The Beetle is pulling out all the stops off on the way to convince us, car users, that their vehicles are now much more masculine, and we should wipe the image of lady drivers behind the wheels of their new models, and look out for more men’s faces in the driver’s seats.
The first Beetle has been presented to the world 70 years ago. Since then it went through a few local names like Käfer in Germany or simply ‘Bug across the ocean’. For seven decades this vehicle did not change much, and managed to conserve its iconic, probably the most recognisable shape in the motoring world. Today’s Beetle is bigger, beefier and sportier-looking, with its epochal shape minus… built-in flower vase.
The 2015 Bug is still instantly recognizable, but its iconic shape breaks free of the geometry of the previous model taking a little sexier and more assertive appearance. A rear spoiler that’s standard on the R-Line, and optional on other models injects additional sporty feel and a nice visual break from the rest of the Beetles. There is also slightly extended bonnet and sharply swept-back windscreen, all built on longer wheelbase.
Today’s Beetle is bigger, beefier and sportier-looking, with its epochal shape minus… built-in flower vase.
However, despite its individuality the Volkswagen DNA has been cleverly preserved with the round headlights, flared wings, signature bonnet’s curvy shape and wheel arches, which are now capable of housing up to 19-inch wheels.
The SEL trim level, which we were testing, was up to three weeks ago the highest trim level for this model. The Bug is now also available in VW’s hallmark ‘sport outfit’ – the R-Line. The SEL comes with 19-inch alloy “Tornado” wheels; a keyless locking and starting system, and a brand new navigation system hooked up to the 6.5-inch touchscreen. The infotainment is where this car has surprised us too. It features a DVD player, voice control, SD card slot, and a 30 GB hard drive to store all favourite multimedia files for those longer trips and everyday commuting. Watch the video below for a further glimpse at the Beetle’s Juice
There is, of course, a mobile device interface with adapter cable and Bluetooth connection for wireless phone operation and music streaming. The premium Fender sound system provides impressive sound quality for all sources and even weak radio stations sound really good.
The VW designers did an amazing job. The new Beetle gets plenty of inspiration from the original flower-power model, but it still includes the same features, controls and construction as other modern siblings. This translates to a pretty classy passenger environment. The trim that runs across the dash and doors can be also colour-keyed on request to match the exterior just as in old 1970’s Beetle cars.
Despite its seemingly low roof line, the Beetle still provides plenty of room for even tall drivers and passengers and most people will find the front seats very comfortable. Modern interior ergonomics almost bring to mind driver-oriented coupe experience while offering a distinct feeling of space with longer roof section. The rear also has a lot of headroom, however the legroom might feel fairly tight, but we have an impression that is it still a little more comfortable than in most rivals.
The new model is an improvement from its predecessor in terms of power and its delivery too. With a powerful, new 2-litre TSI (turbo stratified injection for you and me) engine, the Beetle’s longer hood hides all 210 horses able to pull this vehicle with 280Nm of torque. It might not seem that much at first, but we must admit, we were never wishing for more power coming out of the accelerator pedal. It pulls when its asked to, and thanks to the 227km/h maximum speed it does not have any trouble keeping up with the “big boys” on the E11’s fast lane with an impressive composure.
If you are after something different, with lot of soul and classic DNA, but still packed with modern technology then the Bug is something what you should consider for sure.
The driving delivers a pleasant feeling as well with smaller potholes and road imperfections being swallowed with ease by the Bug’s suspension. There might be a slight noise coming through to the cabin in the city, but meaty Fender speakers masked it very well indeed with our favourite tunes on the radio. The steering might be little too soft for some, but we found it very comfortable and liked the fact we do not need much muscle while manoeuvring on the car park.
If you are after something different, with lot of soul and classic DNA, but still packed with modern technology then the Bug is something what you should consider for sure. If you want to be original on the road you can also go for funky sounding new shades like Denim Blue, Saturn Yellow (pictured) and Tornado Red. The starting price for the Beetle in the UAE is AED 103,709. We currently have loads for sale here on Auto Trader, take a look through and find your perfect one.