Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle OVERVIEW
With its rounded shape and retro styling, the Beetle continues to be one of the most iconic vehicles in the world. Though the exterior recalls its vintage roots, it is hardly indicative of the features and technology housed within its curvy frame. The Beetle offers a choice of hardtop or convertible, three quietly efficient powerplants, and several possible configurations at each trim level, giving potential buyers a host of options to choose from.
What's New for 2016
A number of changes have been made to the Beetle for 2016 including the creation of a new, value-focused trim level the 1.8T. Other updates include the addition of the new MIB II infotainment system, new exterior colors and a new lighting package that is available on all 1.8T and TDI models.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Beetle
In addition to the vintage yet modern styling of the Beetle, a major component of the appeal is the engine under the hood. This year, Volkswagen offers three different four-cylinder engines to choose from.
The base powerplant is a 1.8-liter turbocharged affair that produces 170 horsepower and comes paired with a five-speed manual transmission. An optional six-speed automatic is also available. Both transmissions offer an EPA-estimated 25mpg city/ 34mpg highway.
A 150-horsepower diesel engine powers the TDI line while delivering an estimated 31/41 mpg when paired with either the manual or automatic transmission. NOTE: As we go to press in the wake of VW's emissions scandal, TDI's are on hold unless government agencies approve a solution.
Finally, a zippy 2-liter 210-horsepower turbocharged engine is what powers the R-line models delivering 23/31 mpg when paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission, or 24/30 mpg when automatic.
The 1.8T does offer a good entry point for those looking for good overall value. It includes a surprising number of features for the cost. However, if you are looking for performance, go directly to the R-Line, which really picks up the pep for this fun to drive car.
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