2012 VW Beetle - Which? first drive

Uploaded by WhichWebsite on 22.07.2011

Seventy three years after this the Volkswagen Beetle was first launched. The latest version
of one of the world's most iconic cars is here. And we're at the launch in Berlin. To
drive it. Beetle will be priced from around fifteen thousand pounds. when it goes on sale
in the UK in 2012. It's longer, lower, and wider than before.
And crucially, Volkswagen says it will also be sportier to drive. so, are they right?
Well they are if you opt for this version.This is the flagship 197 Horsepower, 2 liter turbo.
It's the fastest Beetle available, and it's basically got the same drive train as the
gold G T I. Which isn't a bad start in life.
That engine's got enough power to propel the Beetle to 62 mph in 7 1/2 seconds and on to
top speed of 139 mph. That's slightly down on the gulf but still pretty quick. You can
have this engine with a six-speed manual gearbox. car we're driving today has got Volkswagen's
excellent D S G semi automatic transmission.
And it really is the best of both worlds. You can put it in automatic mode or around
town, and then when you hit the open road, you can put it into sport mode, for near instant
shifts, or can you change gears manually using the lever, but the car doesn't have pedals
behind the wheel like the Golf does.
The Beetle's interior has some nice retro touches like an upwards open glove box that
will be familiar to owners of the earliest cars. Plus the option of body colored plastic
trim on the dashboard. build quality seems to be up there with the best in class. But
there's no flower vase this time. V W wanted to make the car more masculine so it's replaced
it with a set of optional interior space has improved over the second-generation 1998 Beetle.
There's still not a lot of room here in the back. I'm 5-foot-8 and my head's almost touching
the roof lining. and there's not much space for my legs either, although to be fair, it's
no more cramped than a Mini. There are three trim levels available, Beetle, Design, and
Sport. all cars get air conditioning and a DAB radio standard.
Design adds alloy wheels and blue tooth, while the range-topping sport models get climate
control and parking sensors. In terms of how it tackles corners, the Beetle's got plenty
of grip thanks to its wide tires and on these sport models, the X D S electronic differential
that's only found in the Golf G T I. That said, for all its sporting pretensions, The
Beetle actually feels better when you slow down a bit and just take it easy.
The steering doesn't have a huge amount of feedback, but it's really refined. And although
the ride's quite firm, it's still quite comfortable. Of course you don't have to opt for this range
topping sports model which is likely to cost around twenty-five thousand pounds when it
comes to the UK next next year.
There are plenty of more sensible engines too, including one point two, and one point
four petrols, plus one point six and two liter diesels, that will follow liter in 2012. The
1.6 diesel features Volkwagon's blue motion technologies, and it will be the most efficient
engine in the range, with CO2 emissions of just a hundred and twelve grams per kilometer.
As we film this, the Beetle hasn't been through the Euro N C A P crash test yet, but all the
cars have stability control is standard. And the car that it's based on, the Golf, scores
a full five stars. The Beetle doesn't outshine the Golf in any particular area, but most buyers won't care,
because they're buying this car for the styling.
Now you'll either level height these looks. But we think it looks great and with this
squashed elongated roof line and duct tail rear spoiler, it even has hints of Porsche
911 about it. The Beetle's well made, and that Volkswagen badge means it should have
strong residual values too. So if you're willing to accept some compromises in terms of practicality
it should make for a sensible purchase.
We won't have our full verdict on the Beetle until it goes to the Which test lab this year.
So keep an eye on which.co.uk/cars for the full review.