2015 Volkswagen Beetle Review: Cuteness Curbed

2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

Overview: Despite tracing its lineage to a beloved counterculture icon of another era, the contemporary Volkswagen Beetle has almost nothing in common with its revered ancestor besides its rounded contours. Resemblance to 1998’s front-drive revival version has also been diminished, thanks to the most recent makeover, which chopped the Bug’s top and added rake to the windshield, diluting the cuteness quotient. Like the original, and the revival, the latest Beetle is offered in coupe and convertible body styles. The current car also offers three transmission choices—five- and six-speed manuals and VW’s excellent dual-clutch automatic—and three engine options: a 170-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged four (which replaced the base 2.5-liter five-cylinder last year); a 210-hp 2.0-liter turbo four; and a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel with 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Much of the underlying platform and some of the powertrains are shared with the departed, sixth-generation VW Golf lineup. One original Beetle attribute that carries forward is snug interiors. There’s room in the rear for two, but only with considerable cooperation of those up front. Diesel Bugs tend toward pricey by compact-car standards, but that model delivers fuel economy that’s top-notch for a nonhybrid. READ MORE ››

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