Monday, May 26, 2014

Used Car Review - Volkswagen New Beetle (2000-2006)

Before summer ends, Myk Belmonte features a funky car to conclude the season.

2000-2006 Volkswagen New Beetle

We all know that the Beetle body and name is very classic. So classic that during the North American International Auto Show which happened in 1994, Volkswagen presented the "Concept One" which has some resemblance to the old Beetle. With public reaction very high, a production model was necessitated with production starting in October 1997.

Utilizing the Mk4 Golf's platform, the New Beetle was just a Beetle in looks and badge but everything else were taken from the popular hatchback. Good thing this one carried modern conveniences that we will tackle on the later portions of this article. 14 years later, the New Beetle was redesigned and sold as the plain "Beetle".

Auto Prominence Corporation revamped the Volkswagen line-up in 2000, which placed the Polo Classic to the graveyard and brought in new models such as the New Beetle, Passat, and Bora. As always, the New Beetle was the star but the price killed potential customers, especially that who would be thinking of buying a million peso car which can only seat two. Woes of the distributor made the Volkswagen brand (as a whole) to be pulled out in 2006. While the coupe was made available first, a convertible was later on added in 2004.

Value and Costs
There is no need to complain on the Beetle's stratospheric price, especially that a second hand unit will set you back between P400,000-P700,000 which is a mix of local and imported units. With minimal changes that happened, focusing on the vehicle condition is the prudent choice.

Solid as it is, this vehicle is notoriously included in the lists of vehicles with worst reliability, which makes it an alarm of concern. With that, check the vehicle thoroughly and prepare adequate funds especially you wouldn't want to frown when this car coinks out.

Exterior and Interior
The looks may be reminiscent of its grandfather but rather than placing the engine at the rear, luggages are invited to be stowed there. Anything else, we shall let the car's styling speak for itself.

Inside, only two people can join in the fun in a comfortable fashion especially the rear portion is best left empty or for packages only. Novelty pieces include the small tachometer and the famed flower vase inside which complements the clean and clutter-free dashboard.

When it was first launched, the APK 1,984cc carrying 114hp at 5,200rpm and 170Nm at 2,400rpm is the sole option for the early models and can be had with the convertible model. Three years later, a basic AWH 1,595cc having 100hp at 5,600rpm and 145Nm at 3,800rpm was launched for the hatchback models. There is no need to go for the larger engine especially their performance aren't far in between plus going low gives you less maintenance expenses.

Driving Impressions
Classic Beetle looks with modern day conveniences, driving this one does not need any adjustments especially if you are used from something modern. Acceleration is just average, not too fast but definitely not slow plus visibility is excellent.

So, are you contemplating on buying this because you are a Beetlemaniac or of overall practicality? If you are going to use this one on a daily basis, other sub-compacts that offer more fun and practicality are better options. Unless you want Volkswagens, we wouldn't stop you and we'll say, have fun in hunting!

The Good:
  • Funky styling
  • Practical size
  • Solidity
The Bad:
  • Small interior size
  • Two passengers only admitted
  • Reliability isn't great
The Pick: 1.6

Engines: 1,595cc AWH and 1,984cc APK I4 gasoline
Power: 100hp @ 5,600rpm (1.6), 114hp @ 5,200rpm (2.0)
Torque: 145Nm @ 3,800rpm (1.6), 170Nm @ 2,400rpm (2.0)
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear torsion beam axle

Price (New): P1,300,000-P2,800,000
Price (Now): P400,000-P700,000
Rivals: Opel Tigra
On Sale: 2000-2006

Volkswagen Global City - (02) 459-4562

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