Long since its inception in 1934, the Volkswagen Beetle has been offering its consumers with value and practicality in a compact package. For 2011, the VW Bug has once again been jam packed with amenities and performance in an attempt to make this “People’s car” your car for the upcoming model year.
The VW Beetle or “New Beetle” as it called today, received a much needed face lift to its interior components as well as its drive train in 1998. Now 13 years later, the Beetle once again goes under the knife in attempt to appeal to a new generation while still offering exceptional value with the performance and quality of German engineering we have come to love.
For those in the market to buy a 2011 Beetle in early 2011 you may want to wait a little while longer. Changes that will take place in late 2011 truly coincide with the old saying good things happen to those who wait. The next generation Beetle will attempt to take on a whole new look with a more masculine driven persona. Gone are the flowers in the cup holders and the feminine styling cues. In their place, the New Bug will feature a lower profile roof line, a wider stance and a more chiseled look. While details are limited on the 2011/2012 model, the car will have a choice of engines ranging from a 1.2L 4cylinder which produces 105hp to a 2.5L 5 cylinder diesel which puts out comparable power.
If you are not the patient type, there are plenty of deals for the true 2011 model. Prior to the change over however, the current Beetle can only be purchased with a 5 cylinder 2.5L which puts out 150 horsepower. While one might prefer the 2.0L turbocharged motor previously offered, the 2.5L puts out plenty of passing power and offers a spirited and enjoyable ride. In addition, the vehicle offers two choices of transmissions, either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic. While it is 100% preference, one find’s themselves feeling disconnected with the manual transmission and a bit joyless. Typically a manual setup offers a more direct feel of driving which can be fun, but with the beetle it seemed like a better decision to let the computer do the shifting for us with the use of the automatic and tiptronic. In terms of options, the consumer still has the ability to pick either a coupe or cabriolet model, interior color, and slew of accessories ranging from a 6 disk cd changer to luggage racks.
Overall, the vehicle remains unchanged from recent years but if you have never step foot inside a beetle you will be pleasantly surprised with the feel of its ergonomic seats and the overall amount of room inside the cabin. Both driver and passenger have an immense amount of leg room and the back seat can fit two adults comfortably. Some things to take note of are the side bolsters on the driver and passenger seats. For larger adults these side bolsters proved to be bothersome on long drives and at times they seemed out of place. Also In terms of fuel efficiency the beetle turned out an EPA estimated 20 city and 28 highway. While high in respect to many automobiles on the market, the numbers appear to be slightly low when compared to other vehicles such as the Toyota corolla which brought in 28 city and 34 highway with its comparable 1.8L 4cy. Trunk space also proved to be an issue if traveling heavy or with others. We found ourselves desperately searching out room in the small cube Volkswagen considered a trunk and desperately hoped there was more room.
As a total package the 2011 Volkswagen Beetle is a solid buy for those looking for a compact car. If you use this vehicle for what it is and not as a primary vehicle many of the concerns posed here should not become an issue, and as stated earlier there are many rebates and offers being implemented in an attempt to make room for the next generation model. At the end of the day it would be wise to wait and see what the next generation Beetle brings to the table, however If that is not an option, get the one you want before it’s too late, they won’t be around for too much longer.