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2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

by Frank

While the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle may no longer be the latest model, it continues to exude a sense of style and sophistication that remains appealing. As a product of Volkswagen, it carries the brand’s signature refinement. The 2005 New Beetle is a testament to German engineering, combining robust construction and performance with an impeccable finish, making it an excellent choice for those seeking value in a used car.

However, like many retro-styled vehicles, the New Beetle requires some trade-offs in the name of aesthetics. The interior layout may not be as intuitive as in more conventional vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Golf, and the trunk space is somewhat limited. Nonetheless, these minor compromises do little to detract from the car’s overall charm and appeal.

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Configurations: Exploring the Options

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle offers a variety of configurations to cater to different tastes and needs, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of drivers. The car is available in two body styles: a charming coupe and a stylish convertible, each with its unique appeal.

The coupe version comes in four different trims: GL, GLS, GLS Turbo, and GLS Turbodiesel. Each trim level offers a different set of features and performance characteristics. The GL is the base model, offering a solid list of standard features. The GLS adds more comfort and convenience features, while the GLS Turbo and GLS Turbodiesel introduce more powerful engine options.

The convertible version, perfect for those who love open-air driving, is available in three trims: GL, GLS, and GLS Turbo. Each trim offers a unique blend of features and performance, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and lifestyle.

It’s worth noting that the Turbo S model, which was available in previous years, is no longer offered in 2005.

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Engines: Power and Performance

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle offers a range of engine options to suit different driving preferences. The standard engine for the GL and GLS trims, both in coupe and convertible versions, is a 2.0-liter inline-4. This engine delivers a respectable 115 horsepower, providing adequate power for daily driving.

For those seeking more power, the GLS Turbo trim comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine boosts the power output to 150 horsepower, offering a more spirited performance.

In 2005, Volkswagen introduced a new diesel engine option for the GLS Turbodiesel coupe. This 1.9-liter turbo-diesel engine uses high-pressure injection technology to produce 100 horsepower. Not only does it offer improved fuel efficiency, but it also operates quieter than the previous diesel unit.

All models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, offering engaging and direct control over the car’s performance. For those who prefer automatic shifting, all 2005 models offer an optional semi-automatic transmission with Tiptronic, which allows manual-style shifting when desired.

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Cost of Ownership: A Comprehensive Breakdown

The financial commitment of owning a 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle extends beyond the initial purchase price. It’s crucial to consider the total cost of ownership, which encompasses various ongoing expenses. Here’s a more detailed look at what you can expect.

  • Routine Maintenance: Like any vehicle, the Beetle requires regular upkeep to stay in optimal condition. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, brake checks, and annual servicing. While these costs are standard for any car, it’s important to budget for them to ensure your Beetle runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • Parts and Repairs: The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle’s German engineering is renowned for its quality, but it’s worth noting that some parts can be pricier than those of other compact cars. This is particularly true for specialized components unique to the Beetle or Volkswagen brand. Regular maintenance can help prevent major repairs, but it’s wise to have a contingency fund for unexpected issues.
  • Insurance: Insurance premiums for the Beetle can vary widely, influenced by factors such as your driving history, age, location, and the level of coverage you choose. It’s recommended to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The 2005 Beetle offers respectable fuel efficiency for its class, which can help balance some of the ownership costs. The exact fuel consumption will depend on the engine type and driving conditions, but on average, you can expect decent mileage that will keep your trips to the gas station in check.
  • Depreciation: As with any vehicle, depreciation is a factor. However, the Beetle’s iconic status and enduring appeal can help it retain value better than some other vehicles. It’s a point worth considering if you plan to sell your car in the future.

While the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle comes with its unique costs, many owners find that its distinctive style, quality engineering, and enjoyable driving experience provide value that outweighs these expenses.

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2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Standard Features

2005 volkswagen beetle features

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle comes in a variety of trims, each offering a unique set of features that cater to different preferences. From the base model GL to the performance-oriented GLS Turbo and GLS Turbodiesel, each trim is well-equipped right from the factory.


The entry-level GL trim offers a host of standard features, including air conditioning with an integrated pollen filter, a six-speaker AM/FM/cassette stereo (10-speaker on convertibles), and an MP3 player. It also boasts central locking with a keyless remote, an anti-theft system, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The exterior features clear-lens halogen projector headlamps with Daytime Running Lights, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, and 16-inch steel wheels with 205/55 all-season tires. Inside, you’ll find cruise control, power windows, and the option for Leatherette upholstery. Additional options include CD changer prep, satellite radio service, and OnStar telematics. For added safety, electronic stability control (ESP) is available as an option.


The GLS trim adds front halogen fog lamps, 16-inch aluminum wheels with anti-theft wheel locks, a power sunroof, and an eight-speaker AM/FM/cassette Monsoon sound system. It also introduces pinch protection for the electric windows and the convenience of operating the sunroof with the driver’s door lock. The interior is enhanced with a center armrest with a storage box, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a shift knob, and a handbrake grip. The GLS also offers heated windshield washer nozzles, satellite radio, and Xenon HID headlamps.

GLS Turbo and GLS Turbodiesel

The GLS Turbo and GLS Turbodiesel trims are similar in terms of standard equipment, with a few notable differences. The GLS Turbo features a speed-activated spoiler on the rear window, an electronic locking differential (EDL), and anti-slip regulation (ASR). The GLS Turbodiesel, on the other hand, comes standard with Engine Braking Assist. All models can be equipped with the Electronic Stabilization Program (including ASR and EDL) as an option.

Exclusive to the GLS Turbo is the option for 17-inch aluminum wheels with 225/45 all-season tires. The GLS Turbodiesel is the only model that offers the 6-speed automatic with DSG (direct shift gearbox) and Tiptronic as an option.


Safety is a paramount concern in the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle, and it comes equipped with an array of features designed to protect its occupants. All models come standard with dual-stage frontal airbags for both the driver and front passenger. These airbags are designed to deploy at different intensities based on the severity of the collision, providing optimal protection in the event of a crash.

In addition to the frontal airbags, the New Beetle also features side-impact airbags mounted in the seatbacks. These are specifically designed to protect the driver and front-seat passenger in the event of a side collision, further enhancing the car’s safety profile.

The New Beetle also incorporates a safety-belt pre-tensioning and load-limiting system. In the event of a collision, the pre-tensioners tighten the seatbelts to secure the occupants, while the load limiters release a bit of the belt’s tension to prevent injuries caused by the seatbelt itself.

For families with young children, the New Beetle is equipped with LATCH rear-seat tether anchorage points. This system allows for the secure installation of child protection seats, ensuring the safety of the youngest passengers.

Furthermore, Volkswagen’s commitment to safety extends beyond these features. The New Beetle’s robust construction and high-quality materials are designed to withstand impacts and provide a safe environment for all occupants. The car’s safety systems work in harmony to provide a comprehensive approach to occupant protection.

2005 Volkswagen New Beetle: A Detailed Review

2005 volkswagen new beetle walk around review

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle, available as a soft top or hardtop, is a testament to Volkswagen’s engineering prowess. Built on the same robust platform as the Volkswagen Golf, it boasts a highly rigid chassis that ensures a smooth, controlled ride with minimal noise, vibration, or harshness. The Beetle’s well-designed crumple zones and other safety features enhance crash protection, making it a safe choice for drivers.

Despite its compact appearance, the Beetle is spacious. It measures 161.1 inches in length and 67.9 inches in width, with a wheelbase of 98.7 inches and a height of 59.0 inches. The build quality is exceptional, with tight gaps between doors, fenders, and other body panels. The Beetle’s fenders and bumpers are made from unique dent-resistant plastic, adding to its durability.

The Beetle’s exterior design is both functional and stylish. The door handles are easy to grip and operate, while the switch indicators on the outside mirrors provide additional safety. The color-keyed mirror housings and door handles contribute to the Beetle’s clean, streamlined appearance.

Interior Comfort and Design

2005 volkswagen beetle interior

The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle’s interior is designed with comfort and space in mind. The sweeping roofline provides ample front-seat headroom, with the convertible model only slightly reducing this space. However, the deep dashboard design can create a sensation of sitting further back in the vehicle.

The front A-pillars are robust, which can slightly impede vision in tight corners. The small sun visors may not fully block sunlight coming in through the large side windows, but they provide adequate shade in most situations.

Seating and Utility

The standard seats are comfortable and attractive. The flat design of the seat bottom makes it easy to get in and out, but side bolstering is lacking for driving quickly on winding roads. The typical fore-aft and rake adjustments are provided, while a lever lifts the seat the height up and down.

The rear seat is fine for a few adults on short trips. The shoulder and hip room are cramped from the coupe and significantly more cramped in the convertible, but there’s adequate rear headroom. There’s a fair amount of rear legroom in the convertible when the front passengers cooperate, and hardtop Beetles provide even more rear legroom.

Both of the Beetle’s front seats flip and pivot up and forward, making it easier to climb to the back seats. They then flip back to their original position, a pleasant memory feature.


The Beetle’s trunk is small, just 12 cubic feet, though the rear seats can be folded down to more than double that quantity. The convertible’s trunk is even smaller, just 5 cubic feet.

Dual cup holders in front of the shifter are tucked under the protruding center dash that houses the audio and climate controls. That arrangement initially appears to preclude tall drinks, but the cup holder platform cleverly swivels to the right to make space for this extra tall drink. Your companion will have to hold his or hers, however. Both the coupe and convertible benefit from a modern, sliding front center armrest with storage space.


The 2005 Beetle’s interior is attractive and, as in all Volkswagens, well-finished. A Myriad of materials is used to give the Beetle a high-tech look. I love the Painted metal configuration at the top edges of the doors, which matches the exterior paint.

In GL and GLS models, the standard cloth upholstery is tightly woven, resilient, and sporty, yet soft to the touch. Leatherette (vinyl) and leather are also available. The upper dash employs coarse, hard materials accented by smoother, softer surfaces elsewhere. A wide variety of interior color combinations is available. The curved, dimpled door handles look ultra-modern. The steering wheel feels good and features brushed aluminum spokes.

The small bud vase keeps a small flower looking fresh or holds a plastic daisy. The console seems like it may show dirt and wear over the long haul when ordered in light colors. The glove box seems impressive and has a small shelf on top for the owner’s manual, but its massive door belies the tiny, awkwardly shaped space inside.


The 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle is a car that delivers on all fronts. It offers a tight, responsive driving experience, with excellent handling and braking. The standard 2.0-liter engine is smooth and quiet, making it suitable for most drivers. However, for those seeking a more dynamic driving experience, the GLS 1.8 T model offers sporty acceleration performance. Overall, the 2005 Volkswagen New Beetle is a car that combines style, performance, and practicality in one package.

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