Volkswagen has high fuel-economy hopes for the Beetle. The 2012 model offers a choice of two engines with good highway fuel economy, and a 40-mpg version is in the wings to take on the likes of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Veloster--though it's unclear if it will arrive in time for the 2012 model year.
The base 2012 Beetle comes standard with Volkswagen's five-cylinder engine. To be offered with a manual transmission, it's also coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the combination earns an estimated 22/29 mpg. The EPA ratings aren't yet official: we'll update this page and the Beetle's green score when they're released.
With the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four, fuel economy actually rises. Volkswagen expects the Beetle Turbo will be rated at 22/30 mpg when equipped with the dual-clutch automatic transmission. A manual transmission will be available as well, but estimated gas mileage hasn't been announced.
Finally, there's a turbodiesel Beetle on tap for sometime in 2012. Volkswagen thinks it may be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever, and pegs its fuel economy at 29/40 mpg when equipped with the dual-clutch automatic. The official EPA ratings haven't been released, though.