Feature

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

What the critics say about the $18,995 new Beetle.

AutoWeek
This total redesign of the original “people’s car” is a “vast improvement” over the version that debuted in 1998. Longer, lower, and roomier, it imparts a more upscale impression inside and out. Ride quality is not quite “up to Volkswagen’s usual high standards,” but this Beetle does “hang on well in corners.” If performance can be upgraded to match the Golf’s, VW may have something here.

The Washington Post
The previous Beetle was maligned for its feminine appeal, but this one is “very much a car of the times—enjoyably unisex.” Whether you choose the base 170-hp engine or the 200-hp turbo-equipped model, this economical little subcompact is fun to drive. We prefer the turbo version, with its better-handling multi-link rear suspension. But every iteration is finally now “more car than curio.”

Automobile
Both inside and out, the design actually “hews more closely to the original” Beetle. Backseat passengers will find head and knee space duly limited, but the fore cabin is comfortable and includes a “pleasing mix of materials and textures.” Bypass the “underwhelming” base-model engine if you can: The 2.0-liter turbo more easily “scoots the 3,089-pound coupe to autobahn speeds.”

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