2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Top Five Qualities
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.
Premium interior design. The Beetle's interior is a cut above what you'll find in most other small cars. But I also like that the controls (the audio and climate, in particular) are all easy to use and logically arranged. This is especially true in comparison to the interior designs of the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.
Distinctive styling. The level of excitement (and interest) from other motorists about our Beetle is fairly low in my opinion. Still, people aren't going to confuse it for anything else on the road.
Useful backseat and trunk. Even though it's a small coupe, the Beetle is still pretty practical. I can fit my kids in the back seat without much trouble, and with the kids seated, the trunk is still roomy enough for holding a fair amount of stuff.
Good highway cruiser. Not that long ago we wrote that our Beetle is fairly noisy on the highway. And we've also noted that its ride quality can be a bit stiff. Yet we've also taken our Beetle on a few road trips (California's central coast and New Mexico), and the drivers seemed pretty pleased with it. It feels solid going down the highway, there are enough interior storage cubbies for your stuff, and the optional Fender sound system is quite good.
Turbocharged power. Compared to the Cooper S and 500 Abarth, the Beetle Turbo's acceleration times are merely average, and fuel economy is worse. Still, the strong low-end torque delivery and a throaty engine note go a long way towards making the Beetle enjoyable to drive.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 14,682 miles