2010 Volkswagen New Beetle Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Volkswagen New Beetle was new.


Performance: 7.4

The 2010 Volkswagen Beetle offers a pleasing ride with an eager engine and responsive steering. Many reviewers favorably compare the New Beetle's capabilities to another Volkswagen mini-car, the 2010 Volkswagen Golf. However, if you want something a bit sportier, consider the Mini Cooper. It costs about the same as the New Beetle and boasts go-kart-like handling.

  • "New Beetle corners with grippy predictability, if also fairly marked body lean. New Beetle's bulky body shape can induce some crosswind wander at highway speeds. Braking is strong and sure." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Lacks the zoom of a Mazda3, the sassiness and smart handling of a Honda Civic Si. ... It's just an egg of a car, a motorized curio -- interesting, but not compelling." -- The Washington Post
  • "Built on a previous-generation Golf chassis, this ragtop feels Euro firm, but do not expect sports-car responses.” -- Car and Driver.

Acceleration and Power

The New Beetle's only engine choice is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower. While reviewers say it’s powerful enough, some report that the New Beetle’s standard five-speed manual transmission limits its full potential. A six-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode is optional.

According to the EPA, the coupe should achieve 20/28 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission and 20/29 mpg using an automatic. The convertible should achieve 20/28 mpg with the automatic. For excellent fuel economy, go for the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit

  • "The slow-revving 5-cylinder engine needs full throttle for best takeoffs. It feels livelier once under way, however." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Setting off from traffic lights, it feels quick." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2.5-liter engine is smooth and delivers adequate if not abundant power in most situations." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Although the New Beetle is not described as the most agile car in its class, most reviewers have fun on the road.

  • "The suspension is firm, but it comfortably soaks up most bumps, helped by the hatchback's tight, solid structure. Less-rigid convertibles suffer more rough-road jiggle and minor body quivers, but no additional impact harshness." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The suspension tuning is soft but the steering is direct and sure, making it just about right for most drivers who want to play with their Bug every now and then." -- Edmunds
  • "The New Beetle is not as agile as a Mini Cooper, but its steering is fast, handling is good, braking is strong and the ride is firm but compliant." -- MSN

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