2014 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe Heels on Wheels Review
HEELS ON WHEELS: 2014 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE COUPE REVIEW
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE BEETLE VEHICLE
A more masculine redesign remains the headliner with the iconic Beetle – yet what’s just as attractive is the variety of engines: a newly standard 1.8-liter; a racier 2-liter turbo for the R-Line and ultra-performance GSR; and a TDI Clean Diesel. Also new for the 2014 model is independent rear suspension.
I drove a 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe with the turbocharged 210-horsepower 2-liter inline four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Noted by engine type, standard features on my R-Line trim test drive included: 2-liter engine; sport cloth upholstery; front sport seats; Bluetooth; Volkswagen Car-Net connectivity; an upgraded eight-speaker audio system; three-pod dash-mounted gauge cluster; leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel; aluminum pedals; eighteen-inch Twister alloy wheels; and R-Line badging. Total vehicle cost as described comes to $24,995.
Main competitors include a handful of uniquely shaped cars like the all-new and larger Fiat 500L, MINI Cooper, Kia Soul, Hyundai Elantra hatchback, and the Nissan Juke.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: The Beetle Coupe is well-equipped at the entry level with such standard equipment like Bluetooth, heated front seats, and eight-speaker audio system, V-Tex leatherette upholstery, and a Media Device Interface. Car-Net connectivity gives drivers roadside assistance and remote vehicle access with most features administered through a smartphone app. My R-Line was previous called the Turbo trim, with the most noticeable visuals including a more aggressive bumper, special badging, Bi-Xenon headlights, and a dash pad with metallic finish. Volkswagen is big on breaking their trims down by packages, so most models can upgrade packages that include a Fender sound system, sunroof and/or touchscreen navigation. A six-speed DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode is also available.
Reliability & Safety Factor: Standard safety equipment includes an advanced airbag system, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, anti-slip regulation, and side impact protection door beams. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives it ratings of “Good” in all areas omitting small overlap front, which rated just “Marginal.” The organization now provides images of each model tested so consumers can see how a vehicle fares in their extensive crash testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Beetle the highest scores of 5-Stars.
Cost Issues: Staring MSRP is $20,295 for the base 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe with the 1.8-liter – with the all-new special edition GSR trim that captures the spirit of the popular 1970’s model with yellow bumpers and body contrasted by a black hood and roof, stripes, nineteen-inch Tornado alloy wheels, and a matching interior color theme costing $29,995.
Activity & Performance Ability: The Beetle wraps European style and solid performance together, as the all-new turbocharged 2-liter engine and independent rear suspension gripped corners and attached on-ramps with vigor. Manual shifting is smooth. Overall, the Beetle is a comfortable and sporty ride for the childless – a coupe is just not a vehicle for a family with small children due to limited cargo space and difficultly with rear seat loading.
The Green Concern: My 2-liter turbocharger four-cylinder earned 23-city and 31-highway, with the an all-new turbocharged 140-horsepower 2-liter TDI Clean Diesel getting a fuel economy of 28 miles-per gallon city and 41 highway.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
Enhancements to the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe give this retro compact an even more distinct, powerful and playful attitude – the only thing lacking is family appeal.
©2014 Katrina Ramser