Volkswagen Beetle hatchback (2011-2019) - Practicality & boot space
Smallish rear seats, but the Volkswagen Beetle is pretty useable compared to similar cars
Depending on perspective, the Volkswagen Beetle is either impressively useable or disappointingly impractical. That might sound contradictory, but considering the sacrifices the Fiat 500 requires you to make in terms of space, the Beetle is actually a pretty easy car to live with – unless you regularly envision carrying adults in the back.
Volkswagen Golf interior space & storage
Front passengers in the Beetle get comfortable seats, which offer a good range of adjustment. The deep doorbins, twin gloveboxes and well-shaped door pockets mean interior storage isn’t an issue, while sound ergonomics and easy-to-use controls ensure you don’t have to think twice when changing the stereo volume, say, or adjusting the heating’s settings.
Those in the rear are less well served, though. For a start, the Beetle’s sloping roofline and three-door-only format means getting in there in the first place is a bit of a palaver while, once settled, the limited headroom generates a slight feeling of claustrophobia. Still, it’s generally fine for children, and feels positively spacious in comparison to the Fiat 500.
Again, the Beetle walks a fine line between spaciousness and style. The 310-litre boot is smaller than the VW Golf’s, but it’s significantly larger than the Fiat 500’s or the MINI’s. It’s a reasonably square space, though there’s a prominent load lip to hoik things over. The body-coloured bumper sits quite close to the opening, too, and presents rather a large target you’ll want to avoid scratching.
Dropping the split-folding rear seats sees the loadspace grow to 905 litres but note the seats don’t fold totally flat, so loading longer objects can be a bit of a pain. In fairness, though, few will buy the Beetle for predominantly utilitarian reasons; if you want a retro-styled car, it’s the most practical option – and by some margin.