AM Online

Long term test: Volkswagen Beetle Design 2.0 TDI DSG



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The Beetle has come to the end of its time with the AM team and the consensus is that it is a far easier car to live with than its predecessor.

There are still nods to the original ‘people’s car’, but the space on offer in the front, mixed with much better handling and a great gearbox and engine, mean the Beetle can be taken much more seriously nowadays.

There are still niggles with the new Beetle, though.

The suspension is way too hard for British roads and there’s not a huge amount of space in the back for adult passengers, but it’s an improvement on the last model.

It’s not a stand-out sales performer for Volkswagen, but it plays an important part in giving VW a wide breadth of models and ‘personalities’ on offer for customers, with the only gap in the German’s range a small crossover model (this will come in the form of the Taigun late next year).

Other than the Scirocco or perhaps the Up, the Beetle offers the biggest statement about its driver and now there’s more head room and driver legroom, it doesn’t matter if that particular customer happens to be over six foot.

The range is also now being supported by a special edition GSR model, a reinterpreted version of the 1970s GSR.

Even though the vase has disappeared from the dashboard of the standard Beetle, it can still be supplied as a clip-on option.

VW has an understanding and appreciation of its audience for the Beetle and this is reflected in the recent collaboration between the German brand and Apple to create a bespoke app and docking station.

Syncing a smartphone and its functionality to combine with a car’s own entertainment system is now becoming an extremely important feature for customers.
The Beetle will be the first model across the VW group in which the iPhone will become an integrated component. It makes total sense for the car’s target buyers.

Customers seem to be happy with the car as well.

A quick scan of the Beetle owners’ forum doesn’t highlight any major issues with ownership or reliability.

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