Originally Posted by Zeeper
The odds his car will be a crapbox are not actually that high, even if a higher percent of them are affected.
Agreed. In order to get a red circle in a particular area (Fuel System, for example), a model must experience less than 1% of a problem in that area. Half red circle is less than 2% (but >1%), half black circle is between 3 and 4%, and a solid black circle is >4%.
The 2012 Beetle has full black circles for Body Hardware, and half-black circles for Fuel System and Squeaks/Rattles. For the 2012 Beetle as a whole, CR gives it a full black circle.
Does this mean the OP's car will be a disaster on wheels? No, not necessarily. But his odds are higher that he'll be visiting the dealership than it was with the Impreza. As he knows, even a car that earned a solid red circle (like the Impreza) can have problems; no machine is perfect all of the time. But his odds of having issues are certainly higher with the Beetle.
My 2010 VW Golf TDI was a turd on wheels. CR gives it a solid black dot for Fuel System and Squeaks & Rattles, and half-black dots for Paint/Trim and Audio System. I never had problems with squeaks/rattles, paint/trim, or the audio system. On the other hand, I did have problems with the Fuel System, and had other problems with the car that aren't indicated as being generally problematic according to CR's reliability charts. CR gives the 2010 TDI a half-black dot for overall reliability; I would have to agree with that.
As someone who doesn't like to repeat his mistakes, I was looking for a reliable car from a reputable dealership. That's why I bought the Impreza, and is why I traveled farther to purchase from the reputable dealership that's 30 minutes from my house rather than from the unreputable Subie dealership that's less than 10 minutes from my house. So far, I've not been disappointed with the car or the dealership.
But I'm sure you can understand why, when someone is having problems with an Impreza that are severe enough to make him get rid of it when it's so young, my gut reaction is to plant the palm of my hand against my forehead (in the "Oh, I could have had a V8!" style) when I hear that he chose to fix his problem by buying a VW (or any car with a poor reliability track record, according to CR's vast pool of data).