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1999 Volkswagen Beetle Overview

Volkswagen revved up the power of the 1999 Beetle by introducing a 1.8-liter, 150-hp turbocharged engine, which joined the two other engine options -- a 2.0-liter, 115-hp gas engine or a 1.9-liter, 90-hp turbodiesel. The new turbocharged Beetle, called the 1.8T Turbo, was distinguished by a neat little spoiler that automatically emerged on the car's rear as speed was increased. Anti-lock brakes were also added as standard equipment.

Other standard features included power steering, power brakes, power windows and door locks, power heated mirrors, front and side airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, and an anti-theft alarm system. A five-speed manual transmission was standard while a four-speed automatic was available as an option. In addition, features such as leather seats and a sunroof were available as options on most versions of the '99 Beetle, and as standard equipment on higher-end trims such as the GLX 1.8T Turbo.

Overall, drivers were very happy with the New Beetle, finding positive points in its handling, uniqueness, gas economy, and even its roominess (for a small car). Most were happy with the engine and transmission, though some drivers noted they had problems with the powerplant, and a few had to replace the engine. Others noted that a number of minor parts had to be replaced, and some were frustrated with the layout of some of the interior appointments. It's clear that while the car turns heads, it's not intended for everyone.

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