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Volkswagen Beetle car review

Retro done right

Spatial awareness

My test car was a Design model that will set you back £18,900 but if you are happy to ditch the DSG gearbox, the designed-to-look-like-steel Orbit alloy wheels and metallic paint, you can get something very similar for £15,765 including satnav and parking sensors.

Volkswagen Beetle

Wider and lower than 1999 Beetle

If you are wondering why I suggested coughing up for the parking sensors it’s because though visibility is very good you have little if any idea exactly where the car ends at either the front or the back so parking in either direction is a bit of an adventure.

The one option my test car came with that really is worth having is the Fender-branded sound system. Stuff me but it’s good, thanks to a 400W, 10-channel amp and a huge subwoofer that sits over the driver-side wheel arch in the boot. By some margin, it’s the best audio system I’ve encountered in a mass market car.

Verdict

I still can’t imagine old man Porsche approving of the new Beetle but I suspect his disapproval would be tinged with a wry smile, rather than the outright scowl I suspect the previous model incurred. Of course, it’s no people’s car – that is the Up’s job in the VW model range – but it is a fine combination of style, practicality, performance, value and fun. As such, it goes into the Good column of retro car design alongside to the Fiat 500. ®

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Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle car review

At last, a worthy reincarnation of the original people’s car.
Price: From £15,195 OTR. As tested £18,900 RRP