2012 Volkswagen Beetle
Ever wish you owned a Volkswagen? The first, rear-engined Volkswagen Beetle came to the US in 1949, and by the 60’s it’s cute shape had become synonymous with small, reliable, fuel efficient cars.
The “New” Beetle arrived for 1998, and after skipping a year, for 2012 this now front-driving critter gets its first major revamping. But, with this latest infestation the word cute no longer applies as the iconic bug has evolved with a wider, tauter body, taller roofline, and longer hood, all lower to the ground than previous generations. It’s also updated inside with gadgets that original Beetle owners never would have dreamed of like high end audio, satellite navigation, iPod connection, and a multi-function display integrated into the speedometer. But, keeping with tradition, the beetle bin, an extra glove box in the dashboard, is still there.
Standard power is a carryover 2.5 liter 5-cylinder rated at 170 horsepower. With a 6-speed automatic, fuel economy ratings are modest at 22 City and 29 Highway. Optional is the also familiar 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 200 horsepower. The turbo is available with a DSG 6-speed dual clutch automatic.
When sales begin this fall the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will start at $19,000 with the turbo at just over $23,000.
EPA: 22 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
Price: Starts at $19,000