VW Beetle vs rivals
Muscular new VW Beetle aims to build on the sales success of previous cars. But can it see off its MINI and Vauxhall rivals?
Many buyers will choose one of these cars on looks alone. Yet there’s more to them than that.
The new Beetle is a vast improvement on its predecessor. Sleeker styling, a more upmarket cabin and sharper driving dynamics mark it out. Plus, it’s extremely well equipped, offers decent residuals and should be cost-effective to run. As a result it narrowly beats the rakish Astra.
The Vauxhall is boldly designed, extremely practical and surprisingly engaging to drive. But high CO2 emissions, poor residuals and more costly servicing count against the sleek GTC. Neither car can match the MINI in the final reckoning, though.
While the Cooper S suffers from a cramped cabin and firm ride, in every other respect it leads the way in this test. It’s great fun to drive and provides scorching performance, while its cast-iron residuals and comprehensive tlc service pack help minimise running costs. The fact it’s also the cheapest to car buy here is the icing on the cake.
Winner MINI Cooper S ★★★★
Advancing years and familiarity haven’t diminished the MINI’s appeal. In Cooper S form it’s fast, fun and surprisingly good value. Plus, the endless personalisation options mean it’s still possible to make your car stand out. The biggest fly in the ointment is the poor practicality.
2nd VW Beetle ★★★★
The new Beetle has clearly been aimed squarely at the MINI. More aggressive styling, composed driving dynamics and a classy cabin make the VW a much more desirable choice than its predecessor. Yet it’s more expensive than the Cooper S and will cost you more to run.
3rd Vauxhall Astra GTC ★★★
The Vauxhall was the joker in this fashionable pack, and finished closer to its rivals than our result suggests. Good looks, strong refinement and a composed drive mark out the GTC, while its cabin is the most spacious here. Yet it’s costly to own for private and company users alike.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingMuscular new VW Beetle aims to build on the sales success of previous cars. But can it see off its MINI and Vauxhall rivals?
- 21st Mini Cooper SHuge-selling retro hatch remains one of the class leaders
- 32nd VW BeetleBeefed-up looks, sharper handling give new Bug fresh appeal
- 43rd Vauxhall Astra GTCStylish new three-door scores on practicality and refinement
- 5Facts and figures