Ratings, Reviews, Pictures, Features | J.D. Power

2014 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback - Overview

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$18,995 – $31,395 MSRP

$18,235 – $30,139 Invoice

22 / 29 MPG City/Hwy

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Power Circle Ratings

Overall Quality 3.0

Overall Performance and Design 5.0

Predicted Reliability 3.0

Detailed ratings for 2014 models are not yet available. Ratings for the 2013 model year are provided, but are not necessarily indicative of 2014 model performance. Ratings data for all body styles and trim levels within a particular model family are aggregated when calculating the model's overall Power Circle Rating.
2014 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback

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Overview

What's New for 2014:

  • Optional telematics system
  • Available rearview camera
  • Limited-edition GSR version
  • Turbo trims renamed R-Line
  • New base engine

Introduction
The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle is a 2-door, 4-passenger, front-wheel-drive (FWD) model available in coupe and convertible body styles powered by one of four engines, including a turbocharged diesel. Nine trim levels are offered. Competitors include the Fiat 500, Honda Civic Coupe, Hyundai Elantra Coupe, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Forte Koup, and the Mini Cooper.

Models and Features
Mid-way through the 2014 model year, Volkswagen replaced base Beetle 2.5L models with turbocharged 1.8T variants. The entry-level example is equipped with standard 17-in. alloy wheels and heated front seats, as well as leatherette upholstery, 8-speaker audio system boasting an auxiliary input jack and iPod cable, Bluetooth connectivity, new-for-2014 telematics technology, manual transmission, and a 2-year/24,000-mile free factory-scheduled maintenance plan.

As its name implies, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T with Sunroof trim level adds a power tilt/slide moonroof, but shoppers may be surprised to find the car also upgraded with push-button start and premium audio. A 1.8T with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation version ups the ante courtesy of 18-in. alloy wheels, Fender sound system, and a navigation unit.

Drivers who want the boost of a turbo paired with the efficiency of a diesel engine should direct their attention toward the 2014 Beetle TDI, featuring amenities like push-button start, extra exterior chrome accents, and the 17-in. alloy wheels. A TDI with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation version is also available.

For a more high-performance experience, Volkswagen avails drivers to the Beetle R-Line (formerly the Beetle Turbo), tricked out with unique 18-in. alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, upgraded bumpers and rear spoiler, cloth upholstery, added horsepower under the hood, and aluminum foot pedals. Additional versions include the R-Line with Sunroof and Sound, and the R-Line with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation.

That leaves the exclusive 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR, recognized by its yellow and black paint scheme with matching interior accents, sport seats, and 19-in. alloy wheels.

Options and Packages
Volkswagen has set up the 2014 Beetle lineup to include most of the car's available features within the various trim levels, meaning there's not much to speak of in terms of stand-alone options. In fact, the only from-the-factory upgrade is an automatic transmission.

Under the Hood
As noted, Volkswagen dropped the 2.5L trim levels during the 2014 model year, and in the process, dropped the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine from the lineup. In its place is a turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder unit that produces an equal amount of horsepower, but an extra 7 lb.-ft. of torque (184 vs. 177). Output is directed to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission (convertible models are offered only with the automatic).

For the 2014 Beetle TDI, VW uses another turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This one is a 2.0-liter diesel that generates 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is managed by the 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic commonly referred to as DSG.

Drivers who find themselves behind the wheel of a Beetle R-Line or GSR will be working with a gas-powered turbocharged 2.0-liter that delivers 210 horsepower backed by 207 lb.-ft. of torque. Again, transmission choices include the 5-speed stick and DSG.

Complementing the engines are a new electromechanical steering system and a multi-link suspension that's been spread to the entire lineup.

Fuel Economy
While some may question VW's wisdom in equipping the 2014 Beetle with a new base engine that offers only a nominal gain in torque, the main benefit can be seen in the EPA's fuel-economy estimates, which suggest a 1.8T coupe fitted with the 6-speed automatic will average 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. A comparably equipped 2.5L model would return only 22 and 29 mpg, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the R-Line and GSR's 210-horsepower engine sacrifices a bit of efficiency in the name of performance. According to the EPA, coupes should travel up to 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Of course, TDI models are the most miserly of the bunch, scoring EPA estimates as high as 29 mpg around town and 41 mpg while steadily cruising on the highway.

In general, ratings for the Beetle convertible are 1-2 mpg less than those of their Beetle coupe counterpart.

Safety Ratings and Technology
In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle coupe received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars. As this overview is written, the Beetle convertible had not been rated. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2014 Beetle received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap front impact protection; the Beetle also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the IIHS. Standard safety features on the 2014 Beetle include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 6 air bags, rollover bars (convertible), and an available rearview camera.

Available Trims for the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback

  Transmission MSRP Engine City/Hwy MPG
1.8T Entry 6 speed automatic $0 170-hp / 1.8L 4-cyl 0/0
1.8T w/Premium/PZEV 6 speed automatic $0 170-hp / 1.8L 4-cyl 25/33
2.0L TDI w/Premium/PZEV 6 speed automatic with auto-shift $0 140-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl 29/39
2.5L 5 speed manual $20,295 170-hp / 2.5L 5-cyl 22/31
2.0T R-Line 6 speed manual $24,995 210-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl 23/31
2.0T GSR 6 speed manual $29,995 210-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl 23/31

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