plus that spoiler seemed a little goofy.

She: You may notice a definite lack of headroom in the rear seat, which is disappointing given all the headroom in the front. I actually bumped my head against the rear wi w, which needs some sort of shade because it cuts so far up into the roof. If I had a baby in a car seat, I'd have to rig up a homemade shade or something. So maybe VW should be thinking about that as an option.

He: I've got news for you. I'll bet no couple with a baby is going to be considering the Beetle. This seems like a car for really young, single drivers, or for older folks like us whose kids have fled the nest.

2000 New Beetle GLX Turbo

Anita's rating: world class

Paul's rating: world class

Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, four-passenger coupe.

Price: Base, $20,900; as tested, $21,425 (inc. $525 destination charge).

Engine: 1.8-liter I-4; 150-hp; 156 lb-ft torque.

EPA fuel economy: 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway.

12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $1,102 (Estimate. Rates may be higher or lower,depending on coverage and driving record.)

Where built: Puebla, Mexico

What we liked: The Shape of the Nineties; reassuring standard safety features, including side air bags and ABS; lots of punch from new turbo engine; glowing nostalgia in a modern package; decent price; surprisingly good fuel economy for a turbocharged car.

What we didn't like: Cramped rear headroom; lose the rear spoiler.

    Expert Reviews 3 of 3

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