2008 Volkswagen New Beetle

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$3,160–$9,916 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    24 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    150-hp, 2.5-liter I-5 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Visual appeal, especially of convertible
  • Ride comfort
  • Steering response
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Backseat space
  • Cargo space in convertible
  • Once innovative design now somewhat dated

Notable Features of the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle

  • Retro styling
  • Manual or automatic
  • Coupe or convertible

2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
For 2008, little has changed for Volkswagen's New Beetle other than changes in options and the renaming of trim levels: last year's base New Beetle and 2.5L are now called the S and SE. The Beetle is a compact car that's also offered as a convertible. It competes with similar small cars, such as the Mini Cooper and Ford Focus.

Following its debut for the 1998 model year, Volkswagen's retro-themed New Beetle saw an early sales surge. Its popularity waned later, prompting Volkswagen to look for variants. A sporty Turbo S edition joined the lineup in 2002 but was dropped after 2004, and a New Beetle Convertible debuted in 2003.
(Skip to details on the: New Beetle Convertible )


Exterior
Nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle. The hatchback rides a 98.7-inch wheelbase, measures 161.1 inches long overall and stands 59 inches high, making it one of the taller compact cars on the market.

Equipped with a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive, the New Beetle is based on the platform used for Volkswagen's Golf model. Standard alloy wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch wheels are available on SE Beetles. Both are new designs for 2008. A power sunroof is optional. Fog lights and rain-sensing wipers are no longer offered.


Interior
A bubble-shaped roof gives the four-passenger New Beetle a strong visual kinship to the original model, which first reached the U.S. in 1949. Unfortunately, this design also infringes on rea...
Vehicle Overview
For 2008, little has changed for Volkswagen's New Beetle other than changes in options and the renaming of trim levels: last year's base New Beetle and 2.5L are now called the S and SE. The Beetle is a compact car that's also offered as a convertible. It competes with similar small cars, such as the Mini Cooper and Ford Focus.

Following its debut for the 1998 model year, Volkswagen's retro-themed New Beetle saw an early sales surge. Its popularity waned later, prompting Volkswagen to look for variants. A sporty Turbo S edition joined the lineup in 2002 but was dropped after 2004, and a New Beetle Convertible debuted in 2003.
(Skip to details on the: New Beetle Convertible )


Exterior
Nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle. The hatchback rides a 98.7-inch wheelbase, measures 161.1 inches long overall and stands 59 inches high, making it one of the taller compact cars on the market.

Equipped with a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive, the New Beetle is based on the platform used for Volkswagen's Golf model. Standard alloy wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch wheels are available on SE Beetles. Both are new designs for 2008. A power sunroof is optional. Fog lights and rain-sensing wipers are no longer offered.


Interior
A bubble-shaped roof gives the four-passenger New Beetle a strong visual kinship to the original model, which first reached the U.S. in 1949. Unfortunately, this design also infringes on rear headroom, and backseat legroom is limited. The rear seatback folds down for additional storage space.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front bucket seats, a CD stereo with MP3 playback capability, cruise control, remote keyless entry, heated power mirrors, and power windows and locks.

Last year's leatherette seat fabric is now called V-Tex, and leather seating surfaces are no longer offered. The Cold Weather package, which features heated front seats and heated windshield washer nozzles, is now available as an option by itself. Previously, they were lumped into a package that included a power sunroof and premium audio system.


Under the Hood
The 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder produces 150 horsepower and 170 pounds-feet of torque and works with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic that has a manual-shift provision.

Safety
Side-impact airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, antilock brakes and daytime running lights are standard.

Driving Impressions
Other than its tight backseat, the New Beetle coupe is a wholly appealing automobile that still draws smiles. The manual transmission is easy to operate. Steering is quick and confident, and occupants can expect a generally comfortable ride; the firm suspension soaks up most road imperfections.

New Beetle Convertible
The New Beetle Convertible's development took place at the Karmann facility in Germany. The five-layer lined top features a glass rear window. One convertible trim is offered for 2008, and the sole engine offered is a 150-hp, 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder that teams with a standard five-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic that has a manual-shift provision.

Much like the original Beetle convertibles of the 1950s to 1970s, the modern-day model has a fabric top that rests on the back of the car; it doesn't fold into the body. Designers retained the familiar curve of the hardtop New Beetle with the convertible's soft-top. For 2008, black Beetles can no longer be ordered with a beige top.

Automatic pop-up rollover supports behind the rear seats are standard, and a wind blocker is optional. Except for a slightly narrower rear seat, the four-passenger New Beetle Convertible's interior looks nearly identical to the hardtop's. Trunk capacity is a modest 5 cubic feet.

Volkswagen did a masterful job of designing the New Beetle Convertible, which is cute and appealing. The car also delivers a superior ride; the suspension absorbs plenty of road imperfections. Directional stability is top-notch, and the convertible handles expertly. Steering feel and feedback are excellent. The manual gearbox operates easily, and the clutch is light. Back to top



Latest 2008 New Beetle Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great value for the money!

by DaveMc from Gainesville, VA on July 5, 2018

the performance of the manual transmission is fantastic. Rare find!! I would highly recommend this car to anyone , particularly at the price. A true collectors item Read full review

(5.0)

AWESOME CAR!

by DaveMc from Gainesville, VA on June 25, 2018

This is the most fun car I have ever owned! I keep her in the garage so she stays nice and clean. Best car ever! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The New Beetle received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker