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Long term test: Volkswagen Beetle



2.0-litre TDI
RV 3yr/30k
Start mileage
9.4 secs
Current mileage
Key rivals


Volkswagen knew that pure nostalgia was not going to be enough to sustain interest in the Beetle and the latest model has a lot more substance than the 1998 version.

Step inside the Beetle and while there are nods to the past (the glovebox is a distinctive flashback to the original model), it’s less of a throwback than the previous model and falls in line with VW’s other products.

This might be a bit of a disappointment to some buyers because the Beetle’s interior might not have enough standout quirkiness in comparison to its main rival, the Mini Cooper S, or funkier models like the Fiat 500 and Citroën DS3.

Customers can always specify solid hub caps, like AM’s long-termer, if they want to make their Beetle stand out further.

Practicality has been thoroughly put to the test and the Beetle managed it with the seats folding down, boosting rear space from 310 litres to 905 litres.

The 2.0-litre 138bhp diesel offers plenty of power and VW’s DSG automatic gearbox shifts up and down through the gears effortlessly; anticipating what can sometimes be some erratic throttle inputs trying to avoid cyclists on city roads.

The persistent cold weather has meant some frosty mornings on the commute to work and the Beetle’s punchy potential for 236lb/ft of torque at 1,750rpm has sent the wheels spinning pretty wildly under fairly light acceleration.

The rear suspension also seems to be squeaking a bit, so a visit to local dealer Robinsons (previously Cooks) could be in order.

Now the big Q1 is out of the way VW is supporting dealers with finance offers on the Beetle between now and June 30.

Customers that buy on finance will qualify for a £249 service plan which covers servicing for three years or 30,000 miles.

The deal is similar to Mini’s TLC package which is now priced from £275.

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