Transmission problem

My VW BUG (2004) is lurching, hard to shift and the transmissions will sometimes not shift. A private mechanic and the dealer says it needs a new transmission. The car has 54,000 miles on it. They are asking $4,000 for rebuilt and $6,000 for a new transmission. Is it possible for A car with this mileage to need a new trany? And is this cost realistic?

I find it strange that the transmission would need rebuilding OR replaceing at 54k miles. Have you owned this car since new? If not then possibly the previous owner tortured it with a lot of missed shifts, burnouts, high speed downshifts into too low a gear, or maybe had a teenage son. 

I think before you opt for the new transmission, you might try draining the trans. oil and try one of the slick additives made especially for transmissions with shifting problems. It may not help but it is a fairly inexpensive gamble compared to $4000, or $6000

I just reread your post again and noticed the word “lurching” right before you mentioned the trans shifting problem. Can you describe exactly what this
"lurching" problem is? Is the clutch grabbing or does it seem to be operating differently than it did in the past? If so, this could be causeing your shifting problems. Please define what this “lurching” means. A clutch problem is a lot more likely at 54 thousand miles than a transmission failure.

What was the warranty on your Bug? Any chance it is covered?