2012 Volkswagen Beetle vs. Its Competition

2012 Volkswagen Beetle
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

It's very difficult to peg the Beetle's competition, given its halo-car status and its automotive ancestry.

If you're shopping Beetle, you should also be shopping the MINI Cooper, a tidy little hatchback filled with more fun and better fuel economy than the Beetle manages, though with much less interior space and a much higher pricetag.

The Ford Mustang is closer on price, but its performance is significantly better than the Beetle--and so is its highway fuel economy, at least on V-6 versions.

Fashionistas and those into ritual scarification will look at the Nissan Juke with more understanding than we can muster, but they may be turned off by its stiff ride and poor gas mileage.

All would be reasonable options, but there's just one car that should really fear the Beetle: it's VW AG's own Audi TT, which bears a striking resemblance to the Beetle, though its more sophisticated running gear is priced far above the VW.

2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle
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2012 Audi TT RS2012 Audi TT
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2012 Ford Mustang 2-door Coupe GT Premium Side Exterior View2012 Ford Mustang
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2012 MINI Cooper 2-door Coupe Side Exterior View2012 MINI Cooper
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Quick Specs
8.0
It's a tale of two Bugs: base Beetles are boring, but 2012 VW Beetle Turbos have us seeking out the nearest exit ramp.
8.0
The 2012 Audi TT gets a burst of testosterone and sports-car cred with a bold new TT RS model; otherwise it's a surprisingly well-rounded (and economical) performer.
8.4
The 2012 Ford Mustang doles out all the tire-smoking pony-car thrills, but it's also grown to become quite a sophisticated car.
8.6
In all of its guises the 2012 MINI Cooper is fun-to-drive, uniquely styled, and with three standard levels of performance, there's an option for everyone.
MSRP From   
$18,495$38,300$22,310$19,500
Gas Mileage   
21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Gas I5Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Gas I4
EPA Class   
Subcompact carSubcompact CarsCompactMinicompact
Style Name   
2-Door Coupe Automatic Entry *Ltd Avail*2-Door Coupe S tronic quattro 2.0T Premium Plus2-Door Coupe V62-Door Coupe
Drivetrain   
Front Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
4444
Passenger Doors   
2N/AN/AN/A
Body Style   
CoupeCoupe2 Door CoupeCoupe
Transmission   
AutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Volkswagen Beetle vs. 2012 Audi TT2012 Volkswagen Beetle vs. 2012 Ford Mustang2012 Volkswagen Beetle vs. 2012 MINI Cooper