Volkswagen Beetle vs Competitors




The compact car segment is certainly one of the most popular for today’s drivers. They appeal to a broad audience that values affordability, uniqueness, and character. One of the most beloved vehicles in this class is the tried-and-true Volkswagen Beetle (aka “Bug”); however, this will sadly be its final model year. While the news is upsetting for many, now is the perfect time to get your hands on the latest of what will soon be no more (Beetles will always remain collector’s items, though). Competing with the Beetle are other compacts such as the Honda Civic Hatchback, Toyota Corolla Hatchback, Mazda3 Hatchback, and Nissan Versa, as well as a couple of fellow European models that are offered in both coupe and convertible body styles: the MINI Cooper and the Fiat 500L. Let’s see how the Beetle matches up with them as it makes its last hurrah.


Warranty and Starting MSRP

The ’19 Beetle comes with a stellar Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty of 6y/72,000 miles, beating out the Civic Hatchback, Corolla Hatchback, Mazda3 Hatchback, and Versa, which all get 3 years/36,000 miles, as well as the MINI’s and Fiat’s 4 Years/50,000 miles. Even the starting MSRP for the Beetle is quite attractive, as it’s listed at $20,895. On the other hand, most of the rivals are priced higher: Civic Hatchback ($21,450, MINI Cooper ($21,900), Mazda3 Hatchback ($23,600), the four-door Fiat 500L ($22,160), and the two-door Fiat 500 ($16,495 for the hardtop) – which we’ll include in this comparison because it’s a two-door coupe with a convertible version. To compare the ragtop versions, the MINI Cooper Convertible starts at $26,900, the Beetle Convertible at $25,995, and the much smaller and less peppy Fiat 500C at $17,990.

Power and Performance

The Beetle has always been known as a fun car with some zip and decent maneuverability. This final model has a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that churns 174 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, the MINI’s standard 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine only generates 134 hp and 162 lb.-ft. of torque, while the two-door Fiat 500’s base engine makes only 135 hp. The four-door Fiat’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder kicks out 160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, making it a closer match to the Beetle (that engine is standard equipment on the Abarth trim of the Fiat 500C). In addition, the VW Bug beats out the Civic Hatchback’s 158 hp and 138 lb.-ft. of torque from its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder, as well as the Corolla Hatchback’s 168 hp and 151 lb.-ft. of torque from its own standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The lowest output engine is the Versa with its 1.6-liter four-cylinder that only gets you 109 hp and 107 lb.-ft. of torque.

Fuel Economy and Cargo/Passenger Space

Aside from the Beetle’s fairly powerful engine, it also benefits from a respectable fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while the Fiat 500L gets 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Also, even though these vehicles fall within the compact segment, they still allow for a decent amount of cargo space. For instance, the trunk space you’ll get with the Beetle is measured out at 15.4 cubic feet, which is larger than the MINI’s (13.1 cu. ft.) and the Versa’s (14.9 cu. ft.); the Beetle Convertible’s 7.1 cu. ft. of trunk space still beats out the 500C with 5.4 cu. ft. The hardtop Beetle provides decent passenger space at 85.1 cu. ft., whereas the MINI comes in at 76.0 cu. ft.