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Anthony Sophinos
Automotive Editor - December 4, 2017

2018 Volkswagen Beetle OVERVIEW

The Volkswagen Beetle, the classic "people's car" which took VW from niche player to major automaker, remains as iconic as ever. Now in it's third generation, the spunky runabout continues the tradition of being a fun and practical choice for the consumer who wants to park a little pizzazz in their driveway. For 2018, notable updates and trim changes continue to ensure the Beetle's status as America's favorite bug.

What's New for 2018

The biggest news regarding the 2018 Beetle can be found under the hood, where the old 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has been usurped by a larger and more efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. This updated engine returns EPA ratings of 26 miles per gallon city, 33 highway, and 29 combined, while also delivering 174 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is the only gearbox available.

Volkswagen has also shuffled the trim levels for 2018, paring down the Beetle lineup by axing the limited-edition #PinkBeetle (yes, the hashtag really was part of its name), the retro-themed Classic, and the sporty R-line. New this year is the Coast, an ocean-inspired trim. Regardless of trim level, all Beetles now come with a six-year, 72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, offering peace of mind for buyers not wholly convinced of the merits of German engineering.

Volkswagen Beetle

Choosing Your Volkswagen Beetle

With fewer trim levels on tap than 2017 and only one available engine, VW has made it easier than ever to choose a Beetle.

Both the coupe and convertible offer the same trim levels, but opting to go topless will carry a hefty surcharge over a comparably equipped hardtop. Prices for the cabriolet variant are $26,290 for the S, $27,690 for the Coast, $28,890 for the SE and an eye-watering $32,940 for the Dune. All prices factor in an $850 destination charge.

Even base models come standard with a host of safety features, including Post-Collision Braking (the car will automatically apply the brakes if the airbags deploy) and the Intelligent Crash Response System (the car kills the engine, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazards in the event of an accident). Keeping with the cheap and cheerful theme of the Beetle, a smattering of fun colors are available, including Habanero Orange, Silk Blue and Bottle Green.

S

The Beetle S is the cheapest way to get into a new Beetle, starting at $21,070 (including an $850 destination charge) for the coupe and $26,290 for the Convertible.

It comes standard with 16-inch "Whirl" wheels, a five-inch touchscreen, an eight-speaker sound system and a rearview camera, among other things. An optional $1,475 Style and Comfort Package nets buyers 17-inch rims, leatherette upholstery, keyless ignition, and some body-color exterior trimmings. It also upgrades the touchscreen to the 6.3-inch unit found in all other Beetles, which offers SiriusXM satellite radio, an ability to send and receive text messages, and smartphone integration that allows certain apps to run through the car's infotainment display via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Coast

Offered in an exclusive Deep Sea Teal, the package includes special black/beige cloth seats, a sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, and a surfboard-inspired dashpad. For another $895, buyers can opt for the available Lighting Package that will equip their Beetle with bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, and LED daytime running lamps. It takes $23,970 to get into a Beetle Coast Coupe and $27,690 for the droptop.

SE

Building on the Coast's feature list, the SE adds niceties such as climate control and VW's Car-Net Security and Service. The latter is an optional subscription ($17.99 a month) which can automatically notify emergency services in the event of an accident, provide vehicle tracking assistance in case of theft, and offers remote access. Optional is a $2,500 Premium Package that delivers the 400-watt Fender audio system, navigation, 18-inch wheels, and ParkPilot (a parking assistant that emits an audible warning when the drivers backs too close to an object). An SE Coupe costs $24,870 and the SE Convertible rings up at $28,890.

Dune

The heritage-inspired Dune strives to remind buyers of the Baja Bug days through slightly massaged styling, a subtle increase in ride height, 18-inch "Canyon" wheels, and "Dune" graphics on both doors. A spoiler and special seats round out the exclusive differentiation. Highway mileage ticks up one notch to 34 mpg. The Dune comes fully loaded with all available features, and has a price tag of $27,640 for the hardtop or $32,940 for the convertible body.

CarsDirect Tip

For the best bang for your buck, go with the Coast. A pleasing shade of exclusive blue is coupled with a list of standard features well worth the $2,900 upcharge from a base S, and at $23,970 it promises to not break the bank.

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