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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
High-quality materials predominant
“The front seats are roomy”
“Backseat legroom is limited”
The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle has good room and comfort for front passengers, but backseat riders have cramped quarters.
Roominess is another matter altogether, and in this respect, the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle is all too similar to its ancestor. “The front seats are roomy,” Edmunds writes, “but the same can hardly be said of the back.” Cars.com tells us what most of us already know by looking at it: “Unfortunately, this design also infringes on rear headroom, and backseat legroom is limited.” They do note “the rear seatback folds down for additional storage space.” The backseat situation is exacerbated when the front seats are moved back: "the sloping hatch creates a nearly unusable rear seat," says Kelley Blue Book. At least “access to the back seat is easy,” thanks to a nifty set mechanism, Car and Driver observes.
“Trunk room is, at five cubic feet of cargo space, sports car small, with an also small opening,” Automedia adds.
Automobile reports little of the shaking to which convertibles are prone on the topless New Beetle. This is largely thanks to "heavily reinforced A- and B-pillars, floors, doors, steering column, and rear cross-members -- joined for rollover safety's sake by a pair of automatically deployed roll bars hidden in the rear seats' head rests." Backseat width and trunk space are even smaller in the ragtop, they add.
The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle offers a reasonably comfortable ride as long as you don't expect too much. Backseat room is a major issue.