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2005 Volkswagen New Beetle

$2,306 — $8,038 USED
Hatchback
4 Seats
26-42 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Visual appeal, especially of convertible
  • Ride comfort
  • Steering response
  • Performance of manual-shift diesel
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Performance of 2.0-liter-powered convertible
  • Backseat space
  • Cargo space in convertible
  • Once innovative design now becoming dated

What to Know

about the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle
  • Retro styling
  • Gasoline or diesel powertrain
  • Manual or automatic
  • Coupe or convertible

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Following its debut for the 1998 model year, Volkswagen's retro-themed New Beetle saw an early sales surge. Its popularity waned somewhat later, prompting Volkswagen to look for variants. A sporty Turbo S edition joined the lineup in 2002 but was dropped after 2004, and a New Beetle Convertible debuted in 2003.

For 2005, an MP3 player connection is standard. Optional XM or Sirius Satellite Radio includes a three-month subscription. A six-speed-automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual-shift capability is now available with the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder.
(Skip to details on the: New Beetle Convertible)


Exterior
Nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle. This hatchback rides a 98.7-inch wheelbase, measures 161.1 inches long overall and stands 59 inches high, making it one of the taller compacts on the market.

Equipped with a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive, the New Beetle is based on the platform used for Volkswagen's Golf and Jetta models. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch alloy wheels are available. High-intensity-discharge headlights are optional on the GLS, which comes with a standard sunroof.


Interior
A bubble-shaped roof gives the four-passenger New Beetle a strong visual kinship to the original. Unfortunately, it also infringes on rear headroom, and backseat legroom is limited. The rear seatback folds down for additional storage space.

The GL includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescopin...
Vehicle Overview
Following its debut for the 1998 model year, Volkswagen's retro-themed New Beetle saw an early sales surge. Its popularity waned somewhat later, prompting Volkswagen to look for variants. A sporty Turbo S edition joined the lineup in 2002 but was dropped after 2004, and a New Beetle Convertible debuted in 2003.

For 2005, an MP3 player connection is standard. Optional XM or Sirius Satellite Radio includes a three-month subscription. A six-speed-automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual-shift capability is now available with the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder.
(Skip to details on the: New Beetle Convertible)


Exterior
Nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle. This hatchback rides a 98.7-inch wheelbase, measures 161.1 inches long overall and stands 59 inches high, making it one of the taller compacts on the market.

Equipped with a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive, the New Beetle is based on the platform used for Volkswagen's Golf and Jetta models. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch alloy wheels are available. High-intensity-discharge headlights are optional on the GLS, which comes with a standard sunroof.


Interior
A bubble-shaped roof gives the four-passenger New Beetle a strong visual kinship to the original. Unfortunately, it also infringes on rear headroom, and backseat legroom is limited. The rear seatback folds down for additional storage space.

The GL includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front bucket seats, a CD stereo, cruise control, remote keyless entry, heated power mirrors, and power windows and locks. Monsoon Sound is included with GLS models. A Cold Weather Package that includes heated front seats and heated windshield-washer nozzles is optional on most models.


Under the Hood
GL and GLS models come standard with a 115-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 150 hp is available in the GLS 1.8T. The GLS TDI uses a 100-hp, turbocharged 1.9-liter direct-injection diesel four-cylinder. The engines can team with a five-speed-manual gearbox or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The diesel model can be equipped with a six-speed automatic with a Direct Shift Gearbox, which Volkswagen claims eliminates power-transfer loss during gear changes.

Safety
Side-impact airbags, antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard.

Driving Impressions
Other than its tight backseat, the New Beetle coupe is a wholly appealing automobile. Performance with the base engine is modestly energetic, and it's surprisingly eager with the diesel. The easy-to-operate manual gearbox takes the fullest advantage of any engine's potential, but the automatic doesn't sap away too much of the engine's strength.

Steering is quick and confident. Expect a generally comfortable ride; the firm suspension soaks up most road imperfections.


New Beetle Convertible
The New Beetle Convertible's development took place at the Karmann facility in Germany. The five-layer lined top features a glass rear window. Convertibles come in GL and GLS trim levels.

Much like the original Beetle convertibles of the 1950s to 1970s, the modern-day model has a fabric top that rests on the back of the car; it doesn't fold into the body. Designers retained the familiar curve of the hardtop New Beetle with the convertible's soft-top. The top is devoid of ridges and has a smooth, round appearance.

The base GL convertible has a manually operated roof, but the GLS gets a semi-automatic top. Automatic pop-up rollover supports behind the rear seats are standard, and a wind blocker is optional. Except for a slightly narrower rear seat, the four-passenger New Beetle Convertible's interior looks nearly identical to the hardtop's. Trunk capacity is a modest 5 cubic feet.

A 115-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder goes into GL and GLS convertibles, but a 150-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder powers the GLS 1.8T. The engines can team with either a five-speed-manual transmission or a six-speed-automatic transmission with Tiptronic operation. An electronic stability system is standard in the GLS 1.8T.

Volkswagen did a masterful job of designing the New Beetle Convertible, which is cute and appealing. Other than a shortage of passing power from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the soft-top delivers a wonderful driving experience and a superior ride; the suspension absorbs plenty of road imperfections. Directional stability is top-notch, and the convertible handles expertly. Steering feel and feedback are excellent.

Performance with the manual gearbox is smooth and easy, and the clutch is light. But Volkswagen's six-speed-automatic transmission doesn't react quickly enough when tromping on the gas pedal at 40 or 50 mph. The automatic transmission's Tiptronic feature is helpful. Back to top


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.8
20 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(3.8)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(3.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

quick turbo- in and out zippy quick..

by bugslife from san antonio tx on October 22, 2018

great options nice comfy head room..slide in and out of parking spots. great turbo pick up speed..ride with the big gas hogs.. sporty and fun to drive Read full review

(5.0)

Great Car Cute & Reliable

by CrisTina from Miami, Florida on August 28, 2018

This car is a classic. Sporty, fun, reliable and runs very well. Surprisingly very roomy for such a small frame. The convertable top is perfect for the summertime. Perfect first car. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle currently has 6 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle has not been tested.

Latest 2005 New Beetle Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The New Beetle received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker