High-Mounted Controls - 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo: High-Mounted Controls

February 26, 2013

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

High-mounted controls were a Volkswagen staple for a very long time. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Golf and Jetta cousins in particular placed the primary audio and HVAC controls within easy reach high up on the dash.

The Mark IV Golf/Jetta changed all this, putting everything down low. This obviously pulled your eyes away from the road, but it reduced the dash's visual mass and created a more expansive view out front. It's a view I enjoyed for seven years in a Jetta VR6.

Now, VW has raised those controls a little since those early 2000s days, but the new Beetle (lowercase new) brings the brand back to its high-mounted control days. Well, at least the stereo, since the HVAC controls reside a little lower. So although this Beetle's cabin pays some homage to the original Beetle with things like the second glovebox, it really more closely resembles later Volkswagens.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 15,070 miles

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