8 Best & Worst Years For The Volkswagen Beetle

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This quality line-up was first launched in 1938 and had been getting yearly models, which no doubt speaks volumes about the model and company.

It has been known by many names around the world throughout its inception, but originally it started as the Volkswagen Type 1. Eventually, the company would rename it to the Beetle.

Despite facing its early years of production during World War 2, the Volkswagen Beetle created high-quality cars that the public loved.

Now that the line-up has been discontinued let’s take a look at the best and worst years for Volkswagen Beetle.

Best Years for Volkswagen Beetle:

  1. 2012
  2. 2005
  3. 2010
  4. 2011
  5. 2017
  6. 2016
  7. 2018
  8. 2019

Worst Years for Volkswagen Beetle:

  1. 2004
  2. 1962
  3. 1972
  4. 2000
  5. 2001
  6. 2003
  7. 2007
  8. 2015

Now that you’ve seen these lists, I should explain why these models rank so.

List Of The Best Years For The Volkswagen Beetle: What Years To Buy

Is a Volkswagen Beetle a good car? Learn about it from the list of good and bad by year through my guide

Below you are going to find out best models in more details.

So without any further delay let’s get started with the best years list.

#1 Best Year: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle features a new and completely redesigned look that is just as sleek and eye-catching as the original one, with a few more modern design choices.

This 4-seater Hatchback comes in 4 different trims and features a manual and automatic transmission and the choice between gas or diesel as a fuel source.

It also features an optional navigation system which is also a good choice.

While not technically being a family car, it is still comfortable enough for your loved ones and offers a decent amount of cargo space.

The main selling point of this vehicle is the fun it provides when riding it and the nostalgia it brings to the table.

#2 Best Year: 2005 Volkswagen Beetle

This 2005 Volkswagen Beetle model is probably one of the most reliable ones in the market because it is well-known for its durability and stability.

This four-seater came in 4 different trims, all with great visual appeal.

It excels in its comfort both while driving and while riding as the interior is quite nice while the driving is smooth and responsive.

This model also offers a great resale value and investment value in general as parts are easy to come by, not that you would need any spare parts as the car is very low maintenance.

#3 Best Year: 2010 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2010 Volkswagen Beetle is also a well-known model due to its attractive beauty and visual appeal.

This model also comes with the choice of having a coupe or convertible with the standard trim is a hatchback, totaling four different trims for the model, offering an iconic and recognizable car.

While these vehicles aren’t meant to be lugging around heavy cargo or many people, they are perfect for smooth and comfortable driving, which is quick to respond and fun to drive.

#4 Best Year: 2011 Volkswagen Beetle

This does not mean that the car was bad. The immediate year afterward, the company had already found a nice groove, so there would be little changes in the 20011 Volkswagen Beetle.

This works towards the favor of the car as the previous model was outstanding, and this one would follow the same trend.

Coming with the same retro-styling and amazing driving, this model would also maintain the great resale value the line-up was known for, so there was little reason not to buy it.

#5 Best Year: 2017 Volkswagen Beetle

Moving on to the latest line-up models, the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle featured a few stylistic updates while still retaining the retro design that had influenced it for all these years.

This version of the Beetle was available in 7 different trims, which included a limited edition Pink Beetle.

It also went back to its roots and added a Dune convertible and included modern standards like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The stylish interior and the fast acceleration were also very impressive.

#6 Best Year: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle

While coming earlier than the 2017 Beetle, this version of the model scored just slightly less than its successor.

It updated the media system and many other things that would pass to the 2017 model.

Otherwise, it would have easily taken its place as the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle did not have any difficulty in seating adjustment, which was a very rare problem in the 2017 model.

This particular model came in a whopping 12 different trims, which offer many different choices for the customers.

#7 Best Year: 2018 Volkswagen Beetle

Going forward from the 2017 Beetle, you get a four-seater hatchback that is available in only four trims, which was a much simpler approach when compared to the two models before it.

The 2018 Volkswagen Beetle came strong with a long bumper-to-bumper warranty and made the 2-liter 4-cylinder engine a standard.

This was a great improvement that complimented the car’s nice reactive handling along with the fast acceleration the recent models were known for.

#8 Best Year: 2019 Volkswagen Beetle

Before being discontinued, the company put out one last model in the form of the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle, which was the last retro-styled 4-seater hatchback people would see for the line-up.

This model is available in 4 different trims and has a turbo 4-cylinder engine as standard along with a blind spot warning which is the same.

The vehicle is a great final product to the series and one you should consider buying in all regards, interior and exterior.

List Of The Worst Years For The Volkswagen Beetle: What Years To Avoid

Let’s start with the worst years list that you should avoid.

I’ll explain each model in details so you could know why you need to avoid these.

#1 Worst Year: 2004 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2004 model of the Volkswagen Beetle was labeled as the worst model to have ever been released.

This model was well behind its time in terms of available features and because the available features were marred with a large number of problems.

Let me begin with the most glaring issue that this vehicle faced. These were the problems related to the transmission of the vehicle.

There were problems like a transmission failure, downshifting even at high speeds, and transmission slipping.

Other than these, there were problems with the car’s windows and windshields.

The window regulators would get stuck or just stop working, and the windshields’ seals would loosen after some usage.

#2 Worst Year: 1962 Volkswagen Beetle

Looking at most of the older models of the Volkswagen Beetle, it is quite clear that the older models do not stack up to the modern cars available right now and are kept as vintage cars.

However, the older models at least work properly. The 1962 model was one of these vintage models cursed with transmission problems.

Even though the older models are known for being easy to fix, these problems kept recurring even after many repairs.

#3 Worst Year: 1972 Volkswagen Beetle

Moving on to the 1972 model of the Volkswagen Beetle, the vehicle was seen starting to fall behind other competing cars on the 1970 automotive market.

This was mainly because the model lacked some of the upgrades necessary for it to beat the competition.

Even then, it was lagging in terms of safety standards, which means that it will not be safe today.

The car’s interior was lacking because the vehicle tried to stay close to the classic design, which made the seating space quite tight.

The fuel consumption was not economical either. The model was recorded to give some poor MPGs.

#4 Worst Year: 2000 Volkswagen Beetle

The worst model in terms of the number of problems faced may have been the 2004 model, but the one that faced the most complaints was the 2000 model of the Volkswagen Beetle.

These complaints were for many different reasons, but the most prevalent ones were about problems related to the engine of the vehicle.

Problems like the engine dying and excessive oil consumption were reported.

Along with that, there were also complaints regarding seat belts and airbags that brought the safety of this vehicle into question.

#5 Worst Year: 2001 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2001 Volkswagen Beetle was a model, albeit being better in terms of the number of complaints, like its predecessor, faced major problems.

Like its predecessor, it faced engine problems like overheating and dying. However, the main problem with this model was the amount of vibration and noise that the vehicle makes.

The sources are everywhere in the vehicle, like the engine belts, the suspensions, and the loose windshield seals letting in the wind.

If your radio works, it’s better that you put it on at full volume because you will need something to distract you from all that noise.

#6 Worst Year: 2003 Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle’s 2003 model was comparatively decent compared to the 2001 model.

However, it was still a step down from the 2002 model. This is because this model brought back some of the problems addressed in its predecessor.

These were transmission problems like hard gear shifting and transmission slipping.

This model also faced some exterior issues like the gas cap getting stuck and not opening and closing the truck latch making the security alarm go off.

#7 Worst Year: 2007 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2007 model of the Volkswagen Beetle saw quite a few recalls due to some major issues in the vehicle’s security features.

These included seat belts and airbags. There were complaints regarding these two safety features by both users and the NHTSA.

Other than that, there were also some electrical problems that this model faced.

The ground wire harness was mostly faulty, and the brake lights would not turn on whenever the running lights were on.

The battery would get drained quickly as well. The exact cause of this problem was always different, but mostly it was the sound system.

#8 Worst Year: 2015 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle brought back some of the most infamous problems that this vehicle was known for. These were problems related to the body and the paint of the vehicle.

These problems were present in the earlier models of the Volkswagen Beetle for a long time before they were addressed. The car’s paint starts to flake off after a while of usage.

After this, the exposed metal starts to oxidize and rust. This problem was met with some really bad backlash.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Volkswagen Beetle?

While the Volkswagen’s Beetle iconic and stylish design was enough to convince people to buy it, it was not enough for them to bear the slew of problems that certain line-up models were suffering from.

While some of these problems were annoying at most, some were very difficult to recover from and dangerous in certain situations.

Here are some of the common issues with the Beetle:

1. Engine Issues

It would be a surprise if at least one model of the Beetle didn’t have any issues with its engine.

Unfortunately, as with most cars, engine issues are commonplace, with the engine rattling and occasionally misfiring when driving or when idling.

The engine would also leak oil which was usually caused by a worn-out or damaged gasket which would be annoying to replace. Engine failure was also common in certain models.

Here is the list of the engines that Volkswagen Beetles use:

2. Faulty Interior

The interior of the car encompasses a large number of things.

However, the main issues in the Beetle were the locks and the windows. The electric windows would fail and stop moving up and down. This was very common in the newer Beetles.

The door locks would also malfunction a lot which is a huge annoyance.

This would result from the actuators failing or simply some faulty latches, either way, the problem spanned across multiple years of the lineup.

3. Transmission Issues

This problem could range anything from the transmission slipping to straight-up failing.

Earlier models of the Beetle had wide reported problems in the transmission where the car would go into limp mode.

The transmission would either be jolting into gear, hard to shift, or would slip from time to time.

This isn’t where the list ended as in certain models. The transmission would fail without any warning or apparent reason.

Related: Why Won’t My Volkswagen Beetle Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is A VW Beetle Expensive To Maintain?

Volkswagen Beetles are seen as vintage cars nowadays. This is because of the massive popularity in their earlier years.

However, they are not that expensive to buy nowadays. Their value could increase as time goes on, given that the vehicle has been discontinued.

They are also relatively cheap to maintain as well. The annual cost of repairs and maintenance of a Beetle can be around $600.

This is lower than what it would cost any other ordinary vehicle, at around $650.

Q2. Are VW Beetles Hard To Fix?

The answer to this question depends on which models you are going for. The early VW Beetles are considered some of the best vehicles to practice restoration and repairing.

The 90s and the later models were much more complex vehicles than those that came before them. So, if the model that needs fixing is post-90s, you should take it to the shop.

If, however, the model in question is the 70s or pre-70s model, then you might be in luck because those are very simple vehicles and only require a little bit of knowledge to fix.

Q3. Why Is Beetle Discontinued?

The original Beetle was discontinued back in the early 2000s due to the low demand for the vehicle. The new Beetle did not quite catch the public’s attention as the original did.

This is because the Beetle was an ancient vehicle still being produced. It did not live up to the quality, safety, and comfort standards expected of 21st-century vehicles nowadays.

This, along with the fact that Volkswagen, like some other brands, has shifted its focus to making electric vehicles, and discontinuing the Beetle was a step in that direction.

Q4. What’s The Difference Between A Beetle And A Super Beetle?

There are several differences between the VW Beetle and the Super Beetle.

The Super Beetle has been given a much longer design allowing it to have more storage capacity than the original Beetle.

The Super Beetle also has a much more comfortable drive quality. This is a result of the extra space because it allows for more comfortable seating space.

Other than the first few models, the Super Beetles had their custom-designed windshields and roofline designs.

Q5. Are VW Beetles Good In Snow?

The Volkswagen Beetle is designed to be a fuel-efficient vehicle, and this capability of the said vehicle is put to the test in the winter.

And it seems that it passes this test quite well. This vehicle allows for some really good stability in the snow as well. This is because of the vehicle’s front-wheel drive.

Because of this, the distribution of the weight works in the car’s favor on slippery surfaces, although the low and lightweight design can be a problem if the roads are not plowed.


The Volkswagen Beetle was a beloved car that multiple generations have seen and many people have watched growing up, making it sad that the company shifted its interests away from the fan-favorite line-up.

Despite not always pushing out solid models such as the 2004 Beetle, the company mostly released top-tier vehicles like the 2012 models or the latest models the company was releasing before they eventually discontinued it.

Regarding the best and worst years for Volkswagen Beetle, it was a line-up cherished by many, and its retro style and iconic design will be missed.