In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Beetle (2011-2019) review - Reliability and Safety

Sharing a previous generation Golf platform leaves the Beetle slightly behind the curve

If you know it’s built on a VW Golf platform, it will come as no surprise to learn the Volkswagen Beetle earned a five-star Euro NCAP rating – but it was tested back in 2013 when the NCAP regime was a bit less rigorous. 

Still, all Beetles come with six airbags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes fitted as standard, but you won’t find exotic extras like adaptive cruise control or city brake assist - even on the options list. Post collision braking is standard, however, along with electronic stability control.

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The reliability picture is not entirely glowing, as although the Beetle didn’t feature in our 2015 or 2016 Driver Power Surveys, the Mk6 Golf on which it's based rated 129th out of 200 cars for overall satisfaction in 2015 (also didn't feature in 2016). You could just about call that a ‘middle ranking’, but the Mk6 Golf’s specific reliability rating was a less than impressive 186th out of 200.

On build quality the rating was much better, with an 83rd placing. Of course you can’t extrapolate the results straight across from the Golf VI to the Beetle, but the results are worth noting. That said, the engine range and major mechanicals have all been proven widely in Volkswagen Group cars from VW, SEAT and Skoda, so we wouldn’t be overly concerned.


The Beetle comes with Volkswagen’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which isn’t the most generous around. The MINI also has three years, but there’s no mileage cap – although most private owners are unlikely to threaten the Beetle’s 60,000-mile limit in three years of driving.


The Beetle is offered with a great value prepaid servicing package, which takes care of all routine maintenance. Prices depend on the level of cover you require, but start from an affordable monthly rate.


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