The more exciting turbocharged and turbodiesel (TDI) four-cylinder engines that used to power the New Beetle are long gone; all that remains is a 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder that neither performs well nor impresses for fuel economy. Through either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, the engine is relatively smooth but comes up short when you ask for brisk performance.
Car and Driver says "the VW returns an 8.8-second huff to 60 mph," not an impressive figure but light-years beyond the performance of the original Beetle. ConsumerGuide reports that the "slow-revving 5-cylinder engine needs full throttle for best takeoffs." Edmunds indicates that regardless of whether the vehicle is equipped with the manual or six-speed automatic, "acceleration is merely adequate." Cars.com observes, "The manual gearbox operates easily, and the clutch is light."
EPA fuel economy ratings are just 20 mpg in the city and 28 or 29 mpg on the highway. Edmunds remarks that "fuel economy is similarly lackluster for a compact."
Handling is pretty dull, too, but it’s very maneuverable. The convertible is noticeably heavier, so performance suffers a bit. Car and Driver reports that "this is not a corner bomber." Torque steer is an unanticipated issue, they warn, "when you poke the gas hard." Cars.com points out that "steering feel and feedback are excellent." Edmunds says, "It isn't a spirited experience, but excels at what it was built for—cruising and being seen cruising in," and "the suspension is on the soft side of sporty."