2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle was new.


Interior: 6.5

The 2009 New Beetle's cabin is long on quality, but short on space. Though several auto writers find the front row offers enough room for the driver and front passenger, the coupe and convertible's rounded design limits rear seat space and cargo room significantly.  

  • "Cabin décor shows high style with quality plastic panels. Poor side-window sealing had one test convertible whistling in the wind. A second suffered detached roof-liner pieces and a cracked roof-release latch." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Typical VW, with high-quality materials predominant, even if others are catching up with Volkswagen's once class-leading take on dash plastic." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The four-passenger New Beetle may be stylish, but it's smaller inside than VW's own Rabbit." -- Edmunds


There is no room to stretch out in the New Beetle, either in the front or rear rows. In the front, space is mitigated by the car's expansive dashboard. Reviewers say that two people technically fit in the back seats, but don't recommend anyone exile themselves to the New Beetle's cramped rear confines for too long. 

  • "The trademark domed exterior shape provides ample front-seat headroom, but somewhat less for rear-seat passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "My right knee came into contact with the corner of the center console, but adjusting the seat rearward solved this. You passenger may encounter the unfriendly seat tracks while groping around for the fore-aft adjustment. ... The back seat is fine for a couple of adults on short trips. Shoulder and hip room are cramped in the coupe and significantly more cramped in the convertible, but there's decent rear headroom, more in the convertible than in the hardtop. ... There's a reasonable amount of rear legroom in the convertible when the front passengers cooperate, and hardtop Beetles offer even more rear legroom." -- New Car Test Drive

Interior Features

The New Beetle's standard features include a six-speaker stereo, two power outlets, an auxiliary input jack and MP3 format capability. Reviewers, however, spend most of their time discussing the New Beetle's distinctive dashboard.

  • "Mostly user friendly, but the tiny tachometer is hard to read. The audio controls are undersized, too. The standard tilt and telescoping steering wheel is nice, but the driver's hand on the gearshift can easily collide with the dashboard just ahead." -- Consumer Guide
  • "An expansive dashboard featuring a huge circular speedometer seems to dominate the cabin space up front, while the car's bubbly body pinches inward tightly against rear occupants." -- Edmunds


With just 12 cubic feet allotted for cargo with rear seats up and 27.1 cubic feet with rear seats folded, comments on the New Beetle's cargo area are divided between those who slam the car for its inefficiency and those who never expected much to begin with.

  • "Roof slope limits space beneath the hatch, but rear seats fold nearly flat to open up good room. Convertible's separate trunk is quite small in size and opening, but it's usefully shaped and holds more than expected, as long as it's carefully loaded. Skimpy cabin storage for small items." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Dual cup holders in front of the shifter are tucked under the protruding center dash that houses the audio and climate controls. That arrangement at first appears to preclude tall drinks, but the cup holders platform cleverly swivels to the right to make room for that grande cappuccino. Your companion will have to hold his or hers, however." -- New Car Test Drive

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