The New Beetle is Volkswagen's retro-themed two-door hatch, and it's also offered as a convertible. The Beetle comes in one well-equipped S trim level, and it competes with other premium small cars, such as the Mini Cooper and Saturn Astra.
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Changes for 2009
There are no significant changes for 2009.
Nothing else on the road looks like the modern-day Beetle. The hatchback rides a 98.7-inch wheelbase, measures 161.1 inches long and stands 59 inches high, making it one of the taller compact cars on the market. The Beetle slots between the Astra and Mini in overall length.
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Daytime running lights
- Power/heated mirrors
- Heated windshield washers
- Optional sunroof
A bubble-shaped roof gives the four-passenger New Beetle a strong visual kinship to the original model, which first reached the U.S. in 1949. Unfortunately, this design infringes on rear headroom, and backseat legroom is limited. The rear seatback folds down for additional storage space.
The Beetle has 81 cubic feet of passenger space, and there's 27.1 cubic feet for cargo with the backseat folded.
- Standard imitation leather upholstery
- Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter knob and brake handle
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard cruise control
- Standard power windows, locks and keyless entry
- Standard heated front seats
Under the Hood
The Beetle has a more powerful base powertrain than either the Mini or Astra.
- 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 170 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard five-speed manual transmission (hatchback)
- Optional six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift function and sport mode (standard on convertible)
New Beetle Convertible
The New Beetle convertible is offered in one trim level with similar content as the coupe. The convertible's fabric top rests on the back of the car; it doesn't fold into the body. Automatic pop-up rollover supports behind the rear seats are standard, and a wind blocker is optional.
Except for a slightly narrower rear seat, the four-passenger New Beetle convertible's interior looks nearly identical to the hardtop's. Trunk capacity is a modest 5 cubic feet.
- 150-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 170 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift function and sport mode
- 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels
- Imitation leather upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Power mirrors, windows and locks
- 10-speaker premium audio system
- Automatic pop-up rollover protection
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