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STYLING | 7 out of 10
a popular choice among those seeking a less conventional mode of transportation
Kelley Blue Book
a wholly appealing automobile that still draws smiles
a cute alternative to more traditional compacts
Reviewers run hot and cold on the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle's styling, and impressions vary widely. You either love it or are just plain tired of it; there doesn't seem to be much middle ground.
The rounded, insect-like shape that endeared the original Volkswagen Beetle to a generation of Americans is alive and well in the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle, which is available as a two-door hatchback or a two-door convertible. A 2006 redesign cleaned things up a bit, but the essentials remain the same. Cars.com gets it right in saying that "nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle." They add it's "cute and appealing." Kelley Blue Book contends the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle "remains a popular choice among those seeking a less conventional mode of transportation." On the other side of the debate, Edmunds describes the car as "aged." Car and Driver reports the New Beetle has been "garnering adoration and unnerving otherwise confident men since 2003," and points out "its inherent and flamboyant femininity," while noting that even the convertible is "losing its head-turning ability." Edmunds notes "the New Beetle's oh-so-cool veneer has worn thin as it faces strong competition from more modern rivals." There's a change in tone when it comes to the convertible: "the Beetle convertible makes an especially classic and polished statement" with its "retro chic."
Inside the Volkswagen, 2009's New Beetle uses cuteness as a weapon. There's a dash-mounted bud vase, blue lighting, and round, bulbous dash shapes that are friendly in appearance. The dash is wide, deep, and flat, creating an odd separation for the driver. Kelley Blue Book reports that the instrument panel configuration "takes some getting used to as it spans the considerable distance between the windshield and the driver and front-seat passenger."
The styling of the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is what it is—either outdated or timeless, depending on your perspective.