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Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5


Retro appeal, comfortable interior, good performance, capable handling, strong reliability and build quality


Not as practical as the similarly priced Golf, overly firm ride with larger alloys and sports suspension, only really justified if you want a Beetle


Following on from the successful Scirocco is another retro-inspired Volkswagen, the Beetle. Almost 22 million original Beetles were built, making it one of the most successful cars of all time. The next 1999 re-imagination wasn’t quite as popular, with just over one million sold, as issues like poor interior space and questionable styling cut its appeal.

This latest model, which shares many parts with the Golf, aims to improve on the previous generation by offering more equipment and improved levels of practicality; including a boot that’s 44% bigger than before. Volkswagen has also tried to make the Beetle appeal to a much larger audience with sharper styling and a range of engines that caters for a variety of buyers, such as a 1.6-litre diesel capable of 66mpg or a throaty 197bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol.

It’s well-built, comfortable and far better to drive than the older model. The Beetle also maintains that retro charm of the previous iterations but does it make a realistic alternative to other hatchbacks, or can it offer more than the similarly priced and more practical Golf? Read on to find out…

What owners say about this car

I love my bug! It's got lots of room and lots of comfort. For a 1.2 auto it goes like... Read owner review

Practical! Does one buy a Beetle for practicality? But as it happens the boot is big enough for two... Read owner review

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