Skip to Content

What Gas Does A Volkswagen Beetle Take? (Answered)

On this blog, we do a lot of research regarding specific questions about different cars. Today we’ll look at the Volkswagen Beetle and answer what kind of gas this car requires. To find the answer, we’ve gone through the owners’ manuals of the Beetles that were produced in 2011. Here’s a quick explanation:

A 2011 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle with a gasoline engine is designed to use high-quality unleaded regular gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Premium fuel with an octane of 91 can be used but is not necessarily recommended. A 2011 – 2019 Beetle with a diesel engine uses Number 2 Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel or Number 2 Ultra Low Sulfur Climatized diesel fuels.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we go into more detail about the kind of gas or diesel you should use for your specific type of Beetle. We’ll also discuss if different types of gas are better or worse for the durability of your engine and its performance. Finally, we answer some other questions about the fuel requirements of the Beetle. Read on!

Did you know you can earn up to $0.25/gallon every time you fill up? GetUpside is a free-to-use cashback app that works with almost all gasoline stations in the United States. By using coupon code “AFF25” you can earn an additional $0.25/gallon the first time you fill up! Click here to download the app for iOS or Android and stop paying sky-high gasoline prices. 

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Volkswagen Beetle Last?

Fuel Requirements Based On Engine Type

Before we go into the details of the gasoline and diesel types of the Volkswagen Beetle, it’s good to know that there’s a quick way to figure this out. Reason being that this information is displayed near the fuel cap. Please see the image below for this. This label will tell you the essential things about the type of fuel that the Beetle uses immediately.

2011 – 2019

Volkswagen Beetles produced between 2011 – 2019 with a 1.2, 1.4, 1.8, 2.0, or 2.5L engine are designed to use high-quality unleaded fuel with a minimum octane rating of 87. The use of premium fuels is possible, although not specifically recommended. If premium fuel is used, it should have a minimum octane rating of 91.

Volkswagen Beetles produced between 2011 – 2019 with a 1.6 or 2.0L diesel engine use Number 2 Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel or Number 2 Ultra Low Sulfur Climatized diesel fuels. Number 1 Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel should only be used where extended arctic conditions ( 5°F to -10°F or -10°C to -23°C) exist.

What Types Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?

Oxygenated Gasoline Or E85

You may use unleaded gasoline blended with alcohol or MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), commonly referred to as oxygenated fuels, if the blended mixture meets the following criteria:

Blends of gasoline and methanol (wood alcohol or methyl alcohol):

  • Anti-Knock Index (AKI) must be 87 or higher.
  • Blend must contain no more than 3% methanol.
  • Blend must contain more than 2% co-solvents.

Blends of gasoline and ethanol (grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol):

  • Anti-Knock Index (AKI) must be 87 or higher.
  • Blend must contain no more than 10% ethanol for Beetles that were produced before 2014
  • Blend must contain no more than 15% ethanol for Beetles that were produced after 2014

Blends of gasoline and MTBE:

  • Anti-Knock Index (AKI) must be 87 or higher.
  • Blend must contain no more than 15% MTBE.

Gasoline With Additives

Fuel quality impacts the operating performance, efficiency, and service life of the engine. Therefore, use quality gasoline that the fuel supplier already blends with suitable gasoline additives that do not contain metal. The additives provide corrosion protection, clean the fuel system, and prevent deposits on the engine. Volkswagen recommends TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline, which you can find on toptiergas.com.

Seasonally Adjusted Gasoline

Many fuels are blended, especially for winter or summer conditions. When seasons change, Volkswagen suggests that you buy fuel at busy stations where the seasonal adjustment is more likely to be made earlier.

Biodiesel

The diesel engines of the Volkswagen Beetle are designed to run on Ultra Low Sulfur diesel with a maximum of 5% biodiesel. The Beetle is compatible with fuels containing a percentage of 20% biodiesel; however, precautions and extra care need to be taken. Using fuel that contains 20%+ biodiesel is strictly forbidden and will affect the warranty and lifespan of your car.

First off, it’s good to know that the use of B5 biodiesel is limited in Illinois. Volkswagen mentions in the owners’ manuals that your car still falls under warranty if this is the case. However, in this case, you do have to use fuel with 6-20% biodiesel (B6 – B20).

If you regularly use B6 – B20 biodiesel, then it’s wise to take the necessary precautions outlined by Volkswagen:

  • Routinely check the engine oil level. A good time to do this is when you refuel, especially if you regularly do a lot of short distance or stop-and-go driving. This will help you see if the engine oil level is getting higher. (A rising oil level beyond the maximum indicator means an oil change is needed due to the dilution of the oil in the system; a potential characteristic of biodiesel use)
  • If you ever notice that the engine oil level has risen or is above the maximum indicator, contact your authorized Volkswagen dealer, authorized Volkswagen Service Facility or Volkswagen Customer CARE to schedule an oil change – regardless of the time or mileage that has elapsed since you last had an oil change performed.
  • Continue to follow the oil change intervals found in the Warranty and Maintenance booklet that came with your vehicle.
  • Refuel only at trusted, commercial fueling stations that are located near main highways. These stations are more likely to have fresh biodiesel fuels that have not aged significantly.
  • If your vehicle will be in storage (or not driven) for several weeks or months, please completely fill the fuel tank. If possible, fill the tank with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel.

Also read: What Gas Does A Volkswagen Jetta Take?

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?

Hearing a knocking sound from the engine after refilling most likely means that you’ve used fuel with too low of an octane rating. If you hear this noise, the consensus is that you should stop the car immediately and call a garage or nearby dealership. Driving with fuel that has too low of an octane rating will result in permanent engine damage. The fuel tank needs to be drained, and the car needs to be inspected before you can continue your way.

Does The Volkswagen Beetle Have A Good Gas Mileage?

A 2011 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle with a 1.8L gasoline engine has a combined mpg of 27. The 2.0L gasoline engine has a combined mpg of 29, and the 2.5 has an mpg of 25. In the city, the cars reach an mpg of 24, 26 and 22 respectively whereas on the highway they reach 32, 33 and 29 mpg.

A 2011 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle with a 1.6L diesel engine has a combined mpg of 38, whereas the 2.0L diesel has a combined MPG of 34. In the city, the Beetle has a 30 mpg for both engine types. The 1.6L has a 42 mpg on the highway, whereas the 2.0L has an mpg of 39.

EngineCombinedCityHighway
1.6 diesel383042
1.8272432
2.0292633
2.0 diesel343039
2.5252229

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of A Volkswagen Beetle?

A 2011 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle has a 14.5 gallon (55 liters) tank size for gasoline and diesel versions. This includes a 2 gallon (7 liters) reserve tank.

Also read: What Gas Does A Volkswagen Passat Take?

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up A Volkswagen Beetle?

On average, it costs $46,18 to fill up a 2011 – 2019 Volkswagen Beetle with a gasoline engine and $49,05 to fill up the diesel variant. Mississippi is the cheapest state to fill up a gasoline Beetle with an average cost of $40,52. California is the most expensive state to fill up a gasoline Beetle, with an average cost of $63,76 for a full tank.

Sources