Volkswagen Beetle. Beyond a joke. Management Fleet

Turns out our deputy editor was wrong about the long term Volkswagen Beetle.

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Driver's Log
Date acquired: January 2015
Total kilometres: 8710
Kilometres this month: 1531
Costs this month: $0
L/100km this month: 8.7

Last month I wondered whether our characterful new alumni member would prove a practical addition to The Management Fleet, whether its 207bhp turbocharged four-cylinder would ably demonstrate the thrill of driving, and whether driving a lemon yellow Käfer would dint our hallowed street cred: stepping out at valet parking in one of my more ornate shirts with the Beach Boys on the radio I’ll admit didn’t help…

Cheap shots at the Beetle by friends, family members, casual acquaintances and the pizza delivery guy aside (“nope, not a Sweet Sixteen present”), the Beetle – much like the A8 – has impressed us this month. The Golf GTI chassis and powerplant does wonders for the Beetle’s sportiness, and though the bug is not as stiff or composed as the Golf, it’s certainly nimble. Get this, when you consider the turbo boost that kicks in at mid-rev range (just check the counter on the dashboard), it can even be a little lairy: hit the loud pedal hard enough and the front wheels fight to keep up. Any thoughts of doing that in the second-generation model would have been met with laughter and a severely pissed off girlfriend.

Volkswagen Beetle Management Fleet (February)-6

Like it’s VW brethren, the Beetle is also surprisingly spacious: we were frankly staggered how much camera gear we could load into the deep bucket boot, and with juuuuust soft enough suspension to ease over the bumps in relative comfort, the bug has even proven itself to be a decent camera car.

A few problems have reared their ugly noggins though. Kicking the four-cylinder for performance means the Beetle is a surprisingly thirsty little minx, and a design flaw means the front passenger window overlaps with the rear one, producing a teeth-clenching scraping noise when the door is opened.

Minor quibbles though. The People’s Car has done well thus far. It’s even managed to win over the editorial team. Of all the surprises, that’s probably the biggest.


Volkswagen Beetle (2015)
Engine: Inline 4cyl / turbocharged intercooled TSI / 1984cc
Power: 207bhp @ 5300rpm
Torque: 206lb ft @ 1700rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed DSG gearbox / front-wheel drive
Front suspension: Strut-type with lower control arms / coil springs / telescopic dampers / 23mm diameter anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: Multilink / coil springs / telescopic dampers / 18mm diameter anti-roll bar
Brakes: Power assisted dual circuit / 12.3 x 1.0in vented (front) / 10.7 x 0.4in solid (rear) / standard all four wheels ABS (three-channel with electronic brake pressure distribution) / ESC
Wheels: 19in x 8J aluminum alloy wheels front and rear
Tyres: 235/40 R19 H all-season front and rear
Weight (dry) 1408kg
0-100kph: 7.3sec
Top speed: 227kph
Price: $27,200


Categories: Fast Fleet


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