GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beetle Love-Redux

2.5 L 2014 Beetle
If I'm feeling alone in the world I just remind myself how many other VW Beetle lovers are out there.  We love Beetles.  I was even crazy enough to buy a 1962  to restore. But the new cars have the engine in the front and they are changed in so many other ways--like they have working heaters--and as far as I am concerned they are wonderful in a different--OK, better--way than previous incarnations.  I just drove the 2014 VW Beetle TDI diesel.  My love for the car is pulsating once again.  And here's a fact you might not know: in 2014, the Beetle celebrates 65 years in America.

It's tricky to quantify how many Beetles have been produced, but VW's latest figure as of a few years ago is 21.5 million worldwide and 4.8 million in the U.S.  It's the most successful single car design ever, having overtaken the Ford Model T in 1972.  With the 2011 all-new Beetle,Volkswagen has done a revitalization that taps into the Beetle's classic design cues.  In that way, it's different from the 1997 reintroduction New Beetle, which had more of a cartoonish quality to it--the defining lines in that car were all based on the circle.  While this Beetle has tapped into the retro feeling of the car, it is in no way a retro car. The balance needed to create a new car with nods to the past is very, very hard to achieve.  Previous attempts--vehicles like the PT Cruiser, the Chevrolet HHR and others haven't turned out very well.  But this Beetle is, to my eyes, great.

Our 2014 2-door hatchback Beetle was powered by an inline 4-clylinder TDI clean diesel engine that produced 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque (and remember, it's the torque that counts).  It was paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.  VW uses electronic power steering that now has more feel to it than earlier incarnations.  It had a good on center feel to it and combined with the responsive engine, the car simply sails off the line.  It was just a blast to drive.

The Dune
It has a power sliding roof--I don't usually like the moonroof but this was an exception.  The navigation and Fender audio were a pleasure to use.  And the new VW comes with some features that I increasingly think belong in a car--at least in the northeast, like heatable seats and side mirrors.  No indication that the steering wheel is heatable, and that is another feature I would look for in a vehicle I'd buy.

The styling and roominess of the interior is surprising as we tend to think of Beetles as midgets--but the new models and especially the newest model provides plenty of space even for the long of leg and arm. I found the seats solid and comfortable.

VW has a maintenance program that provide scheduled, approved maintenance free for two years.  The Vehicle limited warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles and the power train limited warranty is 5 years/60 miles.  VW provides roadside assistance packages included for 3 years/36,000 miles.

Fuel economy is 29 city/39 highway/32 combined.  We did a lot of highway driving and got around 37 during the test drive.  The Beetle we drove cost $29,415 including destination and I think that's a good price for this fun, roomy, functional car.  If you want it in orange, get the Dune.


  1. I agree. The styling of this iteration is more mature than that of the bubble beetle.

  2. I like the new Beetle as well. Looks like they took some design inspiration from the 1960's Porsche at the tail.