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2019 VW Beetle Final Edition Review

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2019 VW Beetle Final Edition Review

PUEBLA, Mexico — We’re approaching the top of an period as soon as extra. Volkswagen is discontinuing the Beetle. It is unusual, and a bit unhappy, to think about the corporate with out the mannequin — once more — that made it well-known. This time it is going out with a little bit of pomp and circumstance in Mexico, the place Volkswagen introduced us to expertise the hatchback’s Final Edition trim throughout Dia de los Muertos celebrations.

Any dialogue of the final Beetle does benefit a review of the automobiles that received us right here: the unique air-cooled Bug and the comply with-up New Beetle. The unique hardly wants introduction, reworking from unusual European curiosity to financial system car phenomenon by means of the Nineteen Sixties. However towards the top of its life, it was a sufferer of its unchanging design. The competitors turned extra environment friendly, extra snug, quicker and safer. And naturally, there was much less cause to purchase a brand new mannequin when there have been oodles of earlier fashions on the used market that weren’t that totally different from what was on the showroom flooring.

After the basic Beetle’s departure, there was an extended hiatus till VW revealed the Idea 1 within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, a bubbly modern tackle the long-lasting design. And with massively constructive suggestions, the corporate launched a trustworthy manufacturing mannequin for 1998. It rode a wave of nostalgia and arguably kickstarted the retro design craze of the 2000s that additionally gave us the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Plymouth Prowler, Chevy SSR, Ford Thunderbird, Mini Cooper, 2005 Ford Mustang redesign and even the revival of the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. On this local weather of rabid retro followers, the New Beetle was an enormous success. Nevertheless it fell sufferer to the identical lure of its predecessor. It by no means modified considerably sufficient, leaving it stale and outdone by rivals by the top of its 12-yr run within the 2010 mannequin yr.

2019 VW Beetle Final Edition

That brings us to this era of Beetle, which launched for the 2012 mannequin yr. It was utterly redesigned with all-new underpinnings. It featured extra aggressive styling, in addition to recent engines, even a punchy 200-horsepower engine like that within the GTI. The 2019 Final Edition we’re driving marks the seventh yr for the hatchback, and in addition to discovering whether or not this vehicle continues to be good, we additionally appear to have found why it is leaving us once more.

The Final Edition Beetle’s uniqueness boils right down to a flashier interior and exterior — that is it. Inside, this car’s full up on each shiny chrome bit VW gives, coated with a sweet shell of two unique colours: Stonewashed Blue (first seen on the Beetle Denim), and Safari Uni beige. The 2 colours mirror the blue and beige hues out there on the 2003 VW Beetle Ultima Edition, the final of the air-cooled basic Beetles. If the nostalgia is misplaced on you, white, black, and silver are additionally out there.

The Beetle SE rolls on 17-inch multi-spoke wheels, and the SEL will get 18-inch retro-type chrome disk wheel covers. Inside, each SE and SEL trims get diamond-stitched upholstery, with the SE getting material and leatherette, and the SEL getting actual leather-based. That is the place the variations between the Final Edition Beetles and their regular counterparts finish. All the things that is mechanical stays the identical.

2019 VW Beetle Final Edition2019 VW Beetle Final Edition2019 VW Beetle Final Edition2019 VW Beetle Final Edition

The mechanical stagnation displays Volkswagen’s determination a number of years again to cease investing within the Beetle, which initially launched with a 5-cylinder naturally aspirated engine and a turbocharged engine with at the least 200 horsepower. The present mannequin has only one powertrain choice. It is a turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 174 horsepower and 184 pound-ft of torque coupled to a standard torque-converter-outfitted six-velocity automated. No guide, no base engine, much less energy than the previous 2.0T — though it is at the least on par with the Golf.

Collectively, the powertrain is impressively quiet and clean, emitting simply occasional turbo whistles and a little bit of hum at excessive rpm. On paper, the output seems to be aggressive, placing it in rivalry with the turbo Honda Civic and a couple of.5-liter Mazda3, nevertheless it does not really feel very quick. It retains up with visitors advantageous, however flooring it and you will be wishing for extra grunt. There have been a variety of occasions in hectic Mexican visitors that it felt downright sluggish. Because the Beetle weighs in at simply over three,000 kilos, proper in keeping with the Mazda and Toyota, it appears the transmission is accountable, which prioritizes clean energy supply over velocity, and tends to shift casually. A guide transmission would in all probability assist it really feel faster, however as we talked about, that hasn’t been an choice for a couple of years now.

As for experience and dealing with, it usually looks like a softer model of the sixth-era Golf with which it shared a platform, not the present seventh-era. That is not essentially a nasty factor. The experience high quality is sweet. It does an awesome job absorbing lumps and bumps, nice and small. All of which we present in abundance round Puebla, Mexico, amongst potholes, velocity bumps and bricks. Steering is properly weighted with simply sufficient suggestions to be partaking, although it is a considerably sluggish helm. Flip-in is not particularly quick, and the chassis lacks the stiffness of the present crop of compact automobiles. The issue right here is that, whereas the Beetle’s dynamics aren’t dangerous, they are not distinctive, both. Different compact automobiles do the identical in additional sensible packages, or supply zippier dealing with with out a lot if any sacrifice in consolation. The apparent instance is the present VW Golf.

2019 VW Beetle Final Edition

Then we come to the interior. As we talked about earlier than, this Final Edition will get an additional splash of pizazz because of the diamond-stitched upholstery in pretty beige hues. It goes properly with the Beetle’s trademark painted interior panels, classic type glove field and the only spherical instrument binnacle for all of the dials. The upholstery is the one change, although, and it isn’t sufficient to draw somebody who wasn’t already involved in a Beetle, because the car nonetheless suffers from a variety of low cost plastics and severely diminished rear-seat room and cargo area.

A part of the rationale the Beetle — which is not actually that dangerous in isolation — is on the best way out is competitors inside and out of doors of the Volkswagen lineup. The Golf’s upright form means it may well maintain far more, and it has the added benefit of two rear doorways. It provides a a lot better twin-clutch transmission, plus a guide choice for diehards. There are even wagon and all-wheel-drive variants. In case you’re on a finances or usually frugal, there’s the Jetta. It is about $2,000 inexpensive than the Beetle, and it attains forty mpg on the freeway, whereas the Beetle will get simply 33. And when you needed to have two doorways, yow will discover an answer outdoors VW with the Civic coupe. It gives up comparable energy and comparable pricing, however with higher fuel financial system, a extra spacious rear seat, and extra trendy, refined driving dynamics.

The opposite massive impediment the Beetle has to cope with is trendy consumers, and that is the actual killer for the spherical car. Altering tastes imply the 2-door physique type and retro design simply do not attraction to trendy consumers. Different two-doorways are lengthy gone, just like the Kia Forte Koup, Ford Focus, and even the Golf two-door hatchback. Retro automobiles, save Mini, are additionally not so scorching now days. Fiat has struggled with overly retro design with its 500, nevertheless it’s compensating with the 500X crossover. The Beetle continues to be only a finances retro coupe, that are three descriptors individuals aren’t racing to purchase anymore.

2019 VW Beetle Final Edition

Not solely that, it isn’t recent retro. We’re not in 1998 when the nation had been sans Beetles for almost 20 years. The demand for the car has been satiated; should you needed a contemporary one, you’ve got in all probability already purchased one. Now it’s going to be fairly a lot of years earlier than you want or need one other. And with the varied practicality points we have talked about, there is not a lot purpose for somebody simply on the lookout for a commuter car to purchase it over one thing else.

Is it absolutely the finish of the street for the Beetle, although? We doubt it. There’s additionally the chance to do one thing recent with the MEB electric platform, riffing off the upcoming Bus revival often known as the I.D. Buzz, to make it extra fascinating for contemporary consumers. VW might make the Beetle rear-motor, rear-drive, pleasing die-hards and fanatics alike, and additional broadening the marketplace for the car.

That is all hypothesis — there is no assure the Beetle will return. Within the right here and now, we’re unhappy to see the Beetle go away for sentimental causes. However we additionally know there is no method it might proceed on as-is. The competitors is best, and the general public needs issues the Beetle cannot ship — or one thing else completely.

All of which has left the Beetle a car caught in time, and its time has run out.

Volkswagen Beetle Info

Volkswagen Beetle

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