2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Make Mine a Manual
September 4, 2012
After a long weekend of driving our Beetle around town and on the freeway, it's clear that there a lot of things to like about it. It feels solid, capable and practical without losing its sense of fun. It handles well, and the turbo gives it a nice pop. It cools off nicely on hot days. Its hatch is big enough for everyday hauling. It makes the boys look twice, which is a nice perk.
What I miss is a manual transmission. I know that we've got the DSG automated manual transmission and those tinier-than-a-bee's-wing paddle shifters. But in my mind, it's not a proper Beetle without a real manual transmission and a clutch pedal.
If I were buying this car, I'd go for the 2.0T Turbo model with the six-speed manual transmission. The sunroof/sound package is nice -- I'd keep that. I'd give serious consideration to the Plantinum Gray Metal color you see above. But honestly, the black lends the Beetle even more machismo to the redesign. "It's a Stink Bug," a friend said this weekend. She's right, and so black remains my first choice.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @5,101 miles