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Rankings & Research

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the Volkswagen Beetle has a score of 7.6 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 60 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Review

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle has an upscale interior and refined handling, but that isn’t enough to elevate it from the back of our subcompact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy turbocharged engines
  • Upscale interior
  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Low fuel economy
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Few advanced safety features

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Overview

Is the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle a Good Used Car?

The 2017 VW Beetle isn’t a great used subcompact car. The Beetle has cramped rear seats, limited cargo space, higher-than-average projected ownership costs, and low fuel economy for a car of its size. If you can do without the Beetle’s retro styling and peppy turbocharged performance, consider more practical options such as the 2017 Honda Fit and 2017 Chevrolet Sonic.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 60 Volkswagen Beetle reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle?

You can expect to pay between $14,100 and $23,000 for a used 2017 Beetle. These figures are based on more than 200 listings for the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle on our site. The average list price is $16,900. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Cost to Own?

The Beetle’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $24,400 – or around $4,900 per year. That’s higher than average for the subcompact car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Beetle?

The 2018 VW Beetle starts at $20,220 but can exceed $32,000 in top trim levels. You can save a lot of money by shopping for a used 2017 Beetle, especially if you want a base model with few options. You can also find a used Beetle with more horsepower than a new Beetle by shopping for a 2017 model with the available 210-horsepower engine. VW discontinued this engine for the 2018 model year, but it gave the base model a slight power boost from 170 to 174 horsepower.

Read about the new Volkswagen Beetle »

If you’d prefer a less-expensive new car, you have some options. The 2018 Kia Rio starts at just $13,900 and has an upscale cabin, user-friendly features, and agile handling. The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA starts at $15,950 and sports a top-notch interior, lots of standard tech and safety features, and excellent fuel economy (up to 32/40 mpg).

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Beetle Is Best?

The third-generation Beetle debuted for the 2012 model year and includes the 2018 model year. These models all share the same recognizable styling, but there are a few differences. Volkswagen trimmed the Beetle’s powertrain lineup to just one engine for 2018: a four-cylinder turbo with 174 horsepower. Previous model years were available with 170- or 210-horsepower four-cylinders, as well as a turbodiesel engine (affected by Volkswagen’s TDI scandal). If you're interested in any of those configurations, you’ll have to shop the 2017-and-earlier models.

You’ll have to further refine your search to 2016-and-earlier models if you want a Beetle with a manual transmission (it was discontinued for 2017). On the other hand, you’ll need to stick with a 2016-or-newer model if you want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Beetle »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle?

The 2017 Beetle has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average for the industry.

Read more about Beetle reliability »

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one recall for the 2017 Beetle. Some models have incorrect information on the tire label.

See more information on Volkswagen Beetle safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Beetle Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Beetle is available in seven trim levels: S, Classic, #PinkBeetle, SE, Dune, SEL, and R-Line SEL. All share the same 170-horsepower engine, except for the R-Line model, which has a peppier 210-horsepower engine. The base model Beetle S comes standard with a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, a CD player, and heated front seats.

Most shoppers will be happier with the Beetle Classic trim, which adds a larger 6.3-inch touch screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The #PinkBeetle and SE trims add proximity keyless entry and push-button start. The Beetle Dune adds parking sensors, a sunroof, and trim-specific bumpers, fog lights, and wheel arch cladding. Lastly, the SEL trims add a navigation system, a Fender stereo, dual-zone climate control, and blind spot monitoring.

See 2017 Volkswagen Beetle trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Volkswagen Beetle Warranty

You may want to consider the security that comes with a certified pre-owned warranty. Volkswagen CPO warranties vary depending on model. See your VW dealer for information. CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully. Among nonluxury brands, Volkswagen’s CPO program is midrange for its coverage and benefits.

See the best CPO programs »

Read about the Volkswagen certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Beetle?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Beetle a perfect five-star rating for overall and side impact safety, as well as four stars for front and rollover crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Beetle the second-lowest score of Marginal for small overlap front crash safety but a top score of Good in all other tests.

Every Beetle comes standard with a rearview camera. Available advanced safety features include front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. A few competitors in this class offer advanced safety features like forward collision warning.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Beetle or 2017 Mini Cooper?

You won’t find many options if you’re looking for a small retro-themed car, but the 2017 Mini Cooper is the best of the bunch. The Cooper hardtop and convertible boast stylish designs, zippy engine performance, tight handling, and an exceptional array of high-tech equipment for this class – like hands-free parallel park assist and adaptive cruise control. That said, the Mini’s ride quality is much stiffer than the Beetle’s, making it rather uncomfortable on rough pavement. Ultimately, both cars will scratch your vintage itch. Stick with the Beetle if you want a comfier ride or if you’re on a tighter budget (used Beetles tend to be less expensive than used Mini Coopers). Go with the Mini Cooper for sports-car-like thrills and tons of available features.

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Beetle or 2017 Fiat 500?

The Fiat 500 has a lot of charm. The pintsized Cinquecento (Italian for “500”) has stylish looks, good gas mileage (up to 31/38 mpg), a user-friendly infotainment system, and nimble handling. Even the smallest parking spots are no match for the 500. From there, however, the Fiat’s star begins to fade. The 500’s cabin is short on passenger and cargo space, its material quality is subpar, and its standard 101-horsepower engine is very sluggish. While the Beetle may not be perfect, it is the better pick in this scenario.

Compare the Beetle, Cooper, and 500 »

2017 Beetle Performance

How Does the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Drive?

The Beetle has two engine options: a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 210 horsepower that is only available in the R-Line model. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; a six-speed dual-clutch automatic is paired with the R-Line model. These engines scoot the Beetle up to speed briskly and provide strong passing power, but the extra punch from the R-Line engine is noticeable, and it makes for a more exciting driving experience. Both transmissions are smooth and downshift promptly when needed.

The Beetle rides comfortably over broken pavement and feels stable at highway speeds. Its responsive steering and tidy dimensions make the Beetle a cinch to park. It’s not all good news though. The Beetle Dune model has a retuned suspension that adds to its off-road look, but it gives the car less composure around turns and doesn’t add any true off-road performance. The Beetle’s brakes also leave something to be desired. Stopping power is fine, but the brakes can be mushy.

Does the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base model Beetle gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is low for a subcompact car. The Beetle Dune earns a slightly lower 24/31 mpg city/highway, while the Beetle R-Line gets just 23/29 mpg.

Read more about Beetle performance »

2017 Beetle Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Beetle Seat?

The Beetle has four seats, and it’s available in both coupe and convertible body styles. The front seats are cushy and nicely contoured, providing good comfort on long drives. There’s ample head- and legroom up front even for taller drivers and passengers. The rear seats are nicely padded, but legroom is tight. There’s enough room for kids, though adults will feel cramped. The Beetle’s cabin is cleanly styled, and most of its materials have a nice look and feel. Forward visibility is good thanks to the large front window, but rear visibility is limited by the coupe’s large roof pillars and the convertible’s soft top (it rests on the rear deck lid when stowed).

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle?

The Beetle has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The small back seat makes it difficult to fit some rear facing child seats into the Beetle.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Features

The Beetle S comes standard with a CD player, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a 5-inch touch screen. All other models get a larger 6.3-inch touch screen with VW’s Car-Net App-Connect infotainment system, which is the better setup. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to sync your smartphone’s apps and functions with the screen. The larger screen size is also easier to see while on the go. Both systems are complemented by simple audio and climate control buttons, so you don’t have to use the screen for every function. A navigation system and a premium Fender stereo are available.

See 2017 Volkswagen Beetle specs »

Read more about Beetle interior »

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dimensions

Volkswagen Beetle Cargo Space

The Beetle coupe has a rear hatchback with 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the rear seats and this expands to 29.9 cubic feet. The Beetle convertible has a much smaller 7.1 cubic feet of trunk space.

2017 Beetle Length and Weight

The 2017 Beetle is 14 feet long, and its curb weight ranges between 3,018 and 3,280 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Built?

The 2017 Beetle was built in Mexico.

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