Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 VW Beetle TurboThe new Beetle makes a pitch for guys, too.
-The new beetle defined retro success when it arrived in 1998, but the stick runs it course after 11 years or so and Volkswagen has come back with something fewer cute curves and [unk]. Let's drive the 2012 VW Beetle Turbo and check the tech. Now, here it is, the new, new beetle. For 2012, they really change things up and lets the entirely flank. They decheckify the car. It's got chunkier angle, more strong sort of edges here and there, some creases that didn't have before. The biggest thing I think you notice is the roof line. Notice how the 8 pillar comes up and now takes a turn. It kinks right here to get more of a flat bar, more of kind of a slammed look, which takes away that big goofy iconic bubble. That's a good thing to reach out to a broader of market of buyers, but to me it kind of starts to leave its whole purpose on earth, which is to be a faithful repro of the original beetle. That will be your [unk]. To me, they are starting to get a little bit far feel. Let's get inside. This is the top head unit as we have a top trimmed beetle, top trim and it's a turbo. This unit got navigation first and foremost, nice rim, doing good dock pitch. The tight faces are good. It could be a little cleaner, but for a car of this price category, not bad. Of course, touchscreen, which I find quite responsive. You've also got this nav here, which depending on what you're doing is gonna be a rotating selector. Soft buttons here on the screen are echoed on hard buttons below them kind of redundant way to real estate but whatever you've got this weird interface that VW does where you kind of spin around the wheels. Sometimes, there's even more choices than on the screen in which case the whole thing rotates and gives me a headache. Now, all these new Beetle come with roughly the same array of input choices for entertainment, AM/FM, but not HD. Satellite is optional. I've got an optical disc slot up here. An Auxiliary jack is right here and what they call the Volkswagen MDI, which is this guy here. You've got a pig tail. In this case, I've got a USB, but I can change without fight, unplug it from the wall of the glow box and put a different pigtail there. You've also got Bluetooth streaming on her, which is a nice touch in addition to Bluetooth calling and all of those go out through 8 speaker standard system or you can get this premium Volkswagen system. That's of the middle tier trim of on these cars or you could get the turbo like this. You can load it up with Fender audio system. We've got these Fender badge speakers over here and this fender audio system has 9 speakers including a subwoofer. Now, because run a turbo, we an optional transmission beyond a manual or standard automatic at the SG. This is the dual clutch gearbox in Volkswagen far lands and your gating is like an automatic. You've PRND and then sport, which is a sport drive or take it over here to you shiftable. On the paddles here, you do have an upshift and a downshift behind the wheel on each side for the different direction of shifting. We'll see how that goes on the road, but first, let's find out what put power into that. Okay now, in these new beetles, you've got a choice of 2 different engines. Oh, hell, that's right. They moved that thing a few years ago. What we're here though is that Fender subwoofer, the big boy. Now, engine is up here. Here it is. Now, this car is a turbo, so we have a different engine than most beetles, which will have a 2.5 liter inline 5, pretty garden variety of VW stuff. This one is a 2 liter, 4-cylinder. They all sit sides saddle, turbo charge, inter cooled. They all drive different wheels no matter what bill you get. 200 horsepower on this one, 207 foot-pounds of torque, gets this roughly 3000-pound new beetle up 60 in about 6.8 seconds while delivering 2130 MPG. If you go without the turbo, the numbers look this. The non-turbo beetle 2.5 liter 5 cylinder gets you 170 horsepower and a 177 foot-pound of torque while getting the car up to 60 in 8 seconds and delivering 1 MPG fuel economy on both counts and as I mentioned, we have to optional DSG, which you can also get a 6-speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox on the turbo. Now, while we're all waiting for the new, new beetle that come available as a new, new beetle convertible, which is isn't available yet. You got to make do with this optional sun roof, which is a big old piece of glass, but the problem is when it's on the move, it doesn't have a big old piece of movement. It leaves basically a toaster slot open at the front while all this stuff still covered by an arcade dirty glass. I don't know why there is such a limited retract on this. This is first I picked up on driving this car is that they've the DSG really well dialed in. These dual clutch gearboxes are still pretty new on the market. There aren't many that are crap anymore. It's very satisfying gearboxes, automatically you want it to be and more engaged when you want it to be that as well like a manual, but as soon as I get in to the power on this car. If I'm going up [unk] it all or anything like that or if I'm gonna turn, I'm getting a lot of wheel span. I'm doing some rear up on the car, so that I'm losing traction on the front tires. This is not a car for some and who's gonna be driving seriously. It's not a sports car. I can feel the turbos definitely making the most of a small engine. You get this real picky of a thing in terms of the power delivery. Again, it's fine for a fun little everyday driver. It's not a car you'd want to use in a lot of, you know, for the demanding driving where you really wanna modulate the power perfectly and have a good time on the road. It's not that kind of powertrain. So, all here I got to tell, after driving this turbo, I'm really intrigued to drive the 2.5 liter 5, which I also think is a good motor that has a different kind of power delivery that I think I prefer. Okay, let's price this 2012 Beetle. First of all, let's get a total base. Without a turbo, without any option packages, $20,000. I bring that up because a lot of folks look at this car to be somehow as thrifty and parsimonious as original beetle. It doesn't really occupy that same category in the market anymore, but that's where it starts. Now, on top of that, the sunroof package is 2500, which gets to sunroof, satellite radio, touchscreen in the center of the dash and [unk] access as well as of course that nice big roof. Sound and nav at 1800 for navigation and fender audio and some bigger wheels. Then, we have the turbo cars. Those are gonna add 3600 to 3900 on top of any of those previous trim levels I mentioned, and that of course gets you to turbo engine a much more interesting independent front suspension, a different wheels. You're also going to get a different front differential for getting power to those wheels and a few other engineering changes. With this turbo model, we have you get a choice of gearboxes either 6-speed manual or a 6-speed direct shift dual clutch like we had for $1100 more.