Published on November 23rd, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volkswagen Beetle 1.2 TSI Drive Review
The new styling carries some of the Beetle’s longstanding characteristics which include its round headlights with LED daytime running lights and the flared wings. A new feature on this 1.2 TSI is the rear spoiler that is homogeneously integrated in the design; it aggressively maintains contact with the road on this Volkswagen, which has a top speed of up to 180 km/h. The top surface of the rear spoiler is always black, while its underside is painted in body colour.
The cockpit makes a visual impression where everything is within reach and sight. The shape and use of colour in the painted front facia panel of the dashboard hark back to the design of the first VW Beetle, yet the new car does not have a retro look. And yet everything has been redesigned. Three round instruments arranged in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge) provide all key information; integrated in the speedometer (middle position) is a multifunction display. Everything is within grasp and sight.
Return of the glovebox. Similar to the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated in the front facia whose lid folds upward which is too shallow and has little partical use (the standard glovebox that is also integrated opens downward).
Mechanically, the layout of the Beetle remains the same in a front wheel drive, front engine format. The platform on which it sits has been updated to the PQ35, meaning it shares underpinnings with cars like the Golf Mk.6 and the Jetta. At the heart of my test unit is a 105 PS turbocharged 1.2 litre powerplant found in the Polo TSI, which I found to be adequate for the little car. Cruising speeds are maintained easily thanks to the 7-speed DSG gearbox, and steering mounted paddle shifters offer drivers easy control of gearing.
The new Beetle manages to make good use of the platform, remaining incredibly composed throughout the period of my testing. A mix of a long highway drive and tight Penang back roads showed competency in most situations and a surprising amount of punch from the minute engine. While driving dynamics isn’t particularly high on a list for such a car, it is still reassuring to know that the Beetle can take most kinds of punishment, even in its ‘Design’ specification 1.2 TSI variant.
At prices starting from RM 131,888, you get a lot of car for your money. Ignore the history that the modern Beetle has, and the preconceptions associated with the classic as well. If you view this new Beetle as a car on its own, devoid of expectations, it will certainly impress you.
Volkswagen Beetle 1.2TSI Specifications
ENGINE 1.2L, 4-Cylinder, Direct Injection Turbo
TRANSMISSION 7-Speed DSG
MAX POWER 105bhp @ 5000rpm
MAX TORQUE 175Nm @ 1550-4100rpm
TOP SPEED 180km/h
PRICE 1.2 TSI Design is priced at RM131,888 and RM142,888 for the 1.2 TSI Sport