Thursday, October 8, 2015

Boosted Volkswagen Beetle has some bite

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, CaliforniaEleven years ago, I wrote an auto review telling the world that I was able to hold off an aggressive Chevrolet Corvette driver on a curvy portion of Highway 29 north of Calistoga.

Nobody believed me of course, seeing as how I was driving a 2004 New Beetle Convertible GLS 1.8T rated at 150 horsepower.  It actually did happen, though, with me having the advantage of holding the inside line on a very twisty stretch of road, before being blown off by the Corvette when the road straightened out.

I bring that up now because the recently tested 2015 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T coupe is a most worthy successor to that GLS of more than a decade ago.

For those of you of a certain age – and that group includes yours truly – it’s difficult to picture the Beetle as a performance machine.  Too much old-school VW history in your head.  Too many bud vases added up over time.  And if I have to explain the connection between bud vases and VW Beetles, well, you’re too darn young.

Believe me on this part: The tested four-cylinder, turbocharged, 170-horsepower 2015 Beetle coupe was a performer in every sense of the word.  Yes, the Beetle’s relatively light weight helps.  And yes, it’s pretty nimble in the driver’s hands.  But simply said, this Beetle zips along with attitude when asked.

My tester was classic Beetle in appearance, although the 18-inch alloy wheels were sculpted in a thoroughly modern way.  This is not your grandma’s Beetle, with my ride getting a power sunroof,  a premium eight-speaker audio system, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a blind spot monitor/rear traffic alert.

All those goodies contributed to a reading of $27,805 on the sticker’s bottom line.  No question, the Beetle no longer equates to cheap these days.

Even with the aforementioned pop, advertised fuel mileage is pretty fair at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.  Safety features and crash-test ratings are top-drawer, by the way.

Concerned about doing your part for the environment?  Then know that the Beetle 1.8T coupe qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.

Please note that you can get the VW Beetle any number of ways, but frankly, I’m partial to the tested coupe, which is capable of handing out motoring enjoyment through all four seasons, including folks whose seasonal adventures include driving in the snow.

Volkswagen has done an admirable job of turning around the public’s perception of its Beetle.  It went from being a female-oriented runabout to a sporty model with appeal across all genders and age groups.   This is just one more example of why Volkswagen is now selling cars at a pace not exceeded by others, including recent top dog Toyota.

So, yes, check this Beetle out for yourself and, sure, choose a Corvette next time you’re out there spoiling for a challenge.  Just make sure you have a twisty stretch of road to start with … Don’t want to be foolish, after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment