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    Thread: Looking for beetle Which should I get? 1.8 or 2.0? need reliable transportation

    1. 03-29-2012 01:42 PM #1
      Hi I'm a college student lookin for a small car that gives good mpg and won't cost an arm and leg to operate.

      I've been looking at corollas and Camry but having to drive my dads a6 I want something with similar feelings and the Japanese lack that.

      I'm wanting to get a beetle and was wondering what are some common issues between the 2.0 and 1.8?

      Which would be more reliable? As a college student I do not have lots of money to spend on repairs.

      I'm looking into getting a manual so of that tranny has any problems let me know. Like the 6 speeds in the a6 are pretty solids but they have some issues with syncros and 1st and 2nd collars. Anything like that in the 5 speed?

      What should I look out for when buying one?
      I've seen the mpg online and it seems the 1.8 give better mpg than the 2.0 and has more power so I would prefer that.

      On the 1.8 I thing I really need to know is if this 1.8 is the same as the one on passats which have sludge issues. Would that be something I would have to look out for? I've read some articles that say the sludge was only on a4 Jetta and passats and NOT the beetle?

    2. Member Rockerchick's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 02:43 PM #2
      Honestly, if you are looking for cheap and easy, I'd go with the 2.0. I had my 2.0 5-speed all through college (undergrad and graduate) and it served me very, very well. Barely anything put into it until the last year or so I had it and that was just because of age mostly (brakes, a wheel bearing, tires...) nothing severe though. Maintenance is much cheaper on a 2.0. The timing belt service is about half the price on the 2.0 than the 1.8T. I have a GTI now with the 1.8T and its fun. I do love it. But I only get maybe 1-2mpg better around town with it than my 2.0. It can do better but you have to stay out of boost, and that's no fun But the 1.8T takes premium fuel, so I'm losing the cost race...the ratio of improved MPG does not match the fuel difference. 2.0 takes regular and *can* run on conventional oil (though I only ran synth in mine anyway). 1.8T requires at least 91 octane and must run on synth. You will have sludge problems if you have a 1.8T that ran conventional or too infrequent oil changes. Not as much of an issue as with the Passats though.

      5-speeds are sturdy. Only problem I had was the shift carrier broke, but it was plastic. That's only a problem on the '98 and '99 cars I believe. The 2.0 5-speed is about the most bullet proof combo you'll get on a mk4. I loved mine. Had it for 6 1/2 years and miss it everyday (totaled in an accident last fall )
      Quote Originally Posted by TM87 View Post
      VW-making mechanics out of owners since 1957.
      The project - '84 Jetta 1.6TD, 190k, fully rebuilt, Giles IP and injectors, 2.5" custom exhaust, 51mpg
      Hers - '03 BMP 20thAE GTI, 138k, 3" 42DD turbo back, Unitronic Stage 2
      His - '01 Jetta TDI, 159k. Now has 3 pedals, as it should!

    3. 03-29-2012 03:15 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Rockerchick View Post
      Honestly, if you are looking for cheap and easy, I'd go with the 2.0. I had my 2.0 5-speed all through college (undergrad and graduate) and it served me very, very well. Barely anything put into it until the last year or so I had it and that was just because of age mostly (brakes, a wheel bearing, tires...) nothing severe though. Maintenance is much cheaper on a 2.0. The timing belt service is about half the price on the 2.0 than the 1.8T. I have a GTI now with the 1.8T and its fun. I do love it. But I only get maybe 1-2mpg better around town with it than my 2.0. It can do better but you have to stay out of boost, and that's no fun But the 1.8T takes premium fuel, so I'm losing the cost race...the ratio of improved MPG does not match the fuel difference. 2.0 takes regular and *can* run on conventional oil (though I only ran synth in mine anyway). 1.8T requires at least 91 octane and must run on synth. You will have sludge problems if you have a 1.8T that ran conventional or too infrequent oil changes. Not as much of an issue as with the Passats though.

      5-speeds are sturdy. Only problem I had was the shift carrier broke, but it was plastic. That's only a problem on the '98 and '99 cars I believe. The 2.0 5-speed is about the most bullet proof combo you'll get on a mk4. I loved mine. Had it for 6 1/2 years and miss it everyday (totaled in an accident last fall )
      Then I'll be looking for a 2.0. So there's no major problems in either engines? How many Mpg does each engine give? I'm looking to get at least 30. Tried looking for a tdi but all have really high miles or the asking price is out of my budget.
      I found one 01 2.0 with 80k. He's asking 4500. Owner says he's done the TB and put new cam and crank seals. What do you think of this deal?

    4. Member Rockerchick's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 03:36 PM #4
      I would get 22-23 around town in my 2.0. Lowest I ever got was 21. My GTI sees 23-24 around town...I've not had lower than 23 for sure...I've had the car since September and I have a 6 mile (one way) commute to work all city so I've had a few tanks that was just that. I've been pleased. 2.0 I would get 28-30 highway after the switch to ethanol in fuel...I was getting over 30 with no problem prior. But I also didn't have cruise and my driving style became more...spirited over the years Doing 70mph was the sweet spot on the 2.0 and 30mpg was easy to hit then. But we have some 70mph highways around here so I was doing more like 75.

      My GTI you can't quite compare as its a 20th and has a 6-speed vs. the 5-speed. The 2.0 was pushing 3k rpm at 60mph, vs. the GTI which hits 3k at 75. But the 2.0 is made to handle it. I got 31mpg pure highway with the GTI and cruise set around 72-73. I'm sure I could get better.

      Not sure on that deal. The timing belt being done is huge though. I'd try to go lower on the price myself, but I don't know the NB market very well right now. And used cars are going for a premium at the moment too.

      You may also want to check out NewBeetle.org. Its a much faster moving site and has a lot of technical info as well.
      Quote Originally Posted by TM87 View Post
      VW-making mechanics out of owners since 1957.
      The project - '84 Jetta 1.6TD, 190k, fully rebuilt, Giles IP and injectors, 2.5" custom exhaust, 51mpg
      Hers - '03 BMP 20thAE GTI, 138k, 3" 42DD turbo back, Unitronic Stage 2
      His - '01 Jetta TDI, 159k. Now has 3 pedals, as it should!

    5. 03-31-2012 12:35 AM #5
      I would go with a TDI beetle if you can afford it (not sure if its been suggested)

    6. Member wraithkl626's Avatar
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      03-31-2012 04:33 AM #6
      I would go with a 2.5L version. I`ve heard great things about that engine. It does not have a timing belt but rather a timing chain. I have no first hand experience with this engine, but I`ve heard that the oil changes can be difficult.

    7. Member Jetta02AWP's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 10:33 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by wraithkl626 View Post
      I would go with a 2.5L version. I`ve heard great things about that engine. It does not have a timing belt but rather a timing chain. I have no first hand experience with this engine, but I`ve heard that the oil changes can be difficult.
      The early 2.5's were a recipe for disaster. They don't have timing belts but the chain has been quite a problem. Someone I work with have to replace the entire engine because the guides wore out at 90k and the timing chain slipped and bent all the valves and poked holes in the pistons just like if a timing belt broke. Ended up costing him $3k. I would rather know that I have to replace the belt than have a chain that I'm not supposed to have to maintain destroy the engine.

      Stick with the 2.0 or 1.8t, I would prefer the 1.8t

    8. Member wraithkl626's Avatar
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      2001 New Beetle 1.8t / 1967 Beetle
      04-08-2012 05:12 AM #8
      I`ve heard bad things about the early ones as well. However, about 2007 or 2008 there was a major revision in the design of the timing chain that has proven to be quiet reliable. To the op, you can find more information specifically for the new beetle at www.newbeetle.org .

    9. Member FrankenCar's Avatar
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      04-20-2012 08:02 PM #9
      If you want a reliable car and good MPG your best bet is the TDI version. We have one with a hair over 325,000 miles on it and it's averaging 45 mpg.

    10. 04-20-2012 08:18 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by FrankenCar View Post
      If you want a reliable car and good MPG your best bet is the TDI version. We have one with a hair over 325,000 miles on it and it's averaging 45 mpg.
      I have noticed that the TDI's have really high miles around 300k. Im not too familiar with diesel engines but isnt 300k just too much? and then the owners are asking around 4.5k for their 00-04 TDI's. I feel as tho if i buy one of these high miled car will probably break down after i drive it around for 5k lol


      Do they beetle come in Automatics? are they reliable?

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