The Beetle has been around for decades, although it spent a number of years on the shelf as a car that no longer gained the same interest as a new vehicle after its first time round many years ago. Those old Beetles ran on very little mechanics and offered a huge amount of fuel efficiency with very few actual features to enjoy. Still, the thought of owning a Beetle, especially one that was a convertible made many buyers flock to pick them up when they were new and then once again as the original owners sold them when their families were growing. Many Beetles of old are still prowling the streets and make fantastic cars for a fun project as they don’t require a lot of work to have them running and allowing owners to have a great time cruising around in them.
With the Beetle shape coming back and being highly popular for several years, especially with the increase in fuel prices, the expectations were quickly met from a car that offered what the public needed, a rebirth of an icon that would help keep the fuel prices at bay. Instead of being the simplified versions of old, the Beetle of today showed up as one that had a very enjoyable four-passenger interior and can be had with a ton of great features to enjoy. In addition to that, these Beetles are not project cars, being as complicated to work on as any other new car on the road which is trying to take advantage of all the technology around and allow owners the best performance and fuel efficiency possible.
For owners looking for a retro-style car that has a lot of choices in powertrains, the VW Beetle makes a great choice of other niche vehicles such as the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. The Beetle is offered in a coupe or convertible keeping with the tradition of being a great car to take to the beach with the top down. For 2015 the Beetle offers a new revamped diesel engine that adds power and fuel efficiency to the mix. There is also a limited-edition Beetle Classic which joins the lineup for an interesting difference from the norm.
With a soft and fun ride, the Beetle actually offers an excellent driving feeling, but don’t let that round exterior fool you, this car can give anyone some fun with a zippy acceleration and power. With this in mind Volkswagen included a highly-engineered suspension to go along with a rapid-responding steering system allowing the car to stay under control on the road at any accelerated pace a driver can push this car toward. At higher levels, such as the R-Line, the car adds a sport suspension to gain even better handling and stability.
Three excellent four-cylinder engines can be found powering this icon. All models are front-wheel drive and can be had with either a manual transmission or a six-speed automatic DSG. The first engine offered is the 1.8-liter turbocharged model which shows up with 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. This model can offer fuel efficiency numbers of 24 city/33 hwy mpg for the manual coupe, 25 city/33 hwy mpg for the automatic coupe, and 24 city/32 hwy mpg for the automatic convertible.
The second power plant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that gives owners 150 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine can reach fuel efficiency numbers of 31 city/41 hwy mpg for both coupes and 30 city/ 40 hwy mpg for both convertibles.
The final engine, found in the R-Line is the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that brings the heat at 210 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine allows for fuel efficiency numbers of 23 city/31 hwy mpg for the manual coupe, 24 city/30 hwy mpg for the automatic coupe, 23 city/29 hwy mpg for the manual convertible and 23 city/31 hwy mpg for the automatic convertible. The 1.8-liter engine can run on regular gasoline, but the 2.0-liter needs premium in order to perform properly.
On the inside, the Beetle has kept as much of a retro look as possible with a throwback looking dashboard that is full of updated equipment and controls. This give this great car a smart blend of the old and new to allow all owners to fully appreciate what once was and now is in this car. As a four-seater car the Beetle is not meant for large families, but is great for a double date or for four friends to enjoy a night out or a day at the beach. Even though this is a small car, the cargo space is surprisingly generous at 15.4 cubic feet with the seats upright. This is cut in half in the convertibles, but who is going to complain when it’s a convertible.
On the outside the car does offer a more athletic and aggressive stance than Beetles of old, or from the first model that came back upon the reintroduction. Regardless of the change in the stance with appears wider and sportier than before, this is still a Beetle and offer a round edge at every angle of the car and the same classic look we have all come to enjoy form this car that found a lengthy niche in the automotive world.
The standard equipment found in the Beetle spans the lineup very nicely. The least expensive is the new Classic edition which includes the automatic transmission, a five-inch touch-screen navigation system, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity and streaming, Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics system, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio and iPod and auxiliary connections. The TDI model adds a premium audio system with a six-disc changer and HD Radio, keyless access and push button starting. The R-Line version adds 18-inch alloy wheels and the most powerful engine. All Volkswagen models come with one year/10,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance to get the car started off right.
The Beetle does offer some options to enjoy including a navigation system, a panoramic sunroof, keyless access, 18-inch alloy wheels and a premium Fender audio system. The R-Line can be had wit bi-xenon headlights, a leather interior, and upgraded 19-inch wheels. Adding a bit of personality can be done with a rear spoiler, body styling kit and nickname badges to make the Beetle one of a kind.
The pricing for the Classic edition starts around $21,000 making it a very affordable car for a gift to a student or as a first car. The base Beetle 1.8T comes in around the $22,500 mark with the TDI starting its pricing at $25,500. At the top of the line, the R-Line starts at a still reasonable $26,000 which is great for all the added equipment. The convertible models begin around $26,000 and a loaded R-Line will reach up to the low $30,000s for its price.