Paying homage to its rich heritage, the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle coupe retains the distinctive silhouette of its predecessors, while offering a more dynamic and athletic stance. Its roof profile also runs distinctly lower than in previous generations for a bolder appearance. At 71.2 inches wide, 58.5 inches tall, and 168.4 inches long, wide tracks and a long wheelbase give the car sporty proportions, without compromising charm.
The Beetle S rides on 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while SE models offer standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels available in the Premium Package. Final Edition SE models feature 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while Final Edition SEL has 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle feature body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals, body-colored door handles, body-colored side sills with chrome accents, an integrated spoiler, and “Turbo” badging on the tailgate. All models above the entry-level S receive chrome trim on the lower window for a bit of upscale flair, and feature heated washer nozzles.
SE models have standard chrome bumper accents, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing wipers. The Premium Package ($2,500) adds Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), LED taillights and license plate light, and fog lights. Final Edition SEL models feature these premium features as standard equipment. The Final Edition models replace the “Turbo” badge on the tailgate with the Beetle nameplate.
For a classic touch, 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition SE trims and above integrate a kaeferfach glovebox or “Beetle bin” into the dashboard. The lid folds upward, while the standard glovebox opens downward. Standard features on the Beetle include a rearview camera; power windows with one-touch up/down; heated washer nozzles; heated seats; and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, shift knob, and brake lever. All models besides the base S feature an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior chrome trim, three-color ambient lighting, and a panoramic sunroof.
Final Edition SE models include KESSY keyless access with push-button start, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip, stainless steel pedal caps and metal scuff plates, Climatronic, gloss-black center console, and three-color ambient lighting, as well as a unique Safari Uni color dashpad. SE models add a body-colored dashpad and body-colored upper door sills.
Cloth seats are standard on S, while SE models feature standard leatherette seating surfaces. Final Edition SE models feature rhombus cloth seating surfaces with leatherette inserts, while SEL models have standard leather seating surfaces with diamond stitching. Final Edition SEL models also feature Sport seats, while all other models feature Comfort seats.
With 37.1 inches of rear-seat headroom, 41.3 inches of front legroom, and 55.3 inches of front shoulder room, space is plentiful in the 2019 Beetle. Overall interior volume is 85 cu-ft, with 15.4 cu-ft of trunk space. With the seats folded, rear utility capacity increases to 29.9 cu-ft. A split-folding rear seat and a wide opening trunk lid help ease loading and unloading.
All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle models feature the MIB II touchscreen infotainment system. The display utilizes a capacitive-touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling gesture controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming.
The Beetle S is equipped with the Composition Color unit, which features a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The infotainment system also offers aux-in and USB (one port) multimedia interfaces, as well as a rearview camera and standard Bluetooth® technology for compatible devices. All other Beetle models are equipped with a 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display—SE and Final Edition SE with the Composition Media unit; SE models equipped with the optional Premium Package and Final Edition SEL models with the Discover Media system with navigation.
Both units offer a USB port, SiriusXM radio for a three month trial period, and HD Radio. Both units also have the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with Bluetooth with compatible phones and pair two phones simultaneously. The Discover Media unit offers 2.5D navigation, featuring one-shot voice destination entry, destination entry with search and auto-complete, and predicts possible destinations based on often used routes.
All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle models, both convertible and coupe, are powered by Volkswagen’s most advanced EA888 engine ever. Last year, the engine capacity was increased from 1.8 to 2.0 liters and incorporated the so-called Budack cycle for improved combustion efficiency. The upshot is 174 horsepower that kicks in at 4,400 rpm, and is maintained until 6,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 184 lb-ft is achieved at 1,600 to 3,940 rpm.
All models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
To help protect occupants, the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features four airbags (front airbags and head-thorax side airbags for front seat passengers), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
A standard feature on the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
All Beetle models feature a standard rearview camera and includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.
Competitor set: Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper