2008 Volkswagen New Beetle S (668)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle S coupe. But I have to bitch about the “dumbly engineered sun visors”. The windows are unusually large and the engineers and test drivers (yea right) went brain dead when they ignored the need to cover more of the window for side sun. Ok, so they may not have sun in Michigan.

General Info:

Parts – US/ Canadian 17%, Germany 35% and Mexico 35%. Transmission – Argentina.

Assembly – Puebla, Mexico

Class:  – Subcompact Cars

Cars: – Eos, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle, Passat & Wagon, Rabbit and Touareg.

Observation:

I’m sure we all have observed the movement of traffic on most of our highways and how it fluctuates because there is no way to determine the average speed of that flow. Therefore drivers speed up until all lanes are bunched up like an accordion. Then as panic radiates from a rapidly moving flash of red lights our hearts pound from near misses or worse . . . “CRASH”. Then everyone is inconvenienced by slowly clearing crash scenes that back up all lanes with nowhere to go like parking at the big game – but no entertainment.

Well – what if there were strobe lights that blink at the average rate of speed of traffic for a specified number of miles ahead. That would provide a way to synchronize your cruise control to allow a smooth flow of travel. We all know that makes for more comfortable transportation.

Handling & Performance:

Impressive, especially if you’ve ever driven earlier year models – like in the 60s.

Styling:

V-Dub has become an Icon of our time. It was perhaps the first of the economy cars and simply a part of our driving experience. I appreciate the fact it has changed little in its dress and I also appreciate the conveniences and comfort designed into this old friend. It even has changed its anatomy and where you always found the engine you find a trunk – although small it is larger than the tradition of the past. But they have built in the ability to fold down the rear seat back that gives a good deal of cargo space.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding.

Cost:

Acceptable since they give a lot of hidden quality of all manner of control features to make your driving experience safer.

Conveniences and comfort:

The list below is also impressive as standard. And what you see is what you get – everything is standard.

Consumer Recommendation:

It would be an easier decision if it were better on the fuel consumption. 35-40 mpg is what I’d expect because this is a good commuter and shouldn’t be just for fun driving.  In fact, even though it is not on the competition list, I’d look at the Toyota Yaris if you want a commuter with about 40 mpg for about $14,000 – and it’s not a hybrid.

Recognized Competition:

VW New Beetle $17-26,000, Chrysler PT Cruiser $15-29,000, Mini Cooper $18-25,000, Scion tC $17,000, Ford Focus $, Kia Spectra5 $15,995, Mazda MX5 Miata $21-27,000, Pontiac G5 $15-19,000, Chevrolet HHR $16-20,000, Chevrolet Cobalt $14-19,000, Toyota Matrix $16-17,000, Honda Civic $15-25,000.

Good News:

Great high tech features for handling and safety,

Bad News:

Tiny sun visors, low fuel economy for this class car.

Standard Equipment:

2.5 liter 150 hp inline 5 cylinder engine, 5-speed manual trans, power assist rack and pinion steering, electronic stability program, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, electronic brake force distribution, anti-lock disc brake system, front and side airbag, daytime running lights, side impact beams, tire pressure monitoring system, air conditioning, power heated mirrors, intermittent wipers / washers, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, remote trunk and fuel cap, folding rear seat, 12 V power outlets, anti theft alarm with immobilizer, in-dash CD player, and 16” alloy wheels with anti-theft locks.

Gas Stats:

$2.71/ Gal avg. Sept 11, ‘07

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

20 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $17,365.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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