By KBB.com Editors
The New Beetle remains a popular choice among those seeking a less conventional mode of transportation. Touting a shape based on the original Beetle (popularly known as the "Bug"), the New Beetle's easily recognizable shape creates what must be the most lop-sided interior dimensions of any car in its class. While the sloping hatch creates a nearly unusable rear seat, the arching dome roof provides an unbeatable 38-inches of front headroom, making the New Beetle the new friend of the tall and very tall. Unfortunately, the roof design also creates some massive blind spots around the windshield pillars. Strict new emission standards force the removal of the fuel-miserly TDI diesel option for 2007, leaving the new 150-horsepower 2.5-liter as the sole engine choice.
The most significant aspect of the New Beetle is its familiar and friendly shape but, as a bonus, it is actually quite comfortable as a daily driver as well. Even taller drivers will appreciate the quantity of front-seat headroom. The convertible model alleviates the limited supply of rear-seat headroom, but only with the top down.
If you need on occasion to carry four adult passengers, the New Beetle's rear seats offer very little headroom and the cargo area is tiny. The long instrument panel takes some getting used to as it places the windshield at a considerable distance from the driver and front-seat passenger.
New colors and a Special Edition trim (late arrival) mark the big changes for 2007.
Driving Impressions Because it's based on the Golf platform, the New Beetle exhibits most of the same ride and handling attributes of its sister car. The 2.5-liter engine delivers strong acceleration and...good fuel economy, a noticeable improvement over the previous 2.0-liter engine, but is not as much fun to drive as the old turbocharged models.
Blue Instrument Lighting
Cornflower blue lighting in the instrument cluster is easy on the eyes both night and day.
The convertible model's optional power soft-top locks into place with a single turn of the center-mounted latching mechanism.
In order to create the New Beetle's shape, the windshield and dashboard have been partially extended over the engine compartment, creating a tremendously deep dash and a large blind spot where the front pillar meets the side mirror. The New Beetle's seats are some of the most comfortable we've experienced, with excellent back, side and thigh support for both driver and passenger. The trademark domed exterior shape provides ample front-seat headroom, but somewhat less for rear-seat passengers.Exterior
The New Beetle mimics what is probably the best-known automotive shape in the world, the original Beetle. Considering the price, the New Beetle is remarkably detailed and offers excellent crash-test results and projected accident-repair costs.
The New Beetle includes a 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stabilization program, air conditioning, rear defroster, illuminated remote keyless entry, key-operated open/close feature for power windows and optional sunroof, dual heated power mirrors with built-in turn signals, front side-impact airbags, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, power locks, 16-inch alloy wheels and remote hatch release.
VW has bundled its most popular items into two packages. Package #1 includes heated front seats, a premium sound system and a power glass moonroof (convertible models get a semi-automatic power top and a wind screen). Package #2 includes Package #1 plus fog lights, a garage door opener, automatic day/night mirror, perforated leather seating and rain-sensing wipers. Stand-alone items include a trunk-mounted six-disc CD changer, iPod connector and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
The new 2.5-liter 20-valve five-cylinder is a vast improvement over the old eight-valve 2.0-liter engine. Not only does it bring an additional 35 horsepower to the table, it also provides the kind of low-end torque needed to move the New Beetle with some authority.
2.5-liter in-line 5
150 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 (manual), 23/32 (automatic)
By Maytagman on Sunday, October 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Everything about the vehicle except cost keys."
Cons: "Really have no cons."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Am 70 yrs. old and have owned over 20+ different vehicles in my lifetime. This is among the top 5 vehicles I have owned."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By cramyourtoes on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cute, lot's of character, reliable with upkeep"
Cons: "Interior all plastic, headliner rotted"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I've maintained and driven this car since 2001. I'm the second owner and it's been worth every penny to keep it going. I've replaced the water pump, alternator, radiator, complete air conditioning, 4 batteries, 3 sets of tires, brakes, clutch and throw out bearing, catalytic converter, timing belt, replaced falling down headliner and bought some used door panels. All this over a 13 year period. It's still been cheaper than a car payment. What can I say, she's an old girl now. I'm bringing it in tomorrow to have the shifter and cables replaced because it won't go in reverse as of 3 days ago. I wish there wasn't so much plastic because this Florida heat eats plastic."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By george on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice to drive"
Cons: "too many mechanical problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"has many mechanical problems- car has only 57,000 miles on it and has vacuum pump leak, main seal leak, water pump leak. getting fixed for $2,400.00. would not recommend anyone taking on a VW product unless they have very deep pockets"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Scott on Friday, September 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price - solid, reliable and fun!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"good solid driver, vehicle has low mileage - have recently gone thru all fuel and emissions system / tune up. Mechanically sound - minor scratches to right side lower trim piece. Vehicle fun to drive / performance is exemplary - good, reliable / be a good first time vehicle for young adult."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Bug man on Saturday, September 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "50 mpg car still looks new"
Cons: "Could get 60 mpg?"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Aside from 2 or 3 small issues from when car was new that dealer could not take care of, it's been trouble free for 11 years."
13 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By wilber on Sunday, September 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "blast to drive, everyone smiles when they see it."
Cons: "cup holder only holds soda cans"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"with the turbo engine it rocks! and being bright yellow it always seems to bring smiles to anyone who sees it. it has held up awesomely with only a few small problems over the last 13 years. the cup holder is great for soda cans only, the rear hatch is sticky to open sometimes. gas mileage has been very good 25-32mpg. we change the oil every 5k miles with good synthetic and use the dealer when we have issues. the new beetle looks good and if we ever wear this one out we will probably get another one."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful