2017 Volkswagen Beetle Review

Pros & Cons

  • Stylish interior design
  • Both available engines offer a nice mix of power and fuel economy
  • More practical than other high-style small cars
  • Less practical than conventional compact hatchbacks
  • More expensive than competitors
Other years
List Price Range
$16,990 - $21,500

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The VW Beetle in 1.8T SE trim strikes a favorable middle ground between the base S and range-topping SEL models. You get all of the personality and charm that come with a Beetle, as well as a few niceties to make you feel special. There are plenty of smartphone apps to fill the navigation and entertainment gaps between this and the higher trims. The 2.0T R-Line is the sporty one of the bunch, but its price is hard to justify against VW's own GTI.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle stakes out a pleasant middle ground among the few retro-themed hatchbacks that we consider its competition. It's stylish but also very functional and easy to drive. If you're seeking a fun retromobile in that Goldilocks zone, the VW Beetle should be on your short list.

In comparison, the Mini Cooper has plenty of charm, but it's more expensive than a similarly appointed Beetle. There's also the Fiat 500, which is quite a bit less expensive, but its build quality and performance could lead to disappointment.

This year, the Beetle returns with only a few minor changes. The more typical trim levels remain, bolstered by a few models to keep things interesting. The new #PinkBeetle (not associated with Breast Cancer Awareness organizations) brings a funky fucshia paint job and quaint plaid interior, the returning Dune harkens back to the Baja Bugs of the 1970s, and the 2.0T R-Line should appeal to more performance-oriented drivers.

Thankfully, the charm and personality of the 2017 Beetle don't mean you need to sacrifice elsewhere. It's plenty capable, comfortable and convenient. The bigger concern may be price — the Beetle does cost a bit more than some of its other retro-themed rivals, but it likely won't be so great as to kill a deal. With seven available trim levels, there's probably one in your budget.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle models

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle two-door hatchback is available in seven trim levels, starting with the 1.8T S and then climbing to the 1.8T Classic, 1.8 SE, a new #PinkBeetle limited edition, 1.8T Dune, 1.8 SEL and 2.0T R-Line SEL. The 1.8 models (including the #PinkBeetle) are powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque) while the 2.0T R-Line receives a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (210 hp, 207 lb-ft). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard except on the 2.0T R-Line, which receives a quicker-shifting six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

For the most part, successive trim levels add more comfort and technology features, but even the base 1.8T S comes with a solid list of standard items. The real outlier is the 2.0T R-Line model that has a greater focus on performance.

Standard feature highlights for the base 1.8T S trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, cruise control, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 50/50-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and an eight-speaker CD player with auxiliary and USB input.

The 1.8T Classic adds 17-inch wheels, cloth-and-imitation leather upholstery, lumbar adjustments for the front seats, heated front seats, VW Car-Net smartphone integration, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, and satellite and HD radio. This model does not come with the automatic headlights or the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Our favorite Beetle is the 1.8T SE. You get the automatic headlights and auto-dimming mirror along with keyless entry and ignition, imitation-leather upholstery and color-adjustable ambient interior lighting. The SE does not include the navigation system, but given the infotainment system's robust smartphone app integration systems, you're unlikely to miss it.

The limited-edition #PinkBeetle is appointed similarly to the 1.8 SE and is only available in a metallic fucshia exterior color. Other additions include xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights and unique plaid upholstery. The 1.8T Dune model is also similar to the 1.8 SE trim but adds unique exterior styling elements, LED taillights, a slightly raised suspension and cloth/leatherette upholstered sport seats. It does not include the keyless entry/ignition, however.

At the top of the Beetle line is the loaded 1.8 SEL. Compared to the SE, it has 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control, the navigation system and a Fender premium audio system.

The Beetle 2.0T R-Line SEL starts with the 1.8T SEL's features and adds 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights, foglights with cornering lights, a sunroof, unique exterior and interior styling treatments, shift paddles mounted to the steering wheel and leather upholstery.

Trim tested

2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune (turbo 1.8L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD)

NOTE: This test was conducted on the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune, which differs from other 1.8T Beetles by the nature of its taller ride height and wider track that will likely affect handling and ride comfort. Our other findings remain broadly applicable to other Beetle models.


Acceleration is good whether you're pulling away from a stoplight or looking to overtake a semi on the freeway. But braking effort is higher than anticipated because the brakes aren't quick to respond. The Dune's raised ride height and comfort-oriented suspension tuning come at the cost of handling.


The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle's engine output numbers may not be all that impressive, but the 1.8-liter has plenty of real-world power. You don't have to floor the pedal to force a downshift, and its 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds is quick for the class.


There's a lack of initial braking force that makes it difficult to slow the Beetle smoothly. There's also a lot of pedal travel, so stops require more force than you might expect. Stopping power is impressive, though. We measured a very good 115-foot distance in our panic-stop test from 60 mph.


Steering effort is a bit heavier than expected, making the Beetle feel more controllable at highway speeds than its rivals, yet very light when maneuvering at slow speeds. The thin-rimmed steering wheel feels a little flimsy, though.


The Dune's raised suspension feels nice around town, but around tight corners, there's a noticeable amount of body roll. This might sap your confidence to drive the Beetle quickly when the road gets twisty. The R-Line is better, but no Beetle is truly engaging.


The Beetle does most things right and is easy to drive. Its small footprint and the Dune's standard rearview camera and front and rear sensors make it extremely easy to maneuver in tight spaces.


Though Volkswagen plays off the 2017 Beetle's style, this is thankfully still a modern-day small car. The seats hug you without being oppressive, and the suspension dispatches road imperfections without transmitting any harshness to the driver. Exterior noise is limited.

Seat comfort

The seat bottom isn't long enough to provide taller drivers with outstanding thigh support. Otherwise, the seats feel supportive and comfortable, and the cloth inserts offer good cushioning. Adjustable lumbar support isn't standard in this class, so we're happy the Beetle offers it.

Ride comfort

Even though the Dune's raised suspension doesn't do much for handling, it certainly seems to make this Beetle ride well. Impacts are well controlled, and the Beetle never feels jittery. This would be a great road trip car. Beetle R-Lines ride more firmly.

Noise & vibration

The cabin is insulated from road, tire and wind noise. At highway cruising speeds, the engine is relatively low on the rev range and is fairly quiet. Even when you boot the gas, the Beetle is hushed compared to most rivals.


The Beetle feels airy and bright thanks to the large windows, and the roof is high enough for a pair of tall adults in the front. A thoughtful strap helps occupants hoist themselves out of the rear seat. Visibility out the back is hampered by a small window and thick pillars.

Ease of use

Controls are logically placed, clearly labeled and within reach of front seat occupants. Climate controls are simple, and the steering wheel buttons are easy to operate without having to change your grip much.

Getting in/getting out

The fairly large doors make getting into and out of the Beetle easy, but their size can limit how far they can be opened in a parking lot. Rear passengers have a nifty pillar-mounted grab handle to make getting out of the backseats easier.


There's plenty of headroom for those in the front, although two adults are likely to brush elbows. Rear seats are comfortable, but minimal amounts of leg- and headroom diminish their long-distance usefulness.


Forward and side visibility are just fine, thanks to the large windshield and windows. Rear visibility is compromised due to the large pillars, rear headrests and small rear window. The standard rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors are appreciated.


A slight creaking noise came from the dash in our tester, but otherwise build quality was solid. Interior materials looked and felt fine but weren't class-leading. Its hard, body-colored plastic trim was an acquired taste.


There isn't a lot of space in the 2017 VW Beetle for your personal items in the cabin, but the cargo space should be able to accommodate plenty of your larger items. Overall, the Beetle is about average in this category.

Small-item storage

Gimmicky door nets are a poor substitute for actual cubbies, and the armrest bin doesn't hold much. But there's a good amount of space under the center stack.

Cargo space

The Beetle's hatchback design gives it a decently sized trunk at 15.4 cubic feet. With the 50/50-split folding rear seats stowed, that capacity expands to 30 cubic feet, but it's important to note that these figures represent loading the space to the ceiling.


As far as infotainment systems go, the VW Beetle's isn't cutting-edge, but it is relatively easy to use and the screen resolution is sharp enough to read at a quick glance.

Audio & navigation

The touchscreen utilizes a nice mix of physical and digital controls. It's easy to use, but it's a couple inches too small by contemporary standards.


Overall3.5 / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A great sport coupe for not a lot money
D. Rod,04/08/2017
1.8T S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I originally went to the VW dealer to buy a GTI but I didn't like the car. It looks great and the GTI title suggests that it's a grand touring car but it's more of a track car, not what I was looking for. So, after testing the GTI, I rested my back a little bit (the GTI suspension is rock hard) then tried the Beetle S. And, I loved it. It's a solid sports coupe with the perfect mix of performance and comfort. Also, it's quite a good value. These are the key features: an Audi derived turbo charged four cylinder (smooth and powerful), automatic transmission that can be shifted manually, Hankook GT tires (great performance tires with a lot of grip), multilink independent rear suspension, and a radiator grill done NASCAR style (positioned down low). You can get all this for about $21,000. It's hard to find another brand that offers all this at that price point. Bottom line, it's a lot of fun to drive. I drove a 2007 VW Rabbit for 10 years and the only maintenance, other than routine, was the replacement of transmission driveshaft boots. So, I think it's reasonable to expect this car to be just as reliable. Also, just a final note, VW engineers chose this car to race in Red Bull Global Rallycross in which it won two championships.
1 mo and 4500mi. later
1.8T Classic 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I am a big tall person and bought the beetle because it was a 2 door. Gas mileage is fantastic and it runs great at 75 mph. Radio is decent but no remote start or other luxury items. Seat quality could use another inch of foam. Tires are awful but Hankook put me into better tires. Hydroplaned in heavy rain. Probably going to end up with Michelins. Now for the good things. It is a blast to drive and it likes to go fast. Cruise control is great. Stopping for a deer was fantastic ( I live in North Texas). My king ranch is so lonely from sitting, it is lonely. Need a lot better dealer support.
great ride and drive and still running well
1.8T SE 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
First I got a 2015 VW Beetle Yellow then I traded in for another car last February which should not have. Since then I miss it a lot. Just got a 2017 VW Beetle this time is red. This is has Turbo, wiper sensor, auto head light which did not have on 2015. I had the sunroof on 2015 which I rarely use. No sunroof on the 2017 which is fine with me. I got with 9K on it and looks new. Now I am glad I got it back, now having fun driving it. I still have the 4runner when I need it.
Second VW Beetle - fun car
1.8T SE 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My wife and I have enjoyed the car. We were very disappointed that VW no longer offers a manual transmission. We had a 2014 TDI Beetle that was part of the emissions recall. It had a six speed stick and it was very enjoyable to drive. The 2017 model came equipped with an automatic only. The interior space is good for two. The back seats are usable only with young children. The instrument cluster is arranged satisfactorily, but lacks the indicators I prefer - oil pressure, volt/amp meter and engine temperature. Engine temperature is available digitally by scrolling through the options, but can be distracting as you scroll. The car overall is well made, fit and finish are good.

Features & Specs

24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
See all Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle features & specs


Our experts like the Beetle models:

VW Car-Net
Includes automatic crash notification and roadside assistance as well as some convenience features built into a smartphone app.
Blind-Spot Monitor
Alerts you if there's a vehicle in your blind spot. It includes rear cross-traffic alert, too.
Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
Automatically applies the brakes in the event of a collision, reducing the likelihood of a secondary impact.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.5%

More about the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle

Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Overview

The Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle is offered in the following submodels: Beetle Hatchback. Available styles include 1.8T Classic 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 1.8T S 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 1.8T SE 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 1.8T Dune 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 1.8T SEL 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), R-Line SEL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L Turbo 4cyl 6AM), and #PinkBeetle 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T S is priced between $16,990 and$16,990 with odometer readings between 41906 and41906 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T SE is priced between $21,500 and$21,500 with odometer readings between 22376 and22376 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2017 Volkswagen Beetles are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Volkswagen Beetle for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2017 Beetles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,990 and mileage as low as 22376 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Volkswagen Beetle.

Can't find a used 2017 Volkswagen Beetles you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Beetle for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $22,932.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $18,376.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Beetle for sale - 1 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,643.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $21,517.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Volkswagen Beetle?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Beetle lease specials