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1998 Volkswagen Beetle Overview

After generating huge buzz as a concept car displayed at auto shows throughout the mid-'90s, the Volkswagen Beetle made a triumphant return to North American showrooms in 1998, after having been discontinued (in the U.S., at least) in the late 1970s. Freshened up with a look that mixed contemporary styling with a retro attitude, it was still distinctively a Beetle, and American drivers loved it (European drivers less so).

There were some major differences between the New Beetle and earlier models, though, starting with the engine, which was now located in the front instead of the back. The New Beetle was also longer, more powerful, and safer than the original. In fact, it received high marks from the U.S. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Power was provided by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, 115-hp gas engine or a 1.9-liter, 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine (called a TDI, or Turbo Direct Injection) that generated 90 hp and got an impressive 48 mpg on the highway. Available transmissions were either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

The New Beetle was built on the VW Golf platform, and a lot of its features were lifted from that model. Power steering, power brakes, power heated mirrors, front and side airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, and an anti-theft alarm system were among the standard features.

The most common comment heard from drivers was that the new Beetle was "fun." The automaker played up that entertainment angle by making the car available in bright colors like red, blue, and lime green. Drivers found the car comfortable and easy to drive. . . but not on long trips. And while they thought it was reliable, economical to drive, and relatively inexpensive to maintain, they also found it "quirky" . . . and in that respect, it was remarkably similar to the original Bug.

Updated by Anonymous

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Volkswagen Beetle Questions

No Start 1998 Volkswagen Beetle 2.0

Car will crank over but not start changed fuel pump and relay and still the same if you hook a battery to the fuel pump it will fire right up and run what could cause this

How Come My Car Won’t Start?

So I have a 98 bug. I put another used engine in and put all new parts. It will turn over but not start. Volkswagen asked me if my car can reset itself I don’t know what she is talking about. The ...

Can I Swap A 98 Beetle 2.0 Engine With A 98 Jetta 2.0 Engine

I have a 98 beetle 2.0 bad engine bought a 98 jetta 2.0 that's suppose to drop right in.. But doesn't have same amount of sensors on it.. Can I make this engine work?


Car Alarmed Itself, Wont Start, And I Cant Program My Key Fob To It.

I have a 98 VW Beetle and the battery went out a couple weeks ago, I took it out to charge it and when I put it back in, the car alarmed itself. every time I unlock the drivers side door, the alarm so...

How Do I Reset The Alarm On My 1998 Vw Bug After Changing Battery

Can’t get alarm to shut of