Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
These city and highway gas mileage estimates are for the model's standard trim configurations. Where there are optional features, packages or equipment that result in higher gas mileage, those fuel-economy estimates are not included here.
By Rick Popely
June 20, 2001
Vehicle Overview Volkswagen confirms that a convertible version of the New Beetle is coming as a 2002 model, answering the prayers of some loyal fans. For 2001, the two-door hatchback returns with a handful of new features.
A premium Monsoon sound system is standard on the GLX model, while it is a new option on the GLS. New options also include 17-inch alloy wheels and high-intensity discharge headlights.
Built on the front-drive Golf/Jetta platform, the New Beetle has been more of a hit in the United States than in Europe, drawing a cross section of American buyers that ranges from teen-agers getting their first car to aging baby boomers reliving their youth.
Exterior The New Beetle won't get squashed like a bug in minor collisions. It suffered the least amount of damage in a series of four bumper tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it performed much better than several larger cars.
As a modern interpretation of the original Beetle, the current model is a one-of-a-kind sporty hatchback in a world filled with cookie-cutter sedans and coupes. Whereas the original had an air-cooled rear engine and rear-wheel drive, the New Beetle is based on the Golf/Jetta platform and has a front engine and front-wheel drive.
Interior The bubble-shaped roof gives the four-seat New Beetle a strong visual link to the original, but it infringes on rear headroom. Legroom is limited in back, too, so this may not be the best choice for a family car. There is 12 cubic feet of cargo space at the rear, and the split rear seatbacks fold for additional room.
All models have a standard theft-deterrent feature that immobilizes the engine unless a key with the proper electronic code is used in the ignition.
Under the Hood Three four-cylinder engines are available. The base engine is a 115-horsepower 2.0-liter. A turbocharged 1.8-liter with 150 hp is available on GLS and GLX models. The GLS TDI model uses a turbocharged 90-hp 1.9-liter direct-injection diesel. Four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmissions are available with all three.
All models have standard antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats. Models with the 1.8-liter turbo feature standard traction control.