The VW Beetle is a three-door hatchback with retro-inspired bodywork. Underneath sits the platform of the VW Golf, which means a good range of engines although not the same level of driver enjoyment. The Beetle has heavier steering and a much firmer low speed ride. While you might expect that to translate to sporty handling, it’s the more comfortable Golf that’s the better drive.
With that in mind, it’s the lower-powered variants that make the most sense. The 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol has enough poke for the vast majority of situations, and also offers the cheapest purchase price. Should you need more economy, a 2.0-litre diesel is available with a couple of different power outputs.
The interior also has a retro theme to it, with attractive body coloured panels on the dashboard and doors in some models. However, interior quality is not as good as in some other Volkswagens. While the controls work solidly, other areas do feel disappointingly cheap.
Those in the front may be happy enough, but those in the back might find themselves feeling cramped. The low, curved roofline eats into head room, and there’s not a lot of leg room, either. The Beetle is also pricey; you’ll pay a noticeable premium over a similarly well-equipped Golf.