Volkswagen Beetle

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Base MSRP price range:
$20,195 - $35,095
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This model has not been fully tested.
CR Model Summary
The Beetle has grown up a bit, with a roomy-enough interior and decent driving experience, but VW skipped on a few details. Though the ride is acceptable, it's a bit unsettled. Handling is responsive but not sporty and can get sloppy in demanding conditions. The discontinued 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that we tested had enough thrust but sounded gruff and unrefined. It was replaced by a new 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder that delivers better performance and fuel economy. You can also get an efficient turbodiesel. Wind noise is excessive, rear visibility is limited, and the long clutch-pedal travel and wide center console compromise the driving position. A convertible is also available.
General Model Specs
Body styles
2-door hatchback, convertible
Drive wheels
2 front, 2 rear
Engines available
1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
2.0-liter 4 turbo (210 hp)
2.0-liter 4 turbodiesel (150 hp)
Transmissions available
5-speed manual
6-speed automatic
6-speed manual
6-speed sequential
Basic: 3/36
Powertrain: 5 year/ 60,000 mile
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Reliability History - Volkswagen Beetle, New Beetle (turbo)
Trouble spots by year 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14
Engine Major
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Engine Minor
Electrical System
Safety Specs
Safety belts
Pretensioners, front/rear Yes/no
Air bags
Side air bags, front/rear Standard/no
Side curtain air bags Not available
Active safety features
Antilock brakes Standard
Traction control Standard
Stability control Standard
Daytime running lights Standard
Crash and rollover tests
IIHS front moderate overlap Good
IIHS front small overlap Marginal
IIHS side crash Good
IIHS rear crash Good
IIHS roof crush Good
NHTSA overall crash score 5
NHTSA overall frontal-crash score 4
NHTSA front-crash, driver/front passenger 5 / 4
NHTSA overall side-crash score 5
NHTSA side-crash, driver/rear passenger 5 / 5
NHTSA side pole-crash 5
NHTSA rollover, 2WD/4WD 4 / NA
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Volkswagen Beetle