$12,808 - $23,465

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

Auto writers say the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle has a stylish and well-arranged interior. Many think the Beetle's cabin materials are high-quality, but a few note there are some hard, cheap plastics. Some reviewers think the back seats are roomy, though others point out that rivals have more rear-seat space. Test drivers think the new standard touch-screen system is easy to operate, and the optional stereo system sounds great. The Beetle has less cargo space than many hatchback competitors.

  • There are a few harder plastics here and there than you'll find in the Volkswagen Golf, but it is certainly more visually interesting than its conventional hatchback sibling." -- Edmunds
  • "The cockpit is clean and well laid out, and available accessory gauges mounted at the top of the dashboard hint at the car's newfound sportiness." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Nobody does retro better than VW. The 2014 Beetle's interior pays homage to the original car without sacrificing the quality, look and feel of a 21st-century VW product." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • Interior treatments vary with model. All are stylish but not rich-looking, thanks to extensive use of hard plastic and, save top-price models, few soft-touch surfaces." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Seating

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle seats four and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Heated front seats and leather upholstery are available, and R-Line models come with sport seats with greater side support. Most reviewers find the Beetle's front seats to be comfortable and say it is easy to find a comfortable driving positon, although a few complain of poor rearward visibility. While some reviewers say the VW Beetle's back seats have a good amount of room, others note that the space is smaller than what some hatchbacks offer.

  • There are other issues to consider, including compromised rear visibility (especially in the convertible) and less rear passenger and cargo space than you'll find in a conventional hatchback like the Golf or even traditional coupes like the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC. In its favor, though, the Beetle is indeed roomier and more useful than the other high-style compact coupes and convertibles it mainly competes with: the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500." -- Edmunds
  • "With plenty of rear seat space, the Beetle Convertible is capable of carrying four adults for around town trips." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Adults enjoy ample space on comfortably supportive seats. The driving position is easily tailored with the standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel and seat height and lumbar adjustments, plus long seat tracks." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Better still, the two rear-seat passengers can actually sit normally - not hunched forward as in the old model." -- Autoblog (2012)

Interior Features

The 2016 VW Beetle's standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, an eight-speaker audio system and a 5-inch touch screen. Available features include a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, a nine-speaker Fender audio system, push-button start, navigation, an infotainment system with a 6.3-inch touch screen, satellite radio and VW's Car-Net system, which links car security, maintenance and navigation features to a compatible smartphone app.

Reviewers report that the 2016 Beetle's new standard touch-screen display is easy to use and is an improvement over the outgoing system. Auto writers say the optional Fender audio system sounds excellent. Some also find it convenient that you can open and close the convertible top while driving at low speeds.

See 2016 Volkswagen Beetle specs »

  • "For 2016, every Beetle gains a new touchscreen interface that represents a step up from VW's previous outdated systems. Even the base S model has a 5-inch touchscreen, while the SE trim and above have a 6.3-inch touchscreen. It's easier to use than the knob-based controller setup in the Mini Cooper and more comprehensive than anything you'll find in the Fiat 500." -- Edmunds
  • "But one item worth special mention, if you can pop for one of the top-line trims, is the terrific Fender Audio System. It's easy to operate and delivers great sound. If you're an audiophile, you need to check this out." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Impatient by nature, I quickly fell in love with the ability to raise or lower the top while entering and leaving parking lots, and also with the stunningly crisp, clean sound of the Fender audio system." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Cargo

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats in place and 29.9 cubic feet with them folded. While the Beetle has a good amount of cargo space for a subcompact car, rival hatchbacks like the Kia Rio and Chevrolet Sonic offer more overall room. The Beetle convertible has 7.1 cubic feet of trunk room, and critics say the space is hard to utilize.

  • The Beetle coupe has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, which on paper is what you'd get in a midsize sedan, but is slightly misleading since much of that extra space is the result of the extra vertical space granted by the hatchback. At the same time, though, that hatchback cargo design allows for a useful 30 cubic feet of maximum cargo space (with the rear seats folded) that makes it a bit more versatile than a small sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "The tiny little trunk holds just 7.1 cubic feet of junk, and access is tight. A big suitcase will not fit - you're better off dropping the convertible top and tossing your bags in the back seat." -- Forbes (2013)

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