DSG Or Manual, Reconsidered - 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: DSG Or Manual, Reconsidered

February 28, 2013

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Back in June of last year I wrote a post about whether I'd pick the six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automated manual (VW's "DSG") if I were buying a Beetle. In the end, I concluded I'd get the manual.

Having spent more time with our 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo recently, I can tell you that the DSG's quirks (laggardly responses from a stop and uneven engine braking when slowing) are still there and are still annoying. Actually, they get on my nerves the more I drive. So, still thumbs up for the manual, right?

Well, sort of.

I'd personally still get the manual. But for someone buying a Beetle, I'd be OK with him or her getting the DSG. There's a catch, though. The workaround solution, I've discovered, is using the manual gear-selecting paddle shifters. All the time.

Using the manual shifters eliminates the sluggish throttle response and awkward engine braking. And in a way, using the paddle shifters is the perfect match for the semi-sportiness of the car. It gives you more control (there are still great rev-matched downshifts here), and it's sportier and more fun using the shifters. And unlike a regular manual, you don't have to worry about a clutch pedal or actually knowing how to drive stick.

Now, it's a fair argument to say that you shouldn't have to implement a "workaround" just so you can drive your car without being annoyed. But utilizing the shifters all the time, it's kind of a best-of-both-worlds approach.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,023 miles

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