Reviewers report that the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle offers sorely disappointing performance—especially in the engine department.
A 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder is the only engine available on the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle. It's rated at 150 horsepower and works through either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Car and Driver says "the VW returns an 8.8-second huff to 60 mph," not an impressive figure but light-years beyond the performance of the original Beetle. ConsumerGuide reports that the "slow-revving 5-cylinder engine needs full throttle for best takeoffs."
Transmission options include a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Edmunds indicates that regardless of whether the vehicle is equipped with the manual or six-speed automatic, "acceleration is merely adequate." Some reviewers like the automatic because the extra speed makes a noticeable difference in the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle. However, Cars.com observes, "The manual gearbox operates easily, and the clutch is light." Edmunds reports that "fuel economy is similarly lackluster for a compact." Gas mileage is good news for fans of the automatic Volkswagen; 2009's New Beetle gets 20/29 mpg with the automatic transmission in the coupe, and 20/28 mpg with the manual transmission in the coupe and the automatic in the convertible.
Hot handling isn't the 2009 New Beetle's mission on the planet, but it rides well. Cars.com points out that "the car also delivers a superior ride; the suspension absorbs plenty of road imperfections," and "steering feel and feedback are excellent." Edmunds says, "It isn't a spirited experience, but excels at what it was built for—cruising and being seen cruising in," and "the suspension is on the soft side of sporty." Car and Driver reports "this is not a corner bomber." Torque steer is an unanticipated issue, they warn, "when you poke the gas hard."