Used Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback (1999 - 2010) Safety & Reliability

Review by David Ross on
Last Updated: 16 Jun 2011
The 'new' Beetle was the car that started the retro trend when it was introduced in 1999, two years before the MINI came along. In terms of looks, it's very much in the same vein as the original model with a similarly distinctive rounded profile.
3.5 out of 5



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  • Adult Occupant Rating

    4 out of 5
  • Pedestrian Test Rating

    2 out of 5

In official Euro NCAP crash tests the Beetle scored four stars - a respectable result for a car launched in 1999. Every model comes with driver and front-seat passenger airbags while a side impact airbags is also mounted in each of the front seats. Curtain airbags are also standard. The front seatbelts have pre-tensioners plus there are Isofix child seat mounting points in the back while ESP stability control is also included on every model.

3.5 out of 5


The 1997 Golf that it's based on wasn't the most reliable of Volkswagen so you might find some niggling problems, but on the whole it's a well-built and dependable car, as long as it gets the servicing it needs.

Car check problem points


No problems reported.


A recall in 2004 where the bolts on the fuel pump cover may break.


A recall in 2002 for an issue with the anti lock brake control unit which could cause overheating and a possible fire.