Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Now for 2012, the Beetle is back, completely redesigned, and while it's still very much a niche car,it's one that's quite enjoyable to drive.
You might chuckle, but it takes only a passing glance to see that designers have tamped down the Beetle's feel-good, cute-and-cuddly side, instead focusing back to the original air-cooled Beetles and then bringing out the brawnier side of the Bug.
Volkswagen has rolled out what's probably the Beetle's manliest personality from the start—that's the Beetle Turbo model, with the 147kW/280Nm, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.In this Beetle, the chassis can cope with that power. The steering is more precise and, because of the wider track, there is an impressive amount of grip. But don't go thinking you'll be getting a cute Golf GTI - the Beetle doesn't have quite the precision of the Golf. It's just not as crisp.
The 2012 Beetle starts at just $18,995 in the US — that's with the base five-cylinder engine, and we haven't yet driven this likely less-charming variant — but the test Beetle Turbo carried a bottom-line price of US$29,685.
And it did include navigation, a large panoramic sunroof, full leather, heated front seats, alloy pedals, Bluetooth, and the Fender sound system.
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety: 5-star Euro NCAP
Engine: 2-litre, 4-cyl petrol turbo, 147kW/280Nm
Body: 3-door hatch
Transmission: 6-speed DSG, front drive
Thirst: 7.7L/100km, 95 RON, CO2 179g/km
- BMW 120i Coupe
- Citroen DS3 DSport
- Mini Cooper S