2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Classic retro styling, plenty of standard equipment.
- Stale design, so-so power, cramped rear-seat space, limited cargo room, subpar side-impact crash test results.
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is still an aesthetically pleasing alternative to more traditional compact cars. But unless you're enamored with the car's exterior design, this is one small coupe or convertible you'll want to skip.
After a dozen years in production, it seems strange to still refer to Volkswagen's 2009 Beetle as "new." The round-roofed retro coupe came out for the 1998 model year and it hasn't been redesigned since. VW has attempted to reignite interest in the New Beetle over the years with turbo and TDI variations that have come and gone. But the modern-day incarnation of the Love Bug is simply long in the tooth, and it faces increasingly stiff competition from the roomier, more powerful cars in its class.
Available as a coupe or convertible, the New Beetle (which is based on the old VW Golf platform) still has a few things going for it, such as a distinctive look, solid German engineering, comfortable road manners and plenty of features. For power, there's a torquey 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, the same one you'll find in VW's Jetta and Rabbit.
Compared to newer rivals, however, the 2009 Volkswagen Beetle claims no major advantage aside from its novel look. Other small two-door coupes or hatches like the Honda Civic, Saturn Astra or VW's own Rabbit deliver superior utility, amenities and drivability at a similar or lower cost. As a convertible, the New Beetle makes a little more sense, as the roofless version might appeal even more to those who value form over function. But overall, we suggest scoping out the competition or considering a certified used New Beetle as an alternative to the relatively pricey 2009 model.
2009 Volkswagen New Beetle models
The 2009 Volkswagen Beetle is offered as a coupe-styled hatchback or a convertible with a power-folding soft top. Both models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, heated front seats, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a premium audio system with a CD/MP3 player, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The only factory option on the coupe is a power sunroof, although 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and a trunk-mounted six-CD changer are available from the dealer. On the convertible, unique 17-inch wheels are a factory option.
Performance & mpg
Both the coupe and the convertible versions of the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle are powered by a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. On the coupe, power is transmitted to the front wheels through either a standard five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The convertible is available with the automatic only. New Beetles sold in California and California-emissions states meet the squeaky-clean PZEV (partial zero-emissions vehicle) emissions standard.
Fuel-economy ratings for the manual version of the 2009 VW Beetle are 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Coupes with the automatic transmission get 1 mpg better on the freeway. But that difference might be negligible, considering that the EPA combined fuel economy ratings for all 2009 New Beetle models is 23 mpg.
All 2009 New Beetles come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side-impact airbags and active front head restraints. Convertibles also feature a rollover protection system.
In government crash testing, the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle earned four out of five stars for front occupants in frontal impacts. In side-impact testing, the New Beetle received a perfect five-star rating for front passengers, but only three stars for those in the rear. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the New Beetle a top score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection, but a disappointing "Poor" rating for side impacts.
In typical Volkswagen fashion, the 2009 VW Beetle is reasonably fun to drive around town and on curvy roads, thanks to direct and responsive steering. On the highway and around town, the ride is smooth and comfortable. The 2.5-liter engine delivers adequate power for most situations, though it doesn't offer the excitement of some more sprightly rivals, such as the Mini Cooper S.
Although the New Beetle's nostalgic body shape might still be a hit with dedicated fans, it suffers from some shortcomings, the most noticeable of which is limited interior space. Even Volkswagen's own Rabbit, for example, offers more interior room. Although most passengers will feel relatively comfortable up front, the car's bubbly body pinches tightly inward against rear occupants. Limited hiproom and legroom in back keeps this car from being the best choice for long trips with all seats occupied. Cargo space is similarly small, and the New Beetle's outward visibility is surprisingly poor on both the coupe and convertible.
Raising the Beetle's top isn't exactly a one-touch operation, but it's simple enough to be called hassle-free. One button on the console takes it up or down, but there's a single manual latch you must pull and twist to secure it tightly to the windshield header.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestPoor
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintAcceptable
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Overview
The Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is offered in the following submodels: New Beetle Hatchback, New Beetle Convertible. Available styles include 2.5L 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A), 2.5L 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), 2.5L PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), 2.5L PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A), 2.5L 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), 2.5L PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), 2.5L Blush Edition 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A), and 2.5L Blush Edition PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A). Pre-owned Volkswagen New Beetle models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 150 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle?
Price comparisons for Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle trim styles:
- The Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5L is priced between $9,994 and$13,990 with odometer readings between 43482 and81314 miles.
- The Used 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle 2.5L PZEV is priced between $14,590 and$14,590 with odometer readings between 26294 and26294 miles.
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Which used 2009 Volkswagen New 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) 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2009 New Beetles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,994 and mileage as low as 26294 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 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle.
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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Volkswagen New 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.