2014 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback - Rating Details


B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-Speed Manual) Driven On 10/18/2013 Ratings Summary The 2014 VW Beetle GSR is an homage to the 1973 Beetle with the same name. Short for "Gelb Schwarzer Renner" or "Yellow Black Racer," the GSR is only available in that showy paint scheme. The good news is it's identical to the Beetle R-Line (both mechanically and in price) that's offered in more conventional colors.
B
Performance The Beetle GSR's combination of 210 hp from the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and confident handling make it surprisingly fun to drive. Exciting enough, in fact, to consider the Beetle alongside other performance hatchbacks.
Acceleration
B
There's a hint of initial turbo lag, but once underway it's a non-issue. We reached 60 mph in a quick 6.5 seconds. Power delivery is linear and the 6-speed manual's gear ratios make perfect use of it.
Braking
B
Stopping from 60 mph took 118 feet, which is few feet shorter than the segment average. The pedal is moderately firm, and panic stops were straight, composed and consistent.
Steering
B
Steering response and precision are good with proper weighting and feedback through the wheel.
Handling
B
Enough confidence to toss it into corners with aggression and know how it will react. ESC can't be disabled, which limits handling numbers. Near that limit, the car tracks beautifully through turns.
Driveability
B
The GSR is as adept at carving corners as it is commuting or running errands. The car's small footprint makes it especially maneuverable in tight confines.
B
Comfort Despite its sportier intentions, the Beetle GSR doesn't sacrifice comfort for performance. Long distance cruising doesn't cause any noticeable fatigue on driver or passengers in regard to ride comfort or road noise.
Seating Comfort
B
Large side bolsters hold you in place well through corners, but taller drivers may find thigh support a bit lacking. Cushioning is on the firm side, but the well-shaped seats don't create any hard points.
Ride Comfort
B
Though the suspension is slightly stiff, it's still not harsh. Ride quality can jostle passengers over repeated bumps, but not to disagreeable levels. A good balance between sport and comfort.
Quietness
B
On coarse surfaces, road noise con be intrusive. Otherwise, the cabin remains pleasantly quiet with little or no wind noise to speak of at highway speeds.
B
Interior Extensive glass and a high roofline make the Beetle feel spacious up front, less so in the rear seat. The hatchback design and folding rear seats improve practicality. Controls are easy to learn.
Ergonomics
B
Controls are placed logically and within easy reach. The media interface is a combination of touchscreen and hard buttons and is acceptably quick to respond to commands.
Ingress/Egress
B
Large doors make entry extremely easy. But the doors are heavy and can't open fully in tight parking lot situations. The front seat bolsters do require some maneuvering to get around.
Space/Room
B
The bubble-shaped roofline creates a spacious cabin feel. Plenty of headroom up front, though adults will brush elbows. Rear seats are comfortable but head- and legroom are minimal.
Visibility
C
Excellent forward visibility but large rear headrests and rear roof pillars obscure the view back considerably. This forces reliance on the standard rearview camera.
Cargo/Storage
B
The small center armrest and elastic front door pockets are only somewhat useful. A cavernous bin below the center stack is nice for small items. Hatchback versatility is a plus.
B
Value At $30,815, the Beetle GSR is the same price as the identically equipped Beetle R-Line. So the GSR's questionable cosmetic upgrades, inside and out, are essentially free. Two years of free maintenance sweetens the deal.
Build Quality (vs. $)
B
Build quality is solid and on par with other cars at this price. There are some hard plastics, but they are mostly for style purposes and not placed at usual contact points.
Features(vs. $)
C
The GSR is essentially a fully loaded Beetle. For the money, you'll get about the same features as other sporty hatchbacks. The only notable option is an automated manual transmission for $1,100.
Cost
B
Performance and personalitly are the selling points for the GSR and in this regard, the GSR delivers.
MPG
C
The EPA estimates 26 mpg Combined (23 City/31 Hwy) which is typical for sport-minded hatchbacks. We attained an impressive 31.1 mpg on our evaluation loop and 24 mpg overall.
Warranty
B
VW's 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties are identical to segment rivals. As with other manufacturers, optional extended warranties are offered.
Ownership
A
Two years/24,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance comes standard on the 2014 Beetle GSR. Competitors offer this at additional cost.
B
Fun To Drive Despite its lighthearted styling, the Beetle GSR is a willing and eager plaything. It's just as much fun to drive spiritedly as the segment-defining VW GTI, and for good reason as they share much of their mechanicals.
Driving Experience
B
There's a lot to like in the way the GSR drives. From mundane errand runner to canyon carver, these turbocharged Beetles have a wide range of appeal with little sacrifice.
Personality
C
As the heritage name suggests, the GSR is only available in the brash yellow and black paint scheme. Definitely an acquired taste. Some may consider it an eyesore.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback in VA is:

$129 per month*
* Explanation
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