2012 Volkswagen Beetle Long Term Road Test


2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Voice Commands Only

March 8, 2013

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

As Scott said recently, Bluetooth pairing is a piece of cake in our long-term 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.

One thing Scott didn't mention, though, is that in our version of the car (which has the RCD 510, Premium 8 radio, without navigation), you have to handle all phone call operations via voice commands. That's assuming you're not looking down at your smartphone, which you shouldn't do if you're driving. The voice-command control shown in the picture above is on the left side of the multi-function steering wheel.

I found the system to be less than intuitive to use, and a lot less user-friendly than being able to see and select contacts displayed on Volkswagen's very nice touchscreen.

Was there really no way to display any information from my phone?

The Beetle's manuals were not particularly helpful on answering this question. They are catch-all books for multiple configurations, and you have to figure out which scenario applies to your car. VW's online assistance wasn't much better. Most of the information was based on the assumption that the car was equipped with the RNS-315 radio/nav system.

On the other hand, a big shout out to Jovan at Volkswagen customer service. He listened to my questions and went off to research the issue, just to make sure I wasn't missing some magical submenu. He called me back to report that with this radio option, voice commands are indeed the only thing you get to drive your phone from the car.

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

If I were buying a Beetle, I'd spring for the nav system, which gets you the hard phone-button setup shown here. The screen will display phonebook entries and other useful stuff. For me, touch is way easier than voice commands for calling.

Some DIY-oriented buyers of the 2012 Turbo Beetle apparently have retrofitted their cars with the system.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 15,302 miles

Comments

  • The most recent version of the RDC-510 (the radio in your car) has a phone button. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7266/7060421381_c475300f9e.jpg

Leave a Comment

Research Models

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$140 per month*
* Explanation
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411