Once aloft a time, Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle awash primarily on its low sticker price, backbone acceptability and affluence of maintenance. VW’s new Bug, however, sells on awakening appearance and a advantageous atom of nostalgia.
The Bug afore us today is the additional bearing “New Beetle” aboriginal adored in Europe as a 1998 archetypal based on VW’s Golf and A3 platform Japanese car dealer Dubai. It was afresh redesigned for 2012, administration its basic with the MK5 Golf and Jetta.
Redesigning awakening is consistently tricky. This explains why the aboriginal Bug about afflicted over the years and why the added retro-flashbacks like the PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR angry into one-hit wonders. If you don’t change enough, shoppers won’t see a acumen to barter Herbie in for a new time capsule. Change it too abundant and you’re larboard with a caricature. Either way you allotment it, awakening comes at a cost.
The aboriginal “New Beetle” rocked cutesy-bubbly acceptable looks, headlamps that screamed for aftermarket eye-lashes, appendage lamps that begged to be flower-powered and a bud boutonniere congenital into the dash. VW’s additional yield on the retro-bug is advisedly added masculine, or so I’m told. The archetypal fender bulges and retro-inspired auto are still here, but this bug is longer, wider, and lower than anytime before. Making this contour semi-circular like the endure gen archetypal would accept been catchy back it’s about bisected a bottom longer, so they didn’t even try. Instead the engineers bound a coil area the windshield meets the roof for a added acceptable roofline up front. The changes accomplish Herbie attending like a bug that’s been stepped on hardly or continued in the boilerplate — yield your pick.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Exterior-006
The 2015 archetypal is still instantly credible as a Bug, but I anticipate I in fact absence the “cutsey” new bug’s all-embracing style. The new foreground bonanza seems abnormally out-of-place as it exaggerates the foreground overhang and the brittle creases don’t accord with the egg-shaped lamps and aerated fenders. The architecture addled me as a paradox: It is as bourgeois as we apprehend from Volkswagen, but hardly antagonistic with the blow of their artefact line. For a architect accepted for elegant, aseptic and caked styling, the Beetle strikes me as about cartoonish. Almost. VW offers a fix, however: the Beetle drop-top. By removing the lid, the Beetle loses the “squashed” attending and somehow assets rear allowance as well.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Interior-007
The autogenous borrows locations from the accumulated bin and wraps them in awakening styling. We get affluence of corrective artificial trim and two cuff boxes as a nod to the past Toyota car dealer. If you’ve afresh taken VW’s new Golf out for a spin, you should apperceive that this Beetle is accompanying to the 2015 Jetta, not the 2015 Golf and Audi A3. This agency you acquisition affluence of harder plastics inside, and the berth doesn’t accept the “discount Audi” feel you acquisition in VW’s hot hatch. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. The Golf has an almighty nice autogenous for its abject amount tag and the Beetle is alone chic average. Of course, the Beetle is aswell an odd artefact to allocate as its alone absolute awakening antagonism comes from the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.
Even on our loaded 1.8T tester ($27,805), VW absitively not to borrow the Jetta’s ability seats or automatic altitude control. Although I begin the foreground seats adequate for my physique shape, the ambit of motion is bound compared to added compacts. The Bug’s rear seats accept become a tad added ample in this generation, but should still be advised “emergency” seats due to bound leg room. Allowance is bound in the rear, but acceptable for association beneath 6-feet tall. Compared to the centralized competition, you’ll acquisition about 4-inches added rear legroom in the 3-door Golf and about 8 inches added in the Jetta sedan. If that surprises you, afresh you may aswell be afraid to apprehend that the Fiat 500 in fact gives you added rear legroom than the VW, although burden allowance is actually added limited.
Once aloft a time, you couldn’t get covering in your Beetle and we’ve appear abounding amphitheater to your best of bolt or V-Tex leatherette — VW-speak for pleather. Of course, the Beetle is all about awakening administration and that’s a lot of credible in the Archetypal trim, which is able-bodied equipped, arrangement priced, and comes adipose in checky bolt and amber pleather.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Infotainment
No, our tester didn’t appear with a CB radio, but there is something awakening about VW’s adept infotainment systems. Abject models get an AM/FM radio, individual CD player, Bluetooth and VW’s MDI interface for iDevice/USB integration. In an odd twist, the new Beetle Archetypal trim and the top-end trim get VW’s touchscreen aeronautics arch assemblage while the boilerplate two models do not.
The 5-inch touchscreen is aggregate with the Jetta and, at this point, is far from a bounce chicken. Compared to the latest offerings from the competition, VW’s nav arrangement is slow, beneath polished, beneath automatic and the awning is small. Although the 2015 Golf uses a newer system, the one you absolutely charge to delay for is the 2016 “MIB II” arrangement with its beyond awning and thoroughly avant-garde software amalgamation — but it is accepted to affection on added VW models afore the Beetle. On the ablaze side, the alternative 9-speaker Fender audio arrangement is absolutely groovy.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8L Turbo Engine-001
I never absolutely absent the odd-ball 2.5L five-cylinder VW acclimated to put beneath the Beetle’s hood, but there is no abstinent the new 1.8L turbo is a huge improvement. Aswell begin beneath the awning of the Golf, Jetta and Passat, the 1.8L engine cranks out a admirable 170 application and 184 lb-ft. Making the 1.8T even added attractive, all 184 lb-ft appear at just 1,500 RPM. Archetypal models appear alone with an Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic transaxle while added trims alpha with a five-speed manual. Opting for the slushbox will accord you the best gasoline ammunition abridgement at an EPA rated 25 MPG city-limits and 33 highway.
Also aggregate with the Jetta is the Beetle’s active 2.0L turbo diesel, acceptable for 160 application and 238 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s a little slower than the 1.8L gasoline turbo, dispatch is aided by a accepted six-speed chiral and an alternative six-speed dual-clutch automatic chiral (DSG) transmission.
If neither of those drivetrains float your boat, you can still get the Beetle R-Line with the endure bearing GTI’s 2.0L turbo engine with 210 application and 207 lb-ft of twist. All those ponies are baffled to the foreground auto via the aforementioned six-speed DSG as the TDI archetypal or a hardly tweaked six-speed manual.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Backup Camera
Out on the road, the differences amid the Jetta, Golf and Beetle are readily apparent. The Beetle is noisier, added cautiously sprung and hardly slower than the all-new Golf hatchback. Comparisons to the added carefully accompanying Jetta are afresh a little added adapted than with the Golf. When apprenticed hard, the Beetle exhibits anticipated dynamics with affluence of physique cycle and beef from the tires. At just beneath 3,000 pounds, the Beetle isn’t a abundant car for the 21st century, but neither is it ever light. A analogously able Jetta is a hair lighter admitting getting best and the new VW Golf weighs about 100 lbs less. To put that in perspective, the Fiat 500, which could be apparent as the alone absolute adversary in this amount bracket, is about 500 pounds lighter. (The Fiat is, of course, abundant smaller.) Handling improves on the top-end 1.8T archetypal acknowledgment to added 235/45R18 tires all the way around, but you’ll charge to footfall up to the R-Line afore abeyance changes abode the bendable springs our tester wore.
Acceleration in the 1.8T archetypal is accomplished for any car in the $20-26K ambit with 60 accident in 7.5 seconds, conspicuously faster than the old 2.5L five-cylinder model. Although I ambition VW had commutual this engine to their six-speed manual, the abject 5 acceleration is able-bodied akin to the engine. Shifter feel is excellent, shifter biking is abstinent and the clamp pedal had a beeline assurance we’ve appear to apprehend from the Germans. The turbo engine’s low-end torque makes acropolis aggressive a breeze and if you get the chiral there’s beneath accessory alive than a commensurable naturally-aspirated engine. Council feel is boilerplate for the bunched articulation with abstinent council effort.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle Instrument Cluster
The 2.0L R-Line archetypal I sampled briefly from a bounded banker seemed underpowered compared to the avant-garde crop of direct-injection 2.0L turbos on the market, but it is conspicuously faster than the Fiat 500 Abarth. Additionally, the six-speed DSG is a activating accomplice on your admired ambagious road. The downside to the R-Line is that it isn’t the aforementioned engine you get in the accepted GTI. The new GTI 2.0L turbo has appreciably added torque, a bit added application and it all comes to the abscess a little eventually than the old engine. That agency the R-Line is not the Beetle-GTI amalgam you may be acquisitive for. It’s aswell a little asperous about the edges acknowledgment to beneath complete analgesic actual in the Beetle.
After a anniversary with the Beetle, which happened to be anon afterwards my circuit in a 2015 GTI and 2015 e-Golf, there’s just no way to amoroso covering it: The Jetta and Golf are bigger options unless you amount appearance over practicality, ability and performance. The Beetle is actually added car for your dollar afresh you’ll acquisition at the Fiat dealer, with added baggage allowance and a snazzier stereo. The botheration is the new Golf is sitting appropriate next to the Beetle on the lot. The Golf is added efficient, roomier, has a bigger trunk, handles better, it’s hardly faster and has a abundant added exceptional interior. For about the aforementioned price.
Now there is a aberration here, and that is the VW Beetle Convertible. At $25,595, the Beetle convertible is bigger searching than the harder top beetle and it’s one of the best drop-top deals in the USA. VW aswell offers a 2.0L R-Line convertible and a agent convertible with a six-speed manual. If you’re advertent a Beetle and wish style, there’s annihilation amiss with the auto — go appropriate ahead. If you’re on the fence, yield my admonition and either get the Golf or bead a few added bills and get the Beetle convertible.