In its day it was more comfortable
and powerful than most European small cars, and ultimately became
the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design.
It remained a top seller in the US, even as rear-wheel drive
conventional subcompacts were refined, and eventually replaced by
front-wheel drive models.
The Beetle was the benchmark for both generations of American
compact cars such as the Chevrolet Corvair, and subcompact cars such
as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. It is often considered a
German equivalent and counterpart to the Austin/Morris Mini. In an
international poll for the award of the world's most influential car
of the twentieth century the Beetle came fourth after the Ford Model
T, the Mini, and the CitroŽn DS.