When we took the first look at the Beetle Turbo, we expected to meet a fashionable girl that had received an explosive family heritage but wasn't all that sure what to do with it. We were wrong- this is a cheeky one that isn't shy in putting its 200 hp to use.
OK, you won't beat any hot hatch, but you'll get pretty close to the segment's benchmark, the Golf GTI, which is also the donor car for the engine and gearbox.
On paper, the Beetle is around 45 kg (100 lbs) heavier than the GTI, while being 10 hp short on power (compared to the Euro version - the US-spec version of the GTI offers the same 200 hp).
On paper, this can be translated into a 0.6 second delay for the 0 to 62 mph sprint. In the real world, you'll have to be extra careful if you're willing to challenge any hot hatch at the traffic lights, as you have many chances of getting the rear end hazard lights.
However, the Beetle's purpose is not to be raced, but to provide a pleasant dynamic experience in a chique package and this is exactly what it does. In isolation, the vehicle delivers top thrills, with the engine pulling well throughout the rev range and offering a delicious soundtrack as a bonus.
By the time we finished drawing these conclusion, the Beetle looked us in the eyes and invited us to a dance through the bends. The result? the conclusion is the same, but for a totally different reason.
The Beetle has a tendency to let its back end out if you drive it at the limit through the bends, which is pretty nice if you're an enthusiastic driver. So, you think you can play rough little one? OK, let's ditch that ESP and see what you're really made of!
Wait, what? We can't turn on the ESP? How are we supposed to exploit the playful nature of the rear end then?
Fine, we'll remind ourselves once again that the Beetle is not actually a hot hatch and we'll drive it accordingly. But then we end up with a car that wants to slide and can't be driven in a 100 percent safe manner , since the rear steps out, but can't, as the electronic nanny is always present, which is frustrating.
However, if you use her as a pretty girl with some spice hidden in its purse, the Beetle starts making sense. Just don't push it to the limit and you'll discover a car that had very many ways of making you smile.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Is this the new Beetle? It's so cuuute, I really, really have to get one for my birthday. In fact, I don't want to wait until my birthday - I want one now! I love the way it looks, it goes so well with my RayBans and my new driving heels. Yes, I've recently met a fashion designer who told me that he's working on a pair of shoes that will revolutionize the world - the driving high heels. He promised me that I'd receive the first pair when this is ready. I want them in red, just the shade that's on this Beetle.
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →