Still With Personality
By GREG TIBBETTS on
Vehicle2005 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
ReviewIMy initial attraction is the clean J.Mays / Freeman styling, but excellent interior materials and ergonomics make the Beetle better than similarly priced cars. This car has many detail improvements over the similar 2002 New Beetle. Its 6-speed auto transmission is a huge improvement over the old 4-speed design and even 5-speed manual that refused to accept a quick shift. It has excellent brakes and safety aids, both passive and active. Its handling is not particularly responsive, but safe and predictable. This car is able to cruise at high speeds with less wind noise than than in the past because of the 6-speed gearing. It turns approximately 3,000 RPM at 78 MPH. The leatherette looks like real leaather and is more luxurious than cloth. Plus car is style-proof.
Best FeaturesThe looks, ease of ingress/egress, quality of interior, 6-speed auto transmission, ergonomics, good brakes, and getting great tire mileage on Michelins.
Worst FeaturesIt is susceptible to sidewinds. The engine is an old fashioned design and rather industrial in character. Its fuel consumption is higher than its competition's. It needs more power and torque, this has been addressed with the 2006 model. The base GL model in my 2005 has no standard center armrest.
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