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7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 6.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 7.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle coupe and convertible have playful styling, but below-average safety scores, low fuel economy and a less-than-practical interior push it toward the bottom of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • One-of-a-kind styling
  • Great handling
  • Well-constructed cabin
  • Low gas mileage
  • Little cargo space for a hatchback
  • Cramped back seat
  • Below-average safety

2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Overview

Test drivers said the 2009 VW New Beetle grips corners and has good acceleration from its 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine. However, the New Beetle averages just 20/29 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is low for the class. Its safety scores are also below-average.

When it was new, reviewers thought it was a stylish car with an upscale interior. Like most Volkswagens, the New Beetle has good interior quality and lots of standard features. The base model comes with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, heated front seats, satellite radio and a six-speaker stereo. It also comes with safety features like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and traction control, which many 2009 small cars don’t have standard. However, interior space is lacking. Reviewers complained about the limited rear legroom and small cargo space. Some also noted issues with the dashboard design.

See the full 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Mini Cooper also has old-school styling and is available as a convertible or hardtop. Like the 2009 VW New Beetle, the Mini Cooper doesn’t offer heaps of cargo space or comfortable seating for five. The base Cooper doesn’t stand out for being particularly fast, but the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models have plenty of pep. The Cooper also comes well-equipped with interior and safety features.

The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit isn’t retro-inspired, but this hatchback does everything the New Beetle can and then some. Its cabin is well-equipped and well-constructed, but the Rabbit is a lot more spacious. Its rear row has a lot of space for passengers, and there’s a lot more cargo space than what the New Beetle offers. Although the New Beetle’s engine is just as powerful as the Rabbit’s, reviewers said the Rabbit is the better performer of the two.

Compare the New Beetle to the Cooper and Rabbit »

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