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Volkswagen Beetle Review & Ratings

Volkswagen Beetle Price in India

 

It was the year 2005 and I had just come out of a Planet M store with

a gleam in my eyes. In my hands, I had a brand new CD of Midtown

Madness 2 and I was dying to play it on my Compaq Presario. Quickly

installed the game and and found a yellow car that seemed quite

interesting. Yes, it was the second generation Volkswagen Beetle,

which I drove around merrily on the streets of San Fransisco, albeit

virtually. Times have changed since then and while I don’t possess

that CD of Midtown Madness any more, what I do have is a shiny white

Volkswagen Beetle standing in my parking. This is the third generation

of the cute hatchback and this time I’m driving it on the streets of

Mumbai. Let’s see whether the car really lives up to its hype or not.

 

STYLING AND DESIGN 

The original Beetle had lived more than any other car has and when it

was time to say goodbye, it was replaced by a new, modern version. The

new version, though was contemporary in many aspects, it lacked the

charm and simplicity of the original. It appealed to women instantly

and initially sold decent volumes. However, it got a particular gender

focused and hence male buyers were not too keen on this car. This time

though Volkswagen aims to change that perception by making the Beetle

more muscular and mean looking, thereby adding a masculine undertone

to the car, to make it appeal universally.

 

The styling of the all-new Beetle leans towards the sporty side and is

a luxurious car too, unlike the original Beetle. In fact, at a glance

one might mistake it for a Porsche, from the front. The car is now

chunkier while keeping the basic design elements similar like the

rounded front with oval headlamps, bulging fenders, sloping roof and

the flattish rear. The taillamp is now elongated and the boot has a

large  and prominent spoiler, making it look sportier. The car also

seems to be flatter from the top. The sharper lines and sporty looks

are sure to make it much more appealing to a wider audience.

 

CABIN 

There are some very obvious retro touches, particularly the upright

dashboard finished in the same colour as the exterior. It houses a

tiny novelty old-fashioned glovebox, but the real one sits below it.

You’ll also like the round, hooded instrument cluster and the rather

unique looking door grab handles. Trouble is, that’s about where the

‘retro’ stops, and the rest of the cabin borrows quite obviously from

the VW family parts bin, unlike its rival the Mini Cooper, which has a

largely bespoke cabin. One borrowed part we’re not complaining about

is the new touchscreen, which is VW’s latest unit. It’s crisp, smooth

and uses a high-resolution screen, and though it doesn’t have its own

sat-nav, it does come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which

should let you mirror your phone’s maps app.

 

The new shape has allowed this Beetle to be quite practical. Apart

from a very large boot, you get loads of room in the front and a

sufficient amount in the two rear bucket seats as well; only headroom

is a bit tight. Visibility all round is very good too, and it needs to

be, because the Beetle is deceptively wide. The car comes with a

healthy amount of equipment. Missing in action are electric seats and

a rear-view camera, but you do get front and rear parking sensors,

leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, push-button start and

engine stop-start, among other things, on this sole variant.

 

PERFORMANCE 

Internationally, the New Volkswagen Beetle comes with four engine

options. Of these the one that will make it to India is the 150PS

4-cylinder 1.4-litre TSI engine. This unit comes mated to a 7-speed

DSG transmission. Twist the key and the car comes to life with a sweet

sound. It isn’t the quickest off the line, but felt fairly comfortable

cruising at 140kmph on the autobahn. However, post that it does tend

to take longer to gain speeds and needs a long straight to reach its

top speed. We have always loved the way the 7-speed DSG from VW

performs and in this new Beetle it is no different. Shifts are butter

smooth even when you take matters in your hands with the paddle

shifters.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING 

Ride quality is simply brilliant and we were in for a pleasant

surprise after driving the Beetle. Our highway blasts revealed that

the Beetle felt well-planted and it impressed us with the silent, flat

and absorbent ride. Its only when speeds fell that the car began to

show a slight stiffness over bigger undulations but it always feels

comfortable. What brings an even bigger smile to your face is when you

learn that the Beetle’s ground clearance makes a no-brainer out of

almost every kind of speed breaker. While the steering is mostly

accurate and feels well weighted, we would have appreciated better

feedback as it tends to feel numb around the dead centre. This also

means that it’s not very confidence inspiring for spirited driving

around tight bends

 

SAFETY 

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle comes with the usual safety tech that you

would expect in a car below the price segment that the Beetle is

positioned in. It gets 6 airbags, ABS, Hill Hold and ESP. That’s it.

However, the build quality on the whole is also good and the hatchback

even bagged a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Talking

about after-sales, Volkswagen has a pretty bad reputation in this

regard and people generally don’t have a good perception about the

German automaker’s service standards.

 

BOTTOMKNE 

As a car the new Beetle works really well and except for the so-so

cabin it is hard to fault this VW bug. But when you consider its

ridiculous Rs 28.7 lakh price-tag, this is just not enough and it has

to feel special too. As far as looks go, it certainly looks fantastic

and its iconic bug shape definitely turned heads wherever we went. But

what really disappointed us is the cabin, which in our eyes looks too

generic, especially when you get the Mini Cooper in the picture. It

doesn’t feel half as much fun to drive too. So for the money, you get

a piece of history which feels thoroughly modern but nothing more.

Volkswagen Beetle Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 26,61,798/- (Beetle 1.4 TSI) to  26,61,798/- (Beetle 1.4 TSI) .Volkswagen Beetle has 1 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Volkswagen Beetle comes in 1 colours, namely Night Blue.

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