2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Get The DSG?

June 29, 2012


For our departed VW Jetta TDI, I wrote that I'd pick the DSG transmission if I were buying that car. This ran counter to a lot of my coworkers, who found the DSG behavior to be annoying. The main issues were: 1) Sluggish throttle response in Drive from a stop; 2) The alternative, Sport mode, was arguably too sporty for normal use; 3) Engine braking during braking at low speeds (15 mph) that made it difficult to come to a stop smoothly. But for me, I didn't find those quirks to be all that bad, especially given the Jetta's commuter car/family car mission.

Yet I also know if I were to buy a GTI, I'd get the manual transmission. So where does that leave the Beetle Turbo?

Our Beetle Turbo lies somewhere in the middle of those two cars. Well, it's closer to the GTI given its engine and suspension tuning. But it's also not as sporty or as fun as the GTI, as James wrote. It's more of a style/image car than the GTI.

The DSG quirks are still present in our Beetle. I often find myself switching between Drive, Sport and manual mode simply because I can't find a mode that just works. It can be annoying. But DSG is still nice to have for congested traffic, and it does give you more control and quicker responses than a regular automatic. Hmm. Tough call, but I think I'd go with the manual transmission for a Beetle Turbo.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle in VA is:

$140 per month*
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