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The Beetle coupe and convertible have a roomy-enough interior and decent driving experience. Though the ride is acceptable, it's a bit unsettled. Handling is responsive but not sporty and gets sloppy in demanding conditions. The 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has better performance and fuel economy than the 2.5-liter five-cylinder it replaced. Wind noise is excessive, rear visibility is limited, and the long clutch-pedal travel and wide center console compromise the driving position. Recent updates include an available rearview camera and blind-spot detection. Reliability has been well below average.

Road Test

The Beetle has gone from being VW's most beloved child and a hit on the auto-show circuit to the black sheep of the family. When this retro classic was resurrected in the Nineties -- to great fanfare -- as the New Beetle, it gave the VW brand a shot...

Highs

  • Cute and distinctive
  • Reminiscent of olden days

Lows

  • Feels outdated 
  • Lots of wind noise

Best Version to Get

The best deal is the 1.8T SE, as it brings voice control and a rear camera.

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
  • Basic: 3 year/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 5 year/60,000 miles
  • Rust through: 12 year/unlimited
  • Roadside aid: 3 year/unlimited
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
convertible
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results