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2014 Volkswagen Beetle Preview

Pros: The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle will continue to please with a decidedly modern interpretation of an automotive classic, more masculine and rugged looks than its predecessor, a unique character, good ride and handling, as well as a selection of engines and transmissions that make it either frugal or feisty. 

Cons: The Beetle suffers from above-average prices, cramped rear seats, slow throttle response and disappointing fuel economy from the base engine, not to mention a ''chick car'' label that just won't go away.

2014 Volkswagen Beetle Price: The lineup consists of five trim levels starting with the Comfortline ($22,675). This one features 16” alloy wheels, a media interface with iPod connectivity, heated front seats, and Bluetooth. Then you have the Comfortline TDI ($24,675), Highline ($25,275), Highline TDI ($27,275), and Sportline ($30,275). Freight and delivery charges are not included.
Volkswagen Beetle 2014

2014 Volkswagen Beetle Fuel Economy: Ratings for the 2.5L engine are 7.1L/100km highway and 9.5L/100km city. The acclaimed TDI is the king of efficiency with 5.0L and 7.0L/100km, respectively. As for the most powerful Beetle (TSI), it achieves 6.5L and 9.0L/100km.

Improvements and Changes: Reflex Silver has been replaced with Toffee Brown as a colour option. The TSI's output is up by 10 horsepower, and the Fender Edition is no longer available. Most importantly, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle is about to gain a brand new entry-level engine: It's a 1.8L 4-cylinder turbo unit that promises increased performance (+14 lb-ft of torque) and fuel economy (+17%). Let's not forget the new Beetle GSR, either.

Powertrain: The 2.5L inline 5-cylinder engine produces 177 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The popular 2.0L 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine with direct injection (TDI) is rated at 140 horsepower only, but makes up for it with 236 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the other 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged mill (TSI) now generates 210 horsepower.

Transmission choices include 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes, a 6-speed autobox with Tiptronic mode, and a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with Tiptronic mode.
2014 Volkswagen Beetle
Photo: Volkswagen

Cargo Capacity: The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle can fit 436 litres of cargo in its trunk.

Safety: Four airbags, electronic stability and traction control, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and antitheft alarm come standard.

Comparing the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle: Potential Beetle customers may also want to consider other small coupes and hatchbacks such as the Hyundai Veloster, MINI Cooper S, Fiat 500 Abarth, Toyota Matrix, and Mazda3 Sport.