$7,151 - $11,530

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle was new.


Interior: 7.0

If you thought the Beetle’s standard flower vase was a cute accessory, you’re out of luck. To make the 2012 Beetle more masculine, VW dropped the vase in hopes of making the Beetle gender-neutral, and replaced it with an optional features like a Fender sound system, Kaeferfach (“Beetle bin”) glove box and huge sunroof.

The 2012 model is also bigger inside, with more passenger and cargo space, though there still isn’t much space for rear passengers to stretch out, and the trunk will only suffice for basic trips around town. If you need to visit IKEA and seat five, you’ll have better luck with a hatchback like the Honda Fit.

  • "The prior-generation Beetle's interior aged remarkably well, but it was time for an update, and the redesigned 2012 Beetle provides it. Premium cabin materials and attention to detail result in the kind of high-grade interior we've come to expect from VW." -- Cars.com
  • "In fact, unlike the American-market Jetta, this Beetle's interior is pleasantly free of controversy and just plain solid whether you stick with the basic fabric upholstery or opt for the synthetic leather." -- Autoblog
  • "The new A-pillar and dashboard arrangement is vastly better than that of the last car, eliminating virtually all the unnecessary top-of-dash real estate and bringing the windshield into the proper spot. Driving the original New Beetle was always slightly awkward because the long dashboard seemed better-suited to a large van than a small car. Those days are over." -- Left Lane News


Reviewers say that while the Beetle’s larger frame has increased interior space, the back seat is still tight for tall people.

  • "Better still, the two rear-seat passengers can actually sit normally - not hunched forward as in the old model." -- Autoblog
  • "It provides more passenger and storage room, too. However, this car is still no place for a six-footer - it’s tight back there." -- Popular Mechanics

Interior Features

This year, Volkswagen is retiring some of the Beetle’s frills. Gone is the flower power vase that sat on the dashboard. Replacing it are features like an optional Fender sound system, Kaeferfach (“Beetle bin”) glove box and a sunroof that VW says is 80 percent larger than the one it replaces. Keyless access, which is like the push-button start systems seen on other vehicles that allow the driver to unlock the door and start the ignition without inserting a key, is also available.

While none of these features are standard, the base model is equipped with an eight-speaker sound system, auxiliary port, Bluetooth and iPod interface. If you want to blast your favorite tunes through an upscale sound system, reviewers suggest upgrading to the Fender sound system, which comes on the 2.5L Beetle with sunroof, sound and navigation, for a total price of about $24,100.

  • "Wisely, though, the designers ditched the picnic-table-like dash of the classic Beetle, introducing a modern driver display that includes a large gauge cluster with a central speedometer flanked by a tach and fuel gauge that are the same size." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The stereo plays loudly with minimal distortion, and the dynamics are excellent. There's plenty of punch to drums and such without sounding exaggerated or boomy." -- Cars.com
  • "The steering wheel is a nice piece, too, with the two spokes low in the hoop, just as on the original." -- Autoblog
  • "The interior hits all the notes in the current retro songbook: metal-look painted-plastic trim all around, ‘V-Tex’ vinyl seating, liberal uses of chrome to line the gauges and controls, and an optional ‘Kaferbach’ double glovebox which pays tribute to the first Beetle’s dashboard storage. Only the relentlessly modern steering wheel, which is flat-bottomed on the Turbo model, intrudes on the aesthetic." -- Left Lane News


The Volkswagen Beetle was never known for having a large cargo area, but the 2012 model has more space than before. With the rear seats up, there’s 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space, and with the rear seats folded, that number increases to 29.9. Reviewers say that if the seats folded completely flat, there’d be more space for stuff, but overall, they’re just satisfied that the newest Beetle is a bit more utilitarian.

  • "Cargo capacity is now a reasonable 15.4 cubic feet." -- The Washington Post
  • "Cargo room has skyrocketed in the rear to 15.4 cubic feet with the seats up, and there's a full 29.9 cubes with them stowed. It's too bad that the 60/40 split seatbacks don't fold quite flush with the floor, but we appreciated the copious space all the same." -- Autoblog

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