Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Mustang VS 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2017 Ford Mustang

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2017 Volkswagen Beetle

Safety Comparison

The Mustang Premium offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Beetle doesn't offer a collision warning system.

Both the Mustang and the Beetle have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Mustang is safer than the Volkswagen Beetle:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

132 lbs.

227 lbs.

Neck Compression

58 lbs.

107 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

240/585 lbs.

421/664 lbs.




5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

76 lbs.

118 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

52/57 lbs.

395/294 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Mustang Fastback is safer than the Beetle:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Mustang is safer than the Volkswagen Beetle:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

239 G’s

Hip Force

224 lbs.

427 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

675 lbs.

766 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

693 lbs.

804 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Beetle doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang has more powerful engines than the Beetle:




Mustang 3.7 DOHC V6

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Mustang ECOBoost 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

320 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

435 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

Beetle 1.8T 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

170 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Beetle R-Line 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

210 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Mustang is faster than the Volkswagen Beetle (automatics tested):


Mustang V6

Mustang ECOBoost

Beetle 1.8T

Beetle R-Line

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.2 sec

7.9 sec

6.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.9 sec

6 sec

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

13.9 sec

16.1 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

98 MPH

86 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

124 MPH

149 MPH

118 MPH

124 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Mustang ECOBoost’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Beetle (15.5 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Mustang V6/GT’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Beetle (16 vs. 14.5 gallons).

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Beetle doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Mustang’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Beetle:



Mustang GT

Beetle 1.8T

Beetle R-Line

Front Rotors

12.5 inches

15 inches

11.3 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

13 inches

10.7 inches

10.7 inches

The Mustang’s optional front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Beetle are solid, not vented.

The Mustang stops much shorter than the Beetle:





80 to 0 MPH

201 feet

242 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

136 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang has larger standard tires than the Beetle (235/55R17 vs. 215/55R17). The Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Beetle (265/35R20 vs. 245/40R20).

The Mustang’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Beetle 1.8T’s standard 60 series tires. The Mustang’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Beetle R-Line’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Beetle 1.8T.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Mustang has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Beetle’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Mustang’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Beetle doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 7.1 inches longer than on the Beetle (107.1 inches vs. 100 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is .2 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Beetle.

The Mustang’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the Beetle’s (59.3% to 40.7%). This gives the Mustang more stable handling and braking.

The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback handles at .98 G’s, while the Beetle Dune Coupe pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Beetle Coupe (24.2 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Mustang ECOBoost uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Beetle doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Mustang Fastback has 3.2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Beetle Coupe.

The Mustang Convertible has 3.2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Beetle Convertible.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Beetle Convertible (11.4 vs. 7.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Mustang Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Beetle doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the Mustang Premium, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Beetle doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Beetle doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Beetle has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

On a hot day the Mustang’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Beetle can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Mustang’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Beetle’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Mustang Premium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mustang has standard extendable sun visors. The Beetle doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air conditioned seats in the Mustang Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Beetle doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mustang Premium offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Contr4ol, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Beetle doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Mustang’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Beetle’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Mustang will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Mustang will retain 47.07% to 58.17% of its original price after five years, while the Beetle only retains 44.11% to 49.67%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the Beetle because it costs $315 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the Beetle, including $204 less for a water pump, $645 less for an alternator, $33 less for front brake pads, $377 less for a starter, $107 less for fuel injection, $31 less for a fuel pump, $172 less for front struts, $96 less for a timing belt/chain and $359 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

IntelliChoice recognized the Ford Mustang as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year.

The Mustang was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The Beetle has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mustang was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 21 years. The Beetle hasn’t been picked since 2000.

The Ford Mustang outsold the Volkswagen Beetle by over four to one during the 2016 model year.

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