More aggressive styling; more practical and spacious interior; sporty turbo performance; plenty of in-cabin entertainment options
Volkswagen went way back to the drawing board with its reimagining of the 2012 Beetle. The new Beetle--which is not to be called a "New Beetle"--draws its inspiration from the original car of 1938, but with a lower, flatter roofline. This gives the car a more aggressive stance. Overall dimensions have grown, which translates to more interior room for passengers. Those passengers get a combination of retro simplicity in the gauge layout, elegance in the quality of cabin materials and high-tech in the available gizmos and gadgets.
The Beetle comes in two basic trims--the base 2.5L and the Turbo. The base model utilizes a 170-hp, 2.5L 5-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a standard 5-speed manual. The Turbo delivers 200 hp from a 2.0L direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual. On 2.5 models, a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport mode is optional, while on the Turbo buyers can opt for a 6-speed direct-shift (DSG) automatic. The dual-clutch unit offers drivers both fully automatic or semi-manual control.
The Beetle shares its underpinnings with the new Jetta, which include front struts and a rear twist-beam axle. Steering-feel will feel very familiar to those who have driven previous New Beetles, though the driving experience has changed significantly, thanks to the revised A-pillar angle and accordingly the abbreviated dashboard. The effect is to bring the driver closer to the action.
Base trims come nicely equipped with cruise control, keyless entry, 3-color ambient lighting, 6-way adjustable and heated front seats and a 50/50 split folding rear seat. On the technology front, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a media device interface with iPod cable are also standard.
Base models can be equipped with a powered panoramic sunroof and a Fender premium sound system and navigation.
Turbo models add a rear spoiler, painted 4-wheel disc brakes with red calipers behind special 18-inch Twister alloy wheels, variable electromechanical power steering, front MacPherson struts and a Cross Differential System, which helps prevent inside wheelspin when cornering. Inside, accents such as brushed aluminum-look pedal covers, sport seats, the 8-speaker sound system of the base car, cloth seating and special interior trim pieces.
Safety comes standard as well in all 2012 Beetles, with anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags and combined curtain and side front seat airbags.
The popular Volkswagen Beetle is completely redesigned for 2012. Most noticeable is the exterior restyle, which incorporates a lower, flatter roofline and more steeply raked windshield. The look is more reminiscent of the very first Beetle of 1938. The car is four inches wider and six inches longer than its predecessor. Also different is the name: the "New" has been dropped from this Beetle's moniker. Inside is a wealth of metal-look plastic and chrome, and the dashboard is much narrower than before, which means an increase in interior cabin space. The charming bud vase is no longer present.
The Beetle is offered with either a 2.5L 5-cylinder engine, which is rated at 170 hp, or 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 200 hp. The 2.5L model offers 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, while the Turbo delivers 21 and 30 mpg, respectively. Pricing starts at $19,795.
With a new, more aggressive design, more spacious interior, plus a pair of tried and true powerplants, the 2012 Volkswagen offers a fresh new alternative for buyers shopping around for a cool compact. Against the likes of the MINI Cooper and Fiat 500, the Beetle holds its own, with a base price just under the MINI, and more practical usability than that of the diminutive FIAT's.
Vehicle Price: 19,765.00
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