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2012 Volkswagen Beetle First Drive Page 2

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Styling

Volkswagen has gone for a much more masculine look this time ‘round. The automaker has made no secret of its desire to attract more male buyers for the Beetle. While 64 percent of sales of the previous generation New Beetle were made to women, with this third-generation car Volkswagen would like to see this figure drop to just 41 percent.

While that target may seem ambitious, we’re sure more male buyers will be attracted to the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. Importantly, another statistic the automaker is keen to change is the global sales mix. For the previous car, a staggering 72 percent were sold in North America alone but with this new car, Volkswagen will be promoting it strongly in Europe as well as Asia.

Styling of the car draws in more inspiration from the original Beetle, much more so than the previous car. The roofline has been made flatter, not only giving the 2012 Beetle a sharper look but increasing head and shoulder room, especially in the back. The car is also longer and wider than the one it replaces, and sits much lower.

There’s also a flatter hood and a steeper windscreen, this latter feature allowing designers to install a conventionally sized dashboard rather than the sea of plastic that stretched to the window on the outgoing model. On most of the models the dash will match the exterior body color, though Beetle Turbo customers can opt for a carbon fiber look. Another touch alluding to the original Beetle is a handy second glovebox which is opened neatly with your thumb and index finger.

There’s also an available keyless entry system and engine starter button, which means drivers won’t even have to take their keys out of their pocket or handbag. In addition to this, a cool ambient lighting package and panoramic sunroof that opens some 11 inches adds some stylish touches.

Beetle Turbo models get a second gauge cluster mounted in the center of the dash that displays the all-important oil pressure, boost and chronograph timer, and when selecting the six-speed dual clutch DSG owners also get paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

On the outside, there’s a fixed rear spoiler (standard on Beetle Turbo), sporty side sills and an array of wheel sizes ranging from 17- all the way up to 19-inches. Xenon headlights are available and include the cool LED daytime running lights you see in many of the press images.

Storage space in the trunk is a decent 15.4 cubic feet and when you fold the rear seats down, which is new to the Beetle range, this increases to 29.9 cubic feet.

Pricing for the Beetle Turbo will start at $24,165, including destination, and will run close to $29,000 with most of the options boxes ticked. Standard features here will include 18-inch alloy wheels, a sporty bodykit with a rear spoiler and fog-lights, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and alloy pedals.

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Comments (3)
  1. New overall appearance reminds me of the post war Porsche 356. This one has a useful trunk and a good rear suspension, esp for the Turbo. I love the new style and expect other fellows will, too.
     
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  2. So why couldn't they inject any style into the new Jetta and Passat? Like...any, if they can do this.
     
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  3. Great review. I'd really like to see how the Beetle Turbo compares with the GTI. I always thought the design of the Golf which the GTI is based on was a little dull. The Beetle interests me A LOT more.
     
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