Volkswagen Beetle Review & Features

2017 Average MSRP
$20,710
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$3,738
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2017 Volkswagen Beetle
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Car News

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Earns Five-Star Safety Rating From Federal Government

WASHINGTON — The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle hatchback earned the highest five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The carryover 2017 Beetle received four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover crash test.

NHTSA has not posted ratings on the 2017 Beetle Convertible.

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Beetle includes six airbags, stability control and antilock brakes.

Volkswagen added a new automatic post-collision braking system to the Beetle in the 2016 model year, a feature that is carried over.

The system applies the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors. It helps to reduce "residual kinetic energy" and the chance of additional damage, according to VW.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not rated the 2017 Beetle.

Key Beetle competitors include the Hyundai Veloster, Kia Forte Koup and Mini Cooper.

Edmunds says: Car shoppers keeping score should note that the 2017 Hyundai Veloster, Kia Forte Koup and Mini Cooper have not been rated yet by NHTSA.

Volkswagen Beetle Review

Over the years, the design of the Volkswagen Beetle has evolved from its functionality-driven origins to the irrepressibly cheerful face of the previous-generation New Beetle. More recently, the folks at VW dropped the "New" in the car's name and gave this latest-generation Beetle a more aggressive look. But it's still unmistakably a Beetle.

Contributing to the newest Beetle's more masculine stance is a body that's longer, lower and wider than the previous generation. Inside, the friendly flower vase and distant windshield (which resulted in a massive dash top) have been replaced by a more vertical windshield and a color-keyed dash that's more handsome than cute. The increased dimensions also give this Beetle a roomier interior, especially in the backseat. Its underpinnings, which are shared with the previous-generation Golf, make it more fun to drive than you might expect, especially in the Turbo/R-Line and TDI models. Put it all together and you have a very enjoyable and distinctive small car.

Current Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen offers its Beetle hatchback in four main trim levels. The base trim will be known as the 2.5L until the engine that name refers to is replaced, resulting in a change of name to 1.8T. Equipment will be the same, though. Other trims include the R-Line, diesel-powered TDI and the GSR, which is essentially a loaded R-Line with a unique color scheme. The convertible version of the Beetle is reviewed separately.

The 2.5L comes with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. Its 1.8T replacement has a 1.8-liter turbocharged four with 170 hp and 184 lb-ft. The TDI version features a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four (140 hp and 236 lb-ft), while the sporty R-Line and GSR models get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four (210 hp and 207 lb-ft.) Transmission choices for the TDI and R-Line include a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (DSG).

Even the base Beetle comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, 50/50-split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with an iPod interface. Also standard is VW's Car-Net telematics system. The TDI further includes keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio, a touchscreen audio interface and a performance gauge package. Highlights of the R-Line include 18-inch wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats and performance gauges. The GSR is essentially an R-Line with a sunroof, a larger rear spoiler, an upgraded audio system and a navigation system along with a unique yellow-and-black color scheme. Major options include a sunroof, xenon headlights, a touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera and a Fender premium sound system.

Regardless of which Beetle you get, chances are you'll be impressed with how attractive the cabin is, with its clean lines and the color-matched dash panels on select models. There are a few more hard plastics than you'll find in its Golf sibling, however. Despite its seemingly low roof line, the Beetle still provides plenty of room for tall drivers. The backseat is also fairly spacious, though not as roomy as that of the Golf. One item we're not fond of is the optional navigation system. While it's pretty easy to use, its small screen limits the amount of information that can be displayed.

How the Volkswagen Beetle drives largely depends on the engine you choose. The base five-cylinder is respectably powerful, but it sounds unrefined and gets unremarkable fuel economy. We'd make sure to get its 1.8T mid-year replacement instead. It's a significantly superior engine in terms of power delivery, refinement and efficiency. The TDI offers incredible mileage -- we've seen real-world 40 mpg fuel economy. The Beetle R-Line, meanwhile, has plenty of punch and sounds great.

In terms of handling, the Beetle's steering and handling are not especially engaging, falling more in line with the less engaging Jetta rather than the sportier, more European-feeling Golf. The R-Line handles better, but not dramatically so. If you're looking for a VW GTI with more interesting styling, you'll be disappointed.

Used Volkswagen Beetle Models
The Volkswagen Beetle debuted for the 2012 model year. In that first year, VW offered a base trim level for the Beetle. It was cheaper than the 2.5L, but it came with the manual transmission only and lacked certain features such as Bluetooth. That year also saw a couple of special "Launch Edition" versions of the Turbo trim (equivalent to today's R-Line).

The following year brought a few additions to the lineup. The TDI and its turbocharged diesel debuted, along with its conservative EPA fuel economy estimate of 32 mpg combined. In the real world, this car could average closer to 40 mpg. The convertible also debuted that year, as did the one-year-only Fender signature version that featured a dash treatment inspired by the finish seen on the company's popular guitars.

These Beetles are similar to the current offerings apart from lacking the telematics system, the GSR version, the availability of a rearview camera and 10 fewer horsepower for the Turbo trim (Its name changed to R-Line for 2014).

For used car information on the previous-generation model (produced from 1998-2010), please see our review of the New Beetle.

Volkswagen Beetle Cars for Sale

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T SE
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T SE
MSRP$23,505
Special Offer See special offer Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles(4mi)(46)
Dealer Notes

Black Artificial Leather. Gasoline! Turbocharged! This 2017 Beetle is for Volkswagen lovers looking all around for that rare creampuff. Such a refined car, with a fuel-efficient powerplant, does not come up for grabs very often, so you better act fast.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S
MSRP$21,135
Special Offer See special offer Fairfax Volkswagen(15mi)(6)
Dealer Notes

Black 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S FWD 6-Speed Automatic with Tiptronic 1.8L TSI 4-Cylinder Titan Blk Cloth, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 8 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, AM/FM radio, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Bodyside moldings, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Cloth Seating Surfaces, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front reading lights, Front Seats, Fully automatic headlights, Heated door mirrors, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Leather steering wheel, Low tire pressure warning, Monster Mats w/Logo Rubber Mat Kit, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power windows, Radio data system, Radio: AM/FM 5 Touchscreen w/CD Player, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear reading lights, Rear window defroster, Remote keyless entry, Roadside Assistance Kit, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Variably intermittent wipers, Wheels: 16 Whirl Alloy, Titan Blk Cloth. 33/24 Highway/City MPG Reviews: * Cargo capacity on par with compact crossovers; upscale interior; responsive and fuel-efficient engine; sophisticated ride; standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance compared to the regular Golf wagon. Source: Edmunds All conditions subject to credit approval. All offers plus Tax, Tags, Freight ($820 for sedans and $910 for trucks for new vehicles), processing fee of $ 685. Dealer installed options additional. Prices includes rebates and incentives available to all customers and may be in lieu of low APR programs. Stock photo colors, options and trim levels may vary. Vehicles subject to prior sale. Not responsible for typographical errors. Specifications, features, safety and warranty data are based on what is available as standard specs/features per trim level; for the designated model-year, and may not apply to vehicles with added packages or options. Final price must be verified by management. See dealer for details. Vehicles may be in-transit to dealer. Please call to confirm status.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
MSRP$21,615
Special Offer See special offer Stohlman Volkswagen(15mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

Price includes: $1,000 - Sell Down Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
MSRP$27,875
Special Offer See special offer King Volkswagen(17mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

Gray Cloth. Excels when it comes to fuel savings. Judicious with every drop of gas. 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune FWD.Who could say no to a truly wonderful car like this terrific-looking 2017 Volkswagen Beetle? This Beetle is an amazingly fuel efficient Volkswagen. No longer will you break the bank when you pull up to the gas pump. It is nicely equipped with features such as Dune Lighting Package (Bi-Xenon Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED Rear License Plate Lights), Dune Technology Package (Climatronic Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Fender Premium Audio System w/Subwoofer, Kessy Keyless Access w/Push-Button Engine Start, and Power Tilting & Sliding Sunroof), Gray Cloth, 2-Tone Cloth & V-Tex Leatherette Seating Surfaces, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 8 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Blind Spot Sensor, Bodyside moldings, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front fog lights, Front reading lights, Fully automatic headlights, Heated door mirrors, Heated front seats, Heated Front Sport Seats, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Leather steering wheel, Low tire pressure warning, Monster Mats w/Logo Rubber Mat Kit (Fender), MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power windows, Radio data system, Radio: AM/FM/HD 6.3 Touchscreen w/CD Player, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear reading lights, Rear window defroster, Remote keyless entry, Roadside Assistance Kit, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Turn signal indicator mirrors, and Variably intermittent wipers.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
MSRP$26,180
Special Offer See special offer Ourisman Volkswagen Of Rockville(19mi)(3)
2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
MSRP$21,855
Special Offer See special offer Ourisman Volkswagen Of Bethesda(21mi)(43)
Dealer Notes

Price does not include tax, tag, processing fee and destination charge on quallified customers and prices are subject to change. Price includes: $1,000 - Sell Down Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S
MSRP$21,135
Special Offer See special offer Sheehy Volkswagen of Springfield(24mi)(15)
Dealer Notes

4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 8 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, AM/FM radio, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Bodyside moldings, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Cloth Seating Surfaces, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest w/Storage, Front reading lights, Front Seats, Fully automatic headlights, Heated door mirrors, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Leather steering wheel, Low tire pressure warning, Monster Mats w/Logo Rubber Mat Kit, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power windows, Radio data system, Radio: AM/FM 5 Touchscreen w/CD Player, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear reading lights, Rear window defroster, Remote keyless entry, Roadside Assistance Kit, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Variably intermittent wipers, Wheels: 16 Whirl Alloy. New Price! Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price! $6,145 off MSRP! 33/24 Highway/City MPG Reviews: * Cargo capacity on par with compact crossovers; upscale interior; responsive and fuel-efficient engine; sophisticated ride; standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance compared to the regular Golf wagon. Source: Edmunds

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
MSRP$26,180
Special Offer See special offer Alexandria Volkswagen(27mi)(25)
Dealer Notes

New Price! 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune Sandstorm Dune Cloth. 31/24 Highway/City MPG Reviews: * Cargo capacity on par with compact crossovers; upscale interior; responsive and fuel-efficient engine; sophisticated ride; standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance compared to the regular Golf wagon. Source: Edmunds

2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
MSRP$21,855
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Volkswagen of Frederick Maryland(27mi)(2)
2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
NEW 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune
MSRP$25,930
Special Offer See special offer Karen Radley Volkswagen(30mi)(26)