Feeds
85%
Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle car review

Retro done right

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Sonic vroom

It’s a very willing and tuneful motor though and makes up in brio what it lacks in outright grunt. Economy is reasonable but no more. VW reckons the Beetle should average 47.9mpg but I only just managed to make it over the 40mpg mark in a week of motoring that seldom took me into urban areas. Carbon dioxide emissions are nothing out of the ordinary either – 137g/km isn’t bad but nor is it going to win any awards. This rating drops the Beetle into band E for car tax or £120 a year in old money.

Volkswagen Beetle

Looks are closer to 1938 than 1999 model

Bolted to the engine is the latest version of VW/Audi’s highly regarded DSG or Direct Shift Gearbox, now with 7 speeds. It’s a clever transmission with two dry clutches, two input and output shafts and more electronics than you can shake a stick at. Other than a desire to hold onto the short first gear a bit too long on getaway and too many ratios – you really don’t need more than six – it’s a very nice box and does what you want when you want almost all of the time.

There are no flappy paddles to override the automatic cog swapping but you can stick it in manual or Tiptronic mode and nudge the gear selector back and forth to change up and down, which is a pleasingly rewarding way to drive.

Volkswagen Beetle

Alloys are made to look like steel

The cabin design has a lot in common with the minimalist VW Up due to the abundant use of colour-coded metal and plastic. Borrowing from a cheaper model is a risk but it’s paid off. The Up is one of the most pleasant cars I’ve sat in recently – the eight grand price tag notwithstanding – so I have no complaints about encountering a similar design ethos in the Beetle.

Considering the shape of the rear metalwork, it’s a surprisingly spacious car. Yes, the headroom is at a bit of a premium when sat in the back but I managed to get all 5’10” of me behind a 5’7” driver without any excessive contortion or discomfort. The boot’s not a bad size either.

Volkswagen Beetle

Parking sensors - a must-have option

I’ve heard more than one motoring hack opine that the Beetle’s ride is too firm but that’s stuff and nonsense. In my opinion, VW has struck a near ideal compromise between handling and comfort, with even pretty vast potholes not causing too much of a disturbance. In all circumstance, the Beetle handles very well and can be hustled down twisty roads with gay abandon.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.