The Volkswagen Beetle is not for everyone, but for some people it’s the only car that will do. Those folks appreciate the Beetle’s timeless looks, its quirky heritage and its unique features. Once they’ve made up their mind that the Beetle is the car for them, the only decision left is which trim to get. And that can be a tough one to crack. So let’s compare the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle S vs Beetle SE.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle
The Beetle is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that makes 170 hp and gets 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Even though it looks similar to the shape we’ve known and loved for nearly 20 years now, the latest generation Beetle has been re-sculpted with a sleeker, more aggressive design. Inside, there’s a nod to the past in the form of the Kaferfach glovebox, which opens top and bottom, but sadly there’s no longer a flower vase included in every Beetle.
Read more: 2016 Jetta SE vs Jetta SEL
|2016 Beetle S||vs||2016 Beetle SE|
|Yes||Heated side mirrors||Yes|
|Yes||Touchscreen sound system with USB & Bluetooth audio||Yes|
|No||17-inch Turbine wheels||Yes|
|No||Rearview camera system||Yes|
|No||Customizable interior ambient lighting||Yes|
|No||Heated leatherette seats||Yes|
Beetle S features
Coming in at under $20,000, the Beetle S is a heck of a bargain. It’s not exactly what you’d call basic. Standard equipment includes a rear spoiler, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, 16-inch Whirl alloy wheels, steering wheel mounted controls, self-dimming rearview mirror and a touchscreen sound system with USB port, Bluetooth audio streaming and eight speakers. The only optional extra is a lighting package that includes bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED license plate lights for a little extra safety and a little extra bling.
Beetle SE features
The SE trim for the Beetle adds a lot of stuff we really, really like for not a lot more money. It’s a hard deal to pass up. In addition to must-have features like 17-inch Turbine wheels, heated leatherette seats and the rearview camera system, you get things you never would have thought of, like 4-position, 3-color customizable interior ambient lighting. It also adds satellite radio and Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect and connected car suite, which are a bunch of useful (and fun) apps that the S trim doesn’t have. It’s well worth the price of entry.