Reviews

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Walk Around


Few cars look as distinctive as the Beetle, marketed in its current form since 2012. At that time, a roofline that suggests the old Porsche 356 edged aside the previous (1998-2011) generation’s taller, rounded roof.

Cleanly simple body lines have helped the Beetle age surprisingly well. Styling touches include flat wheel arches and subtle fender flares. SEL models get Circle alloy wheels that appear to hold chrome hubcaps.

When its power-folding fabric top is up, the convertible is comparatively quiet. At up to 31 mph, the convertible’s roof can be raised in 11 seconds and lowered in 9.5 seconds. A detachable wind guard may be installed above the back seats.

Interior

Both Beetle body styles are spacious and comfortable for as many as four occupants, though a pair of adults in back might not be thrilled. Supportive front seats promise ample head, hip, and leg room.

Even in the better-bolstered R-Line, seats are satisfying for long journeys. Seat-adjustment controls are easy to access.

Retro-themed interiors, though practical and simple, exude a rather low-budget aura. In some models, the upright dashboard features bold colors. Though attractive, making use of modern digital systems, the dashboard contains sizable hard plastic surfaces.

The styling of the Beetle does not result in the most space-efficient design. The low roofline can impede head space, while a tight back seat isn’t so easy to climb into. Rear seats are narrower than those up front, and considerably shorter. With front seats normally positioned, rear leg space nearly disappears.

Long doors can be a hindrance in perpendicular parking spots. Cargo space is limited in convertibles, but trunk volume in the hatchback coupe totals an expansive 15.4 cubic feet.

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