2006 Volkswagen New Beetle Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Volkswagen New Beetle

Volkswagen New Beetle Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 150 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle

  • Though still undeniably cute and fun, the Beetle is getting past its prime. Other competing two-door hatchbacks and convertibles offer more features and power.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Cute yet classic styling, long list of standard features, diesel engine option.

  • Cons

    Aged design, tight rear-seat accommodations, limited cargo room.

  • What's New for 2006

    The New Beetle gets a styling refresh for 2006. New front and rear bumpers, headlights and taillamps highlight the exterior changes.…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)

Surprising little car

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Recently purchased this car used for my girlfriend, not exactly my style though i am a devoted fan of german engineering. As much as the exterior designing has just never appealed to me, this car continuously surprises me. The 5-cyl engine is peppy when you need it to be, yet quite fuel efficient when just cruising along. I find i'm regularly able to keep up with my friends Jetta 1.8T which most people just wouldn't expect. Excellent 8 spkr stereo, convenient mp3 input jack, power convertible top moves quickly and easily, heat warms up quickly, a/c cools down equally as fast, amazingly smooth drive, nimble handling. Really the only complaint i have is the body styling. Just not my bag there

Fun, but...

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Very fun car to drive, but consistent reliability and quality control issues throughout. This is also a very expensive car to get serviced and repaired. Ours stranded us (wouldn't start) several times due to a problem with the theft control system which was eventually fixed via a recall. Also had problems with the headlights , window motor and convertible top which resulted in repeated returns to the dealership and the car being off the road multiple days. Car is also exceedingly susceptible to dings. It is a fun car, but its reliability issues and extreme service costs really detract from the overall satisfaction with the vehicle.

Great little car

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Great car fun to drive

My midlife crisis car

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

I'm a big guy, and here I am celebrating my 40th with a Silver and Black VW New Beetle Convertible. I'm still deeply in love with this car even five months after buying it. The semi-automatic roof is a must, but the sound system and XM radio sound great, even when the top is down. I bought this car knowing that the backseat would become my trunk, since both are so small, but since I don't have kids, it's not a problem. The 6-speed with sport mode is wonderful and allows me to surprise some sports car drivers with its passing power. I plan on keeping this baby for a long-long time, and will only replace her with another like her.

Smiles at ya

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

We have raised our families on old and new Beetles. We have owned a 1966, 1972, 1979, a 1968 Ghia, along with a 1999 New Beetle, tomoatoe red hardtop. We have always wanted a convertible and finally found the opportunity to own one this year. This new salsa red with tan interior and top is our "dream come true Beetle." It is fun to drive with the roof up or down. The power roof is sweeeeeet. The leather interior is nice and comfortable. The dash is ergonomically freindly. The Beetle sound system has a very quality sound. We have the 17" tires and wheels and I think the ride is compromised with this combination. Our Beetle always draws comments and waves when cruising the highway.

Don't even think about it!

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Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5 PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Let's start with the blinds spots: there are plenty - front and rear. Also, there is no light for the back seat, no leg room for my passengers there either, and I am only 5'10". The mirror adjustment is chintzy. Why doesn't the top stow away? Latching the roof is hard to do but that's okay because so is the trunk. The air conditioning is not very strong and the louvres are a joke. The car is fun at 30 miles per hour, but if you go faster the road noise (wind) will challege the sound system. Gas mileage? Try 18 mpg, can you believe it? The transmission is nice and loose ( I mean slipping). I guess this is why the finance man said that nobody keeps them after their two-year lease is up! Who could blame them? How about power seats?

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2006 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

What's New for 2006

The New Beetle gets a styling refresh for 2006. New front and rear bumpers, headlights and taillamps highlight the exterior changes. Inside, the cabin receives a new console, redesigned instrument cluster, revised sun visors and additional chrome trim. Under hood, last year's gasoline engine choices are dropped in favor of the 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine first seen in the redesigned Jetta. Stability control is now standard.


When the Golf-based Volkswagen New Beetle debuted, America went bonkers over it. It was cute and retro cool at the same time. But that was 1998. Just like cute puppies, cars grow old. And unless something is done to keep the interest up, the public's fascination wears off. The New Beetle is entering its ninth season for 2006. At this point, many cars are into their second full makeover. Instead, VW has stuck to the New Beetle's tried-and-true design -- with limited success. Indeed, New Beetle sales have cooled considerably over the last five years. Though its competitors can never hope to match the Bug's pedigree, they have surpassed the aging design in practical terms.

Hoping to eke out a little more life from the New Beetle hatch and convertible, VW has freshened the exterior styling and upgraded the standard engine for 2006. Instead of last year's anemic 2.0-liter four, the Bug now comes with a standard five-cylinder. At 150 horsepower, it matches last year's optional 1.8T in power (but not overall refinement), which is no longer available. The freshened styling is merely different, not necessarily better, but the new five-cylinder engine is a substantial improvement. The TDI diesel versions of the New Beetle come with VW's innovative Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission. This is the same highly acclaimed unit featured in Audi's TT 3.2. Essentially a six-speed manual transmission, the DSG removes the clutch pedal and associated operation, and places it under the control of computer chips and hydraulic servos. When left in full auto mode, it's as smooth as or smoother than any conventional automatic. When shifted manually via the floor-mounted shifter, the DSG offers quick, precise gear changes that make a traditional manual seem unnecessary. Along with this interesting pair of drivetrain options, VW is relying on the Beetle's large array of standard features, premium cabin furnishings and ever present cute factor to keep the nameplate on buyers' minds amidst a field of strong competitors.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The two-door New Beetle is available as a two-door hatchback or convertible body style. Hatchbacks come in 2.5 and TDI trim; convertibles are 2.5 only. All models come with 16-inch wheels; air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; seat-height adjusters; a tilt and telescoping steering wheel; and a manually folding top on convertibles. Options include 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a trunk-mounted CD changer, satellite radio, a sunroof on hatchbacks and a power top on convertibles.

Powertrains and Performance

The New Beetle 2.5 hatch and convertible come with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Power is put to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Those interested in improved fuel economy can opt for the TDI hatchback, which comes with a 1.9-liter turbocharged diesel-fueled four-cylinder. It makes 100 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque and can get about 40 mpg. TDI buyers can get either a five-speed manual or VW's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission. Essentially a six-speed manual tranny with an electronically controlled clutch, the DSG can be operated in a full auto mode like a traditional automatic or manually shifted.


Standard on all New Beetles are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, side airbags for front occupants, full-length head curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Convertibles have a rollover protection system. In government crash testing, the Beetle earned four out of five stars in both frontal-impact categories. It received a "Good" rating (and "Best Pick" status) from the IIHS for its performance in frontal offset crash testing but a "Poor" rating for side-impact crashworthiness.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though smaller inside than the Golf, the Beetle (seats four, 12 cubic feet of hatch space) compensates with style: It has a tablelike dashboard, huge circular speedometer and round air vents. The convertible's top is easy to fold and well insulated from wind and road noise. With its top down, the Bug has a classic but polished appearance, thanks to a top that mimics the original Beetle drop top's in appearance and handsome aluminum trim along the car's beltline.

Driving Impressions

Like other VWs, the Beetle is both fun to drive and comfortable for long trips. The suspension tuning is soft, but it's just about right for most drivers who want a little sport from their Bug. True enthusiasts, however, would be wise to check out the Mini Cooper and Acura RSX.

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