Car Review: The Volkswagen Beetle - Peace and love in 2014

Teaser: The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle still has that cool vibe we have grown to love, but with new options and a stronger engine. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, January 2, 2014 — Driving the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible was perfect for the 2013 holiday season. Particularly when folks drove up next to me and flashed the peace sign. 

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle message is the same, enjoy life and the drive.

The always cool 2014 Volkswagen Beetle.

The always cool 2014 Volkswagen Beetle.

In 2014 new features added to the fun loving Beetle include a new limited-edition GSR coupe that comes with a yellow-and-black paint scheme and the Beetle Turbo gains some engine power as well and is called the Beetle R-Line.

In the world of competition, it’s hard to believe the Beetle has anything comparable to be matched up against. 

The retro Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper might be an interesting comparison if you are in the market for one of these funky little fixtures in your garage. 

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle takes four-passengers and is a two-door hatchback with four trims, each being named for the engine the Beetle 2.5L, Beetle R-Line with the turbocharged 2.0 and the TDI with a turbocharged 2.0 diesel.   

For the fourth trim it is a GSR and that is the higher end sister to the R-Line and there is the Convertible option as well.

On the Beetle 2.5L you get 17-inch alloy wheels, heated windshield-washer nozzles and mirrors, all the accessories are power and there is also a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and height-adjustable front seats and audio goodies like Bluetooth phone and audio connect, a trip computer and a nice sound system.

If you opt for the Sunroof package you add a panoramic roof, keyless ignition and entry or, on the Sunroof, Sound & Navigation package, you can add 18-inch wheels, a navigation system and a rearview camera.

With the Beetle R-Line you get all the 2.5L’s goodies along with a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, fog lights, rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, sport seats and faux carbon-fiber accents with alloy pedals.

The R-Line has the Sunroof and Sound package option that will add to that the Sunroof package from the 2.5L and a better quality sound system. For the R-Line’s Sunroof, Sound and Navigation System up the wheels to 19 inches and add bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, leather upholstery and a rearview camera.

The GSR is the same as the R-Line with the Sunroof, Sound and Navigation packaged added as well as the yellow-and-black paint job, a larger rear spoiler and black interior leather with yellow stitching.

For the TDI you get the 2.5L trim kit and add to that a keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and a touchscreen audio interface with a gauge package added.

Under the hood, the 2014 VW Beetle is powered by, on the 2.5L, a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that will give you 170 horsepower with 177 pound-feet of torque. It is offered standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but there is an automatic offered too. 

Both the R-Line and GSR are turbocharged with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 210 horsepower and 207 pound feet of torque and a six-speed manual, but automatic is optional. For the TDI it’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine and that will give you 140 horsepower with 236 pound feet of torque in either a six-speed manual or DSG.

The Beetle safety features include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side and side curtain airbags and the Volkswagen Car-Net telematics system that allows drivers to know about know in advance about impending crashes and there is also roadside assistance and a remote door unlocking and rearview camera feature, the latter only offered on specific trims.

As for style, the 2014 VW Beetle has a style all its own, but it is a bit reminiscent of the original version way back when, only this time around with added features for modern comforts. One big plus is the fact that is it a good choice even for tall drivers and the seats are comfortable, even in the rear. 

There is 15.4-cubic-foot amount of space in the front and with the seats in the rear included there is 29.9 cubic feet.

It’s a fun vehicle to drive and with the higher end trims the engine does not disappoint.  It is fun and easy to handle with reactive steering and a comfortable ride so what are you waiting for.

Should You Need to Know: The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle is a standout as it offers more space inside than most of the competition.

Miles Per Gallon:  On the 2014 Beetle Convertible I drove the mileage came in at 28 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: That same convertible TDI with the Sound and Navigation package was priced at $32,560.

Rita Cook  is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and can be followed on Twitter at @ritacook13. She is also a 15-year veteran journalist and author, her latest book from History Press  is about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Behind the Wheel
blog comments powered by Disqus
Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


Contact Rita Cook


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus