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Rankings & Research

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the Volkswagen Beetle has a score of 7.4 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 54 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle has below-average reliability and a high cost of ownership, which places it in the lower half of its class rankings. It also fails to stand out in performance due to its mediocre driving dynamics. 

Pros & Cons

  • Stylish interior
  • Peppy engine choices
  • So-so back-seat space
  • Below-average reliability
  • Lack of modern features

New for 2015


  • TDI diesel engine boasts 10 more horsepower
  • Limited-edition Beetle Classic trim introduced


2015 Volkswagen Beetle Overview

Is the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Beetle is an OK used car. Famous styling and reputation notwithstanding, it offers few advantages over rivals. The Beetle has decent engine power but lackluster handling, and though it has a tasteful interior, it lacks the space and technology of some competitors.

Used 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Performance and Interior

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle's standard powertrain is a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is also available with the base engine. The base engine delivers good power and acceleration for everyday driving, but you should look for a Beetle R-Line model if you're after more of a thrill. These editions come with a muscular 210-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Beetle TDI features a 150-horsepower turbodiesel engine, though sales of this model are limited following issues related to the Volkswagen emissions scandal

EPA-estimated fuel economy ranges from 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the base engine and automatic transmission, to 23 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway for the convertible with the larger turbo engine. 

The Beetle has a soft, forgiving ride and balanced handling. The R-Line's sport suspension offers more agility, though it doesn't match the athleticism of some rivals. 

Read more about Beetle performance »

The Volkswagen Beetle seats four on standard V-Tex leatherette upholstery. The front row features heated seats, and some models may have leather upholstery. The cabin has quality materials and an upscale design, and the front seats are generally comfortable and spacious enough for tall occupants. There's no consensus on how roomy (or not) the back seats are, so you'll want to test them out for yourself. Still, since the Beetle is a coupe, the second row can be hard to get into. The Beetle has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in its rear seat.

Standard features in the 2015 Beetle include Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, cruise control, and the Car-Net telematics system. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, satellite radio, touch-screen navigation, a Fender premium audio system, and bi-xenon headlights. The Beetle's dashboard controls are laid out intuitively and are easy to use, though the navigation screen is a bit small.

Read more about Beetle interior »

Used 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Prices

Average prices for a used 2015 Beetle range from around $12,500 for a base model with a manual transmission to about $19,700 for a fully loaded R-Line model. Prices can fluctuate with demand and your location, as well as with the car's mileage, condition, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 54 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 54 Volkswagen Beetle reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, cost of ownership estimates, and more – to help you decide if it is the right used car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing vehicles for 10 years, and our Best Cars team has decades of combined experience in the auto industry. We don’t accept expensive gifts or incentives from car companies, and a third party handles our advertising. That way, you can trust that our reviews are impartial.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle?

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle has a predicted reliability score of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is below average. A score of three is considered average across the industry.

Read more about Beetle reliability »

How Safe Is the Beetle?

The 2015 Beetle earned a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five out of five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover examinations. In four out of five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Beetle received the highest score of Good. However, it earned the second-lowest score of Marginal in the fifth – the small overlap front test.

All Beetles come with a post-collision system that unlocks the doors, shuts off the fuel, and turns on the hazard lights after the vehicle is involved in a crash. A rearview camera is the only other available driver assistance feature.

See Beetle safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Beetle?

The 2015 Beetle is part of a generation that began with the 2012 model year. You can likely save money and still get a comparable car by shopping for an older model, but some are a better choice than others. For example, for 2014, the Beetle received the Car-Net telematics system as standard and added a new base turbocharged engine, replacing the older five-cylinder engine. A rearview camera was also made available for the first time. There were few notable changes between 2014 and 2015.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Beetle »

Which Used Volkswagen Beetle Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Beetle is available in hardtop coupe or convertible body styles, with several engine and transmission combinations. Performance from the base model should be satisfactory for most shoppers, but you'll want to look for upgraded features such as satellite radio, navigation, and a rearview camera.

Because of the Beetle's low predicted reliability score, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. Volkswagen provides a two-year/24,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles. Each CPO Volkswagen must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Volkswagen certified pre-owned program »

2015 Volkswagen Beetle and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Beetle or 2015 Mini Cooper?

The 2015 Mini Cooper is one of the most fun-to-drive subcompact cars or hatchbacks, with a lineup of three turbocharged engines and snappy, responsive handling. While the Cooper shares the same eye-catching quirkiness as the retro-styled Beetle on the outside, it's more modern on the inside. The Mini has a user-friendly 8.8-inch touch-screen infotainment system available. It also has a slightly better predicted reliability score, but higher average purchase and ownership costs. Still, the Mini Cooper is the better car all-around.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Beetle or 2015 Fiat 500?

There's little to like about the 2015 Fiat 500 over the Volkswagen Beetle – except maybe the Fiat's rock-bottom average prices, which can start below $10,000. Other than that, the 500 delivers poor predicted reliability and unimpressive crash test results. Belying its bargain price point, the interior features some subpar materials along with very limited rear passenger and cargo space. The 500's base engine is anemic, but either one of two available turbocharged engines provide a bit more pop. A used Fiat 500 isn't the worst choice if you're looking for an inexpensive car to drive every day, but the Beetle is the better package overall.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Beetle or 2015 Volkswagen Jetta?

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta – a compact car – is a better choice within the brand's lineup. It offers ample back-seat space for adult passengers and shares most of the Beetle’s attractive interior quality and features availability. The Jetta gets higher safety and reliability scores, too. Despite its larger class designation, average prices for a Jetta run much lower than a Beetle. This means you’ll likely spend less money, but get a better car.

Compare the Beetle, Cooper, and 500 »


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