2007 Volkswagen New Beetle

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2007 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2007

New colors and a Special Edition trim (late arrival) mark the big changes for 2007.

Driving the New Beetle
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.

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.

Power Soft-Top
The convertible model's optional power soft-top locks into place with a single turn of the center-mounted latching mechanism.

2007 Volkswagen New Beetle Details
2007 Volkswagen New Beetle photo Interior

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.

2007 Volkswagen New Beetle photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

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