With its rounded shape and retro styling, the Beetle continues to be one of the most iconic vehicles in the world. Though the exterior recalls its vintage roots, it is hardly indicative of the features and technology housed within its curvy frame. The Beetle offers a choice of hardtop or convertible, three quietly efficient powerplants, and several possible configurations at each trim level, giving potential buyers a host of options to choose from.
What's New for 2016
A number of changes have been made to the Beetle for 2016 including the creation of a new, value-focused trim level the 1.8T. Other updates include the addition of the new MIB II infotainment system, new exterior colors and a new lighting package that is available on all 1.8T and TDI models.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Beetle
In addition to the vintage yet modern styling of the Beetle, a major component of the appeal is the engine under the hood. This year, Volkswagen offers three different four-cylinder engines to choose from.
The base powerplant is a 1.8-liter turbocharged affair that produces 170 horsepower and comes paired with a five-speed manual transmission. An optional six-speed automatic is also available. Both transmissions offer an EPA-estimated 25mpg city/ 34mpg highway.
A 150-horsepower diesel engine powers the TDI line while delivering an estimated 31/41 mpg when paired with either the manual or automatic transmission. NOTE: As we go to press in the wake of VW's emissions scandal, TDI's are on hold unless government agencies approve a solution.
Finally, a zippy 2-liter 210-horsepower turbocharged engine is what powers the R-line models delivering 23/31 mpg when paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission, or 24/30 mpg when automatic.
The 1.8T does offer a good entry point for those looking for good overall value. It includes a surprising number of features for the cost. However, if you are looking for performance, go directly to the R-Line, which really picks up the pep for this fun to drive car.
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