The Beetle is a meeting of cultures and times.
I’ve felt uneasy about the look of our car with its solid plate hub caps that make it look uncomfortably and incongruously like the original 1930s model and yet hugely impressed by the experience of driving and living with the car (not least due to the additional space over the previous model and the fantastic DSG auto engine).
And, more to the point, a visitor from the 1930s would be blown away by the technology on offer, which is even a step change from that in the previous Beetle.
Add it’s new ‘sporty’ body design, heritage – if that means anything to its young target audience – to iPod connectivity, touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation and Bluetooth means the Beetle is a highly competent car that will appeal to customers looking to be at the leading edge of motoring.
With its primary competitors being the Fiat 500 and Mini, that additional space is going to be attractive.
And, for customers looking for something out of the ordinary, Volkswagen has partnered with US guitar maker Fender to produce a limited run special edition.
This model is available with the 2.0 138bhp TDI engine in both six-speed manual and DSG versions. It is equipped with the Fender Premium audio system and bespoke interior design cues such as a “sunburst” dash panel – to match the classic wood stain of a Fender guitar – and unique Cheyenne upholstery.
The marketing blurb even namechecks Spinal Tap which will resonate with musos.
The newest Beetle is finding fans. In 2012, VW sold 2,730 Beetle Coupés. In 2010, the last full year of the previous incarnation Beetle, it sold 1,240 hatches and 1,208 cabriolets.
Last year the Design trim was the most popular with 75% of sales and the 1.2 103bhp TSI DSG was the most popular engine, accounting for 39%.
However, with the full engine range being available for the full year in 2013, VW expects the 1.2 103bhp TSI manual to become the most popular.
Currently there is a £1,000 deposit contribution for customers who buy a Beetle on Solutions finance.