Split Shifts - 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Split Shifts

April 8, 2013

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

I'm conflicted about driving cars in Sport mode for two reasons. First, holding the shift to a higher RPM and downshifting sooner isn't great for fuel economy. And with premium gas as the fuel of choice in this Beetle, it gets pricey.

The other strike against Sport mode is that it puts me in a different state of mind. With an overeager transmission I feel compelled to thread my way through traffic. And on Los Angeles freeways, that's a lot of work for very little gain. When I'm out in the country on winding roads, I'll just use the paddle shifters.

So, I drive with the shifter in the normal mode which with this six-speed automated-manual DSG unit, is a bit sluggish. I feel the engine bogging down a little just before it reaches for a lower gear. I'd prefer a seamless shift. But then again, with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, there is always power to work with.

Ideally, I'd like to split the shifts somewhere between sport and normal. Admittedly, it's a small gripe against an otherwise enjoyable powertrain.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 16,680 miles


  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "With an overeager transmission I feel compelled to thread my way through traffic. " Really? Are you driving the car or is the car driving you?

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Sport mode holds the gear longer and isn't good for fuel economy? If that's a problem, don't turn it on...

  • huybui huybui Posts:

    I drove in D mode when I was commuting, S mode at the track. It worked well enough. Not perfect though. D mode wasn't as smooth as an auto, S mode did not shift at the right points. That is the problem with VW's DSG. Software programming left it imperfect in either mode. I hated manual mode because it will upshift for you at redline, paddles too small, and +/- on the knob itself is not oriented naturally. I tried to get DSG tune and it was only available for 08 and older at the time.

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