By KBB.com Editors
The 2009 Volkswagen 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 results in 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 friend of the tall and very tall. Unfortunately, the roof design also creates some massive blind spots around the windshield pillars. Once plentiful engine choices have dwindled to a single source: a 150-horsepower 2.5-liter gasoline engine.
The most significant aspect of the 2009 Volkswagen 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.
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 instrument panel configuration takes some getting used to as it spans the considerable distance between the windshield and the driver and front-seat passenger.
The New Beetle is reduced to one, well equipped trim level. New features for 2009 include heated seats and washer nozzles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a leather handbrake cover.
Driving Impressions Because it's based on the previous-generation Golf platform, the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle exhibits most of the same ride and handling attributes of the old Golf hatchback. The 2.5-liter engine...delivers acceptable acceleration and good fuel economy, but is not as much fun to drive as the old turbocharged models that once populated the lineup. On the road the Beetle offers an extremely smooth ride and handles well under normal driving conditions. Push it a little harder and its relatively soft suspension and 16-inch all-season tires begin to show their limitations. If you desire better handling, your VW dealer can upgrade the car to optional 17-inch alloy wheels and stiffer springs designed by VW, which will make it more responsive.
Blue Instrument Lighting
Cornflower blue lighting in the instrument cluster is easy on the eyes both night and day.
Because the driver's and passenger seat sit in the very center of the car, the arching roofline and height-adjustable seats create phenomenal headroom, suiting even the tallest occupants.
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 2009 Volkswagen 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 2009 Volkswagen 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, heated front seats, heated washer nozzles, front side-impact airbags, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and an auxiliary input jack, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power locks, 16-inch alloy wheels and remote hatch release.
There are only three options this year: a power sunroof, a six-disc CD changer and the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
The 2.5-liter 20-valve five-cylinder provides the kind of low-end torque needed to move the New Beetle with some authority. Though not as quiet or vibration free as similar-size engines from Honda and Toyota, the 2.5 is nevertheless a good match to the New Beetle's size and weight.
2.5-liter in-line 5
150 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (manual), 20/29 (automatic)
By EAS10 (FL) on Sunday, May 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to Drive"
Cons: "Unsafe, Cosmetic Flaws"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This was my first car in high school, and my parents have major buyers remorse! I am now a junior in college and it is falling to pieces. Going to college in Florida, this car is so much fun and I almost always have the top down. That being said, I don't think it is worth all the cosmetic trouble that the car has put me through. -The air vents "spit" foam out at me -The leather side panels all fell off -The door handles keep breaking off the door. (I have had to epoxy them many times) -The paint is peeling off -The lining of the roof keeps falling into the already small line of vision out the back window. On top of all these fixes, VW's are really expensive to have serviced/cosmetic work done to them. The battery has to be removed to replace the driver side headlight. That is frustrating because I know how change any other car's lights, but not my own. I have to take it to a car shop for silly repairs like that. Like all bugs, the engine in really packed in there! So if you're looking for a car that you can tinker with on your own, I would look at other options! One time I was driving and my breaks failed. Apparently a casing around one of the break tubes burst. When it arrived in the shop, the mechanic told me he had never seen this happen to another car before. I do not feel safe in my car at all. Driving on the highway can get a bit scary. If any kind of car hit me, chances are I would get hurt. It makes me nervous to drive anyone else in my car. I do love the manual transmission I have and love the fun factor. I love getting a tan while driving and seeing kids play "punch buggie" when I zoom by. With that in mind, of you're interested in this as a first car for your teenage daughter, I would say try a different direction. I know that my parents regret putting me in this vehicle!"
By chris (OR) on Saturday, May 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "small, fast, cute"
Cons: "costly repairs, no trunk space, rides low so grind"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Fun to drive! Decent gas mileage; not great! But when it comes time for repairs break out your wallet! Just had new motor mounts and tranny mount to the sum of a grand. Just had a new clutch this week, put in, for $980. Any little thing that goes wrong is super costly to fix due to German engineering and genuine German parts. Even an oil change is $40 and up as it requires special oil so do not plan on being able to get the $19.99 jiffy special!Super cute and easy to drive, though but other than for vanity reasons I wouldn't recommend buying one due tot he costs. I bought this one a yr ago from a dealership and have put in over $4000 just to keep her running!"
By J.J. (CA) on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,209overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Peppy Base Engine, Fun to Drive"
Cons: "Sketchy Automatic Transmissions"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've owned my 2001 new beetle for about three months. Its a great little car. Its really fun to drive and gets decent gas mileage. Though not a sports car, steering is responsive and precise. I especially love the long list of standard features. Performance is surprisely well even with the base 2.0 liter engine. It rarely feels underpowered. I recommend buying a stick though as the automatic transmission on these cars has a lot of problems. Beware of VW's 01M 4 Speed Automatic Transmission and 09G 6 Speed Tiptronic Automatic Transmission! On 1998-2005 models, the 01M valve body can self destruct which is a cost of $900-$1500 to replace. In rare cases, the 01M can totally fail needing a whole new transmission or rebuild which is a cost of $5000-$8000. On 2005-2010 models, the 09G usually self destructs at 70,000-110,000 miles which needs a whole new transmission or rebuild with a cost of $5000-$8000. If you don't like driving stick and you really want an automatic transmission be sure to look for problems in upshifting and downshifting especially 3rd gear into 4th gear. Pay attention to way the transmission behaves. The only thing to ignore is a slight delay in the transmission engaging when shifting into drive. This is a normal feature of the transmission and is there to warm up the automatic transmission fluid faster. Explained to me by a VW Master Technician. You could play it safer by buying a model with the 01M transmission. However, I strongly recommend just playing it the safest and buying a stick."
By Sucker (FL) on Sunday, May 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cute Girly car"
Cons: "TOO MANY TO LIST! SAVE YOUR CASH BUY ANYTHING ELSE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Plastic Oil Dipstick crumbled into the block the first week I had it. The following week, the drivers side window power motor burned out! The next month there was a bad battery caused by a short in the fuse box. The next week, the passenger side rear window motor burned out and then the convertible top motor burned up! Now, it turns out that the "Impeller" Propeller on the water pump is also plastic and it broke off in the cooling system, clogged the thermostat and the engine overheated very quickly and blew the engine! DO NOT BUY THIS PIECE OF POOR GERMAN ENGINEERING!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By bEE (CA) on Friday, May 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive and cute!"
Cons: "plastic, expensive parts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have owned this car for almost 10 years. It's a 2000 vw beetle and had 70,000 when I origninally purchased this car, used. I have previously owned 2 other VW's (golf and cabrilet-'86). In so many words-- its a lemon! It literally is in the shop every month!! Parts are incredibly expensive and good luck attempting to find a mechanic that is willing to work on these cars! Not to mention my father is a mechanic and HATES working on this car. The engine leaves no room what-so-ever to work on or access anything. NOt to mention my tail lights and head lights are constantly having to be replaced, FYI you have to removed the battery and practically half the engine just to replace a head light! (i'm exaggerating the half of the engine part!). This was my dream car since I was a little girl, it has been nothing but a nightmare. I figured it was just the car I purchased but fellow VW owners have similar complaints and random quirks with these cars. This car is not reliable and every time I attempt to drive out of town more than 300 miles, it ALWAYS breaks down. It was fun while it lasted. I wish I had four doors, practically anyone over the height of 5'6 has issues getting into the back seat. As someone who is driving a lot for my job, i live out of my car, This car does not make my life any easier!! Every item in this car is plastic, odd placement of cup holders, falls apart or chips away. I've experienced weird electrical issues, plastic tubes and valves breaking in the engine, it has been a nightmare!! You have been warned!!"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Mi on Thursday, April 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cute, holds up, lots of head room."
Cons: "not alot of room in trunk."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Got on here and can't believe what people say about this car.. I think some people just don't care for the car of course he has a few promblems but they're a easy fix. I infact bought mine when he was wrecked and had him fix..Not to mention the car needs synthetic oil, so no cheap oil will do which is why I think alot of people's bugs don't last over 75xxx miles. Also it's a bug not a truck or suv, so the car is more fragile."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful