The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is an icon, a bargain, and fuel efficient,too. The redesigned third generation of the classic “people’s car” will start at just $18,995, for a stylish, sporty, four-passenger car that’s fun to drive , and loaded with what I call creature features.
The 2.5 liter base model has a 170-horsepower in-line five-cylinder engine that cranks out 10 percent better fuel economy over past models. With gas prices between $3 and $4 these days, that’s an important consideration. With the five-speed manual transmission, estimated mileage is 22 MPG city and 31 MPG highway, and 22/29 with the optional six-speed automatic. A six speed Beetle! What will they think of next! A diesel, of course.
VW will be bringing a 2012 VW Beetle TDI clean diesel model to North America in 2012, which will be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever, with an expected highway estimate of 40 mpg. The Beetle diesel is powered by Volkswagen’s top-rated and efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, powerful enough to kick out 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.
The 2102 VW Beetle comes standard with a split folding rear seat, aux-in for portable audio players, a leather steering wheel, unique and customizable 17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker audio system. You can add the optional “kaeferfach” — that’s the additional glovebox similar to that of the original Beetle from the 1940s — plus heated front seats, interior ambient lighting in a palette of colors you can change to suit your mood, and more.
The sportiest model—the 2.0L TSI—will have a starting MSRP of $23,395. This model uses Volkswagen’s critically acclaimed 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder turbocharged, which produces 200 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 MPG highway and 22 MPG city.
For the additional five grand, you also get automatic transmission, alloy brakes, the “kaeferfach”, three extra gauges on the dashboard, a rear spoiler, foglights, and some other bells and whistles, including a panoramic tilt/slide sunroof larger than any previous VW Beetle.
All 2012 VW Beetle models are 3.3 inches wider and six inches longer than previous models., and 0.5 inches lower, giving the car a more muscular appearance that has a broad appeal. According to the design gurus at VW, this makes the Beetle sportier and bolder than ever. Also safer.
The 2012 VW Beetle includes Volkswagen’s advanced intelligent crash response system, which shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some types of collisions. The Beetle is also covered under VW’s no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled maintenance program.
- Read my review of the 2012 VW Jetta, another best buy under $20,000, also available in a clean diesel TDI model.
- Read more of my articles about green, fuel efficient and affordable cars on Examiner.com
Take a walk around and inside the 2102 VW Beetle in this video from VW — on the next page —