The front-wheel-drive Beetle (the original classic was rear-wheel-driven) is equipped with a bigger engine than its British and Italian competitors, but that does not make it an express-train-fast monster of acceleration. That's not to say that the Beetle is excessively sluggish, though. It can theoretically manage the 0 to 60 mph sprint quicker than the Mini or 500 can manage in their non-performance variants, although Volkswagen has not claimed an official time. The plucky Bug continues accelerating on its way to a limited top speed of 120 mph. It's certainly not going to be mistaken for a sports car but for what it is, acceleration and general performance are respectable. Unlike the Mini and Fiat, there is no sportier version or hardcore limited-run boy-racer model available for comparison. While this may seem like a negative, the price of these hotted-up subcompact hatches is seriously high for how much they offer in value and for the size and practicality of cars in this segment. The 174 hp Beetle is just right - not slow and not ludicrously fast.
The Beetle is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This solitary engine option is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox exclusively. This sends power to the front wheels only with no other option being available - lower power outputs and a manual gearbox were discontinued for this model in 2017 and have not returned since.
Acceleration won't tear your face back, but it won't put you to sleep either. Power is adequate to make the Beetle a smooth accelerator whether moving off from a standstill or overtaking slow-moving traffic on the freeway, but the gearbox is not tuned for speed, and this is what hampers the performance slightly, with gear changes taking a little longer than would be ideal. If a manual option were still available, this may have been remedied, but the Beetle is bought by people with an interest in style and comfort, rather than outright athleticism.
|Volkswagen Beetle Trims||Volkswagen Beetle Engines||Volkswagen Beetle Horsepower||Volkswagen Beetle Transmissions||Volkswagen Beetle Drivetrains||Volkswagen Beetle MPG/MPGE|
|2.0T S||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||174 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
|2.0T Final Edition SE||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||174 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
|2.0T SE||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||174 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
|2.0T Final Edition SEL||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||174 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Automatic||FWD||29 MPG|
The Beetle being equipped with just one gasoline-powered engine and one gearbox combination achieves 26/33/29 mpg on the EPA's official city/highway/combined cycles. Equipped with a 14.5-gallon tank, the Beetle's 2.0-liter turbo motor will return an average range of 420.5 miles per full gas tank. The smaller-capacity offerings from Mini and Fiat do get better gas mileage even with their standard manual gearboxes, so if you're looking for the least greedy fuel-sipper in this segment, the Bug won't suit you.
|Volkswagen Beetle Trims||2.0T S||2.0T Final Edition SE||2.0T SE||2.0T Final Edition SEL|
|Volkswagen Beetle Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||26/33||26/33||26/33||26/33|