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Volkswagen Beetle Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle ranks 11 out of 17 Affordable Subcompact Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is ranked:

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle has a stylish retro look, but many rivals offer better handling, higher fuel economy and more cargo space for a lower price, according to reviewers.

Automotive journalists write that the 2015 Beetle’s base turbocharged four-cylinder engine is fairly peppy, but the larger turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the R-Line trim feels quite a bit more powerful, and the turbodiesel four-cylinder in the TDI provides lively acceleration and top-notch fuel economy. When equipped with an automatic transmission, the base 2015 Beetle gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class. On the other hand, the TDI model gets 31/41 mpg, which is outstanding. Reviewers think the VW Beetle has a comfortable ride and handles with poise, but they note that rivals feel sportier.

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle’s sleek, retro cabin appeals to most test drivers, though some mention that lower trims feature a lot of hard plastic materials. Reviewers are impressed with the Beetle’s comfortable front seats and spacious rear seat, though some complain about the limited rearward visibility caused by the Beetle’s small back window. The VW Beetle’s cargo capacity is also less than most small hatchbacks’. Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary audio input and an eight-speaker audio system. Available features include leather upholstery, a touch-screen navigation system, a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, a nine-speaker Fender audio system and push-button start. Most critics think the Fender audio system has fantastic sound quality, and they write that the optional navigation system is user-friendly, though some complain that the screen is too small.

  • "I think I'd be raving about the Beetle if it was 20 percent smaller and 25 percent less expensive. As it stands, it's a blandly bourgeoisie echo of the affordable peoples' car it claims to be the descendent of." -- AutoWeek
  • "Although it sports the same basic shape that's made it an instantly-recognizable icon for decades, the latest Volkswagen Beetle is more masculine, refined and feature-packed than before. Like the open top Beetle Convertible, it offers an appealing interior and a wide powertrain lineup." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle pays proper homage to an icon of the past while still offering thoroughly modern features and performance. It's a good pick if you want a coupe or convertible with a mix of fun and practicality." -- Edmunds
  • "So what we have here is another nostalgia trip that makes sense if you love the styling, can accept the compromises that go with it, and are willing to pay for the privilege." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Volkswagen Beetle Pictures & Videos

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Other Cars to Consider

The Volkswagen Golf is completely redesigned for 2015, and critics love its nimble handling and outstanding interior quality. The Golf also has a lower base price than the Beetle and significantly more cargo space.

The Mini Hardtop has very agile handling and a stylish, retro-inspired cabin, according to test drivers. Unlike the Beetle, the Mini Hardtop is available in two- and four-door trims, and it gets better gas mileage than the Beetle.

Compare the Beetle, Golf and Hardtop »

Details: 2015 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle seats four and comes in coupe and convertible body styles. Six trims are available: the limited-edition Classic, 1.8T, TDI, R-Line 2.0T, Premium 1.8T and Premium TDI. The 1.8T has a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, a five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is available. The R-Line model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while the TDI features a turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The Beetle was last redesigned for the 2012 model year and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Volkswagen Beetle specs »

Review Last Updated: 1/26/15

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