2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Not Underpowered
April 4, 2013
Back in the day, I owned three V-dubs: '65 and '70 bugs and a '68 microbus. I liked them all except for one thing. With an air-cooled, 50-horsepower engine in my '65 bug, it was the ultimate "couldn't get out of its own way" car. I had to drive it with my foot on the floor. And even that wasn't enough. To make matters worse, I lived in Denver at the time where the thin air robbed the engine of oxygen.
But our 2012 Volkswagen Turbo Beetle makes 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. It responds to throttle inputs with a chuckle that one editor referred to as a "throaty baritone." This is my chance to rewrite history, to get the styling of the VW of old, without that painfully slow engine. After owning three vintage VWs driving this new one feels like a rocket.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 16,661 miles