April 10, 2013
Magrath was in the process of figuring out the logistics of getting the original tires put back on our long-term Porsche 911. It was a little more complicated than usual since the wheels and tires wouldn't fit in the car. In a flash of brilliance, we decided to swap the tires ourselves in our shop and take care of the Beetle's tires at the same time. Its time with us is drawing near and we needed to return it in original spec.
March 29, 2013
I wanted to replace the winter wreath on my front door with a new bright spring one. It's artificial so it has a fighting chance.
But as usual when I go to Armstrong, I get captivated by all the pretty flowers. I ended up coming home with a hanging basket and three pots of spectacular blooms.
Now, if you're a long-time reader of our long-term updates, you know that I don't have any luck with green things and probably shouldn't be anywhere near them. But it's been three days so far and I'm happy to report all the pretty flowers are still alive.
March 20, 2013
I've never trusted those shallow dashboard storage bins. Even despite the tacky rubber liners, I feel I'll wind up wearing whatever I put in there. But Apple fans will be pleased to know that the new iPad Mini fits in there snugly. How appropriate that the famously elegant Apple is on the same wavelength as the newly redesigned Beetle.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,950 miles
February 20, 2013
I've spent a fair amount of time with our long-term 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo. I drove it for about two weeks in June of last year and then another extended duration this month. This seat time has allowed me to come up with what I think are our car's top five qualities.
December 19, 2012
In the trunk of our VW Beetle, the fabric has a label that reads "Volkswagen CarGo Protection System." So, I lifted this "system" to see what was underneath.
Under the fabric is another piece of fabric without a label. This one was attached to a hard cover. When I lifted that, I found the spare tire.
OK. It's basically a piece of carpet protecting a piece of carpet.
So, I looked it up on VW's website and discovered it is an accessory that includes a heavy-duty trunk liner with cargo organizer blocks. But I don't see any organizer blocks in our trunk. Perhaps someone removed them? Without the blocks, it's really just a giant floor mat for the trunk.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 12,300 miles
December 07, 2012
After five days in the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle I've gotten to know it pretty well. Basically, I love the way it drives.
Here are a few specific pets and pet peeves to share.
Here's what I like:
- The looks, at least in black.
- The throaty baritone exhaust note.
- The look of the interior, except that the shiny black surfaces are dust magnets.
- The handling, though the suspension might be too firm for some.
- The fuel efficiency. I got about 33 mpg on the open road.
- Voice recognition dialing.
Here's what I don't like:
- The price: $28,265 is too much for this car. Maybe a four door GTI instead.
- Having to fill up with 91 octane.
- Poor rear visibility.
- Limited cargo space.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 11,893 miles
December 02, 2012
This isn't big news but the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle isn't a good golf car. It's like VW didn't even try. The clubs can't be fit in sideways or even diagonally, the way they go into a lot of cars. Instead, you have to flip down the seats and put them in the long way, which is a hassle.
Obviously, they made the Beetle for a target audience and that audience didn't include golfers. But now that they masculinized the design, you think they would have made it more golf clubs friendly.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Consumer Advice Editor @ 11,177 miles
October 26, 2012
I received a secret mission from Oldham while I was up at Willow Springs raceway attending Danny McKeever's Fast Lane driving school. But in order to carry it out I needed to trade my now-dusty 2012 Subaru Impreza Sport for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo that Caroline had driven up.
"Fine, no problem," I said. And then I remembered something that had the potential to throw a wrench in the works: I'd brought my mountain bike with me in the back of the Impeza. I would need to fit it into the Beetle in order to drive it home and carry out Scott's master plan.
There was serious reason for doubt. The hatch area is narrow on account of the Beetle styling and ours has the Fender audio system that makes it narrower still. And the rear seats don't have much legroom, which is another way of saying the front seatbacks are kind of close to the back of the car.
As you can see I got it in there, but only after removing the front wheel. The passenger seat needed to be pushed forward a couple inches with the seatback leaned forward, too, so this only works with one person aboard.
Thing is, my bike is far from current. It's a 19-inch hardtail Rockhopper with 26-inch wheels and short-travel Judy forks. I'm not convinced a road bike or a modern full suspension mountain bike with the 21-inch frame I should be riding would fit.
Josh? Mike? Bueller?
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 6,766 miles
July 23, 2012
Our Beetle comes with a rather stern-looking strap that can be used to keep items securely placed in its shallow door bin. It's broad and black and clearly means business.
Each Edmunds long-term test car gets a logbook that allows us to record and monitor fuel economy, and the strap keeps the Beetle's logbook firmly in its place. The strap is also tight enough to keep wider items -- like a water bottle -- held in a close embrace.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 3,803 miles
July 16, 2012
I bought a lamp this weekend that came in a bulky cube-shaped box. With the dramatic slope of the Beetle's back window, the box wouldn't fit into the 15.4 cubic feet of rear cargo area and still allow me to close the hatch. So I lowered the rear seats which brings the cargo volume up to 29.9 cu. ft.
As you can see in the photo, the seats do not fold anywhere near flat. Even so, I was able to push the box further into the cargo area and the privacy cover held the box in place.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 3,515 miles
July 05, 2012
I enjoy driving our long-term Beetle. Highlights for me include the heritage-based exterior styling, the quick acceleration from the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, the distinctive interior design and the expansive amount of customization available. It's a cheerful small car.
However, as I'm a parent with two young children, it probably won't come as a surprise to hear me say that our long-term Beetle doesn't really fit my lifestyle.
By this I mean on a theoretical daily use and practicality standpoint. Mostly, it comes down to the hassle of dealing with kid shuttling duty (lugging my one-year-old in and out of his rear-facing safety seat was particularly not fun) and the Beetle's petite luggage area.
For me, I'd end up getting a four-door GTI or a GLI if I were buying off a VW lot. I'd lose a lot of personality, but that's the trade-off. Still, I think it's cool VW decided to keep going with the (new) Beetle, as it puts most of the Golf and Jetta's appealing qualities into a much more stylish package for those who want it.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @3,210 miles
June 18, 2012
I was signed out for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 this weekend, but come Friday an urgent message went out saying that the person driving the Beetle needed something with more than four seats. I happily volunteered to swap as I so rarely need more than two (three if Maggie goes on an adventure).
Per Murphy's Law, however, I was called upon to drive five people to dinner Saturday night. D'oh! Wife's Mazda 3 in from the bullpen I guess, but with three dudes on board (At 6-foot-3, I was shortest), it was just a wee bit tight. The old 2.3 wasn't exactly at its punchiest either. A 470-hp Jeep would've been useful.
Come Sunday we were bound for Target and Petco. I went with the Beetle this time, and as the above photo shows, the trunk required a good bit of Tetrising to make almost everything fit. A pair of pillows and two picture frames still needed to the ride the pine. A 5,000-pound Jeep would've been more useful, but not necessary. At the same time, the Beetle's far more useful than alternative/cute hatchbacks like the Mini and Fiat 500.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor