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How Many Miles Can A Volkswagen Beetle Last? (+Reliability Scores)

How many miles can a Volkswagen Beetle last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Beetle, that’s a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at the most popular models but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Volkswagen Beetle lasts between 180.000 – 200.000 miles. A Volkswagen Beetle has to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs 0.4 times a year with a 10% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Beetle owners spend an average of $612 per year on repairs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a Beetle can last. After that, we’ll compare the Beetle to its main competitors in terms of potential mileage and compare the car to other Volkswagens. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have, how much maintenance will cost per year and how to maintain a Beetle. Read on!

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Also read: What Gas Does A Volkswagen Beetle Take?

How Many Miles Can A Volkswagen Beetle Last?

It’s important to know exactly how many miles a car can last; answering that question is precisely what we have made easy for you. In the case of Beetle, it’s common knowledge; we know it’s reliable, end of the conversation, period. But to give value to this statement, we have done extensive research and conducted several tests.

First, we went to autotrader.com and thoroughly researched their database. We analyzed the data of 1,287 different Beetles, and the results were astonishing. As we have mentioned earlier, it’s common knowledge Beetles are reliable. But to our surprise, only a small number of cars, 5.43% of Beetles, had crossed the 150k mile mark.

highest mileage Beetle on autotrader.com
At the moment of updating this article, this is the highest mileage Beetle on Autotrader.com.

In typical cases, the minimum percentage to tell whether or not a car is reliable is that 3% or more has crossed the 150,000 miles mark. This is a global average that we discovered while doing this kind of research for more than 100 vehicles.

In the case of the Beetle, we get a whopping 5.43%. The other data shows that 32.64% of the Beetles are at less than 45k miles. You should be looking into these for buying purposes as they would last the longest. When you are looking to buy one of these, make sure they have a clean title.

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+5.43%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.00016.63%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99945.30%
Cars With 0 – 44.99932.64%

Now, about 45% of Beetles are in the range of 45k-100k miles. This range will have some minor problems, but their prices will be a little lower, depending on the year of make. The newer models will be a little more expensive, of course. 16.62% of the Beetles lay within the range of 100k-150k miles. These are to be inspected very thoroughly.

You might get a good value, but it will only last so much from our research point of view. And for those above 150k miles, they might be cheap, but there are only going to last about 50k more with regular maintenance; after that, the Beetle would be prone to give up, and sooner or later, it will be in heaven.

How Reliable Is A Volkswagen Beetle Compared To Its Competitors?

To provide more facts and figures for our argument, we gathered data on the competitors of the Beetle to help you decide if the Beetle is good or not. Here are all the hatchbacks that can put up a good fight with the Beetle.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Volkswagen Beetle  1287705.43%220.000
Mazda 345282756.07%240.000
Toyota Corolla Hatchback (2017 onwards)110450.45%160.000
Hyundai Veloster1521291.91%180.000
Mitsubishi Mirage52850.95%170.000
Kia Rio1369412.99%240.000
Chevrolet Sonic1750623.54%210.000
Nissan Versa29061234.42%230.000
Hyundai Accent1892784.12%230.000

The data shows that the Beetle is doing great, following the Mazda 3. Toyota could have done better, but their hatchback versions didn’t have much time to cross that minimum of 3%, but even though this generation of the Beetle was released in 2012, the results are astonishing.

So it seems that the Volkswagen Beetle has tough competition, but this is not the last test on our list. We have many other factors to consider before coming to a final verdict.

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Reliable Is A Volkswagen Beetle Compared To Other Volkswagens?

The next step in our research is to compare the Beetle with other Volkswagen and see where it stands. The Beetle gets second place again, making it a runner-up twice on our rigorous tests. The most reliable one turns out to be the Touareg, achieving a very high percentage of 8.95% of them crossing the 150,000 miles mark.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Volkswagen Jetta12.5592972,36%270.000
Volkswagen Passat5.7881602,76%260.000
Volkswagen Tiguan14.336530,37%200.000
Volkswagen Beetle1.334715,32%240.000
Volkswagen Touareg458418,95%230.000
Volkswagen Golf1.605271,68%240.000

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

After coming second on both of our previous tests, it’s time to take another factor into account. Knowing the maintenance cost per year is also very important; it will give you an idea of how much you would have to spend annually to keep it running. The Volkswagen Beetle costs $612 on average to maintain, according to data from Repairpal.com and Caredge.com.

The newer models, of course, will have lower maintenance costs than the older ones. But where does this put the Beetle? These costs aren’t super good, as the Toyotas are around $450 on average. The BMWs and Audis are much higher, putting the Beetle in the runner-up category again. However, this maintenance figure is still better than many cars out there. 

Model YearsAnnual Maintenance Costs
2008$521
2009$668
2010$592
2011$610
2012$630
2013$655
2014$613
2015$577
2016$587
2017$535
2018$481
2019$369

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Volkswagen

Owners’ Reviews Of The Outlander’s Reliability

Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the outlander. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.

Owner ratings of the 2012 - 2019 Beetle  on kelley blue book, edmunds and truecar.com
Owner ratings of the 2012 – 2019 Beetle

We found that owners of the 2012 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle are relatively positive about their experience owning one. Yes, the earlier model years (2012 – 2015) have slightly more complaints because they had somewhat more problems. However, they were still good cars overall.

Furthermore, the 2016 – 2019 model years almost had zero problems and provided owners with precisely what they were looking for: a fun car to drive that doesn’t cost much with great reliability.

The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle is agile and quick. Turbo engine gives it plenty of zip on city and highway roads. Ride is smooth and stable. This Beetle has plenty of modern amenities without needless extras. Great vehicle for people who enjoy driving and not playing a video game. 6 year warranty is an excellent value

Source

Volkswagen Beetle Common Problems

It’s essential to know the common problems because when you are looking for a used Beetle in the market, you will better understand what can go wrong and what to look out for.

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

Power Window Issues And Not To Mention The Manual Window Cranks

Some rattles are innocent and won’t cost you a fortune to fix, but some rattles are ruthless and will cost you a fortune to fix. This is not a rattle, but it will still cost you a lot. The culprit is the window regulator that has now failed, and you don’t have power windows anymore. This a common problem so you should check all the windows and whether or not they are working,

The Headlight Bulb Goes Out

This is one of those common problems that will cost you 140 dollars to fix, which is caused mainly due to a wiring harness failure. The damaged connectors should be replaced because even if you replace the bulb, it won’t work, change the connector, and you will be good to go.

Coolant Temperature Sensor Failure

Usually, a check engine light is illuminated when a sensor fails, and in this case, when we are looking at a Beetle, the sensor in question is the coolant temperature sensor. The diagnosis will cost around 150 dollars, while the sensor itself is priced at $50, and after adding the labor to replace it, you will be spending about $140.

Flasher Relay Failure

This problem will cause the turn signal to work erratically as if it’s gone haywire; technically, it did go haywire. In this case, the culprit would be a blown flasher relay that needs replacement. Diagnosing this problem usually costs around $150, and to replace the turn signal flasher relay, you would be spending about $20 for the relay and about 50 dollars on labor.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Failure

The check engine light will illuminate your gauge cluster, and you will face poor ride quality with misfiring issues. The culprit in most cases is the MAF sensor. After replacing the MAF sensor, you will be good to go. The replacement cost is around $250.

Engine Overheating

The engine overheating problem is not uncommon and is caused by a damaged water pump impeller. The replacement usually not only includes the water pump but also includes the thermostat. It will also require the flushing of the whole cooling system. The cost of fixing this is about $600.

Is a Volkswagen Beetle A Smart Buy?

After going through all of our tests and comparisons, where does the Beetle stand? First, let’s look at the depreciation value, which is estimated to be 30% in 5 years which is extremely good; it means that they have a good demand in the market, and the first owner isn’t going to lose a lot of money on its resale. On the other hand, BMWs have an average 5-year depreciation value of about 70%.

So with Beetle, we have long-lasting reliability, relatively low maintenance cost, an excellent value that wouldn’t depreciate much, tons of aftermarket support as well, and not to mention that it’s such an icon in the automotive industry, everyone knows a Beetle when they see it.

In short, you should consider buying a Volkswagen Beetle but make sure that everything is in good shape and there are no rattles, no oil leaks, and nothing that makes you question, hmm, is that normal?

You need to know if the previous owner has done their due diligence or not. You might not get the receipts, as most of us don’t really keep them safe, but it’s a good practice to ask.

If you don’t get the receipts, then no problem, you can judge whether this Beetle has properly been maintained by looking at the looks of it; it’s a general rule of the thumb that if an owner can’t keep their ride clean, then surely won’t be able to maintain it. So if the Beetle you are looking for is kept relatively clean, chances are, it’s been kept maintained.

Volkswagen Beetle Maintenance Schedule

Regular maintenance is required for a smooth driving experience. Therefore, let’s now look at the maintenance schedule.

Every 10,000 miles

Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil at 10,000 miles, but you should change it before 10,000; somewhere around 7000 would be nice. This 10,000 figure is a little far-fetched because the brand wants to give you a low maintenance cost overall.

  • Engine oil and oil filter replacement
  • Rotate the tires
  • Change the oil and oil filter.
  • Rear window cleaning nozzle check
  • Check for windshield washers and the headlight cleaning system
  • Check the brake pads thickness
  • Reset the service interval display

Every 20,000 miles

  • Replace the fuel filter
  • Check the tire tread and the wear pattern
  • The battery should also be checked
  • Check the brake fluid and the condition of the brake pads

Every 40,000 miles

  • Check for any oil leaks
  • Check the transmission components
  • Check the exhaust system
  • Check all the electronic components
  • Power steering oil level
  • Sunroof check
  • Check the suspension components
  • Lubricate the doors and other hinges
    Check the underbody sealant for any damage

Every 75,000 miles

  • Replace the ignition coils
  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Clean the PCV system

Every 130,000 miles

  • Replace the timing belt, which is probably the most expensive maintenance.

Sources