No longer a girl’s car with new 2012 re-design
I have never owned a Volkswagen Beetle yet driving the newly re-designed 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Premiere evoked some fond memories of my childhood.
As soon as the email arrived indicating that I would be driving the 2012 Beetle, I instantly recall watching the Disney movie, “The Love Bug”. I thought to myself, how cool it would be if I got a big number 53 decal and racing stripes for the week-long road test and drive around Winnipeg pretending to be Herbie the Love Bug. It would have definitely been a hit.
In 1986, a family road trip to Vancouver, British Columbia for Expo 86 provided hours of endless fun playing “Punch Buggy” with my brother in the backseat of our blue Chevy Chevette. Upon seeing another VW Beetle along the highway, I would hit my brother in the arm and shout “Punch Buggy, no return back.” It was a fun game until my mom told me to stop hitting my younger brother.
The newly re-designed 2012 Beetle is reminiscent of the original Beetle and offers a more masculine and aggressive look over the 1998 New Beetle. The Beetle is longer, lower and wider with a flatter hood and roof and looks much like the original Beetle. The sporty looking Beetle has cleaner lines and is less bubbly and definitely appeals to a wider demographic market. Guys may actually buy this vehicle.
Yes, the Beetle is definitely more masculine. That being said, I’m happy to report that VW removed the flower vase holder from the dashboard. The interior in the 2012 Beetle comes with new changes including a 2nd “Kaeferfach” storage box above the main glove compartment, which is a throwback to the original Beetle. Other interior touches include a smaller dashboard, flat-bottomed steering wheel and black/chrome interior accents throughout the driver control and front dash.
The Beetle comes in five different trim levels and engine combinations starting with the Comfortline (starting at $21,975). Our tester model was the Premiere model priced at $24,475 and comes equipped with a 2.5L 5-cylinder engine rated at 170hp. The Premiere model also comes with 17” alloy wheels, ambient lighting, and Leatherette seating surfaces.
Stepping up to the Premiere+ model ($26,575) adds a Fender branded audio system, touch screen navigation and 18” alloy wheels. If you’re looking for a faster and stronger performing Beetle, the Sportline ($29,025) comes with a 2.0L, in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine offering 200hp at 5,100-6,000rpm with 207lb-ft of torque at 5,000rpm.
The 2012 Volkwagen Beetle is more than just a car. It’s a retro iconic car that inspires drivers with emotion, much like my childhood memories. Similar iconic vehicles like the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 are the Beetle’s main competition. As a smaller hatchback, other vehicles to consider are the Honda Fit, Volksawagen Golf hatchback, Volvo C30, Toyota Yaris, or the Nissan Cube.