Kelley Blue Book ® - 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Overview

Overview:

EDITORS' NOTES
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle remains a popular choice among those seeking a less conventional mode of transportation. Touting a shape based on the original Beetle (popularly known as the "Bug"), the New Beetle's easily recognizable shape results in the most lop-sided interior dimensions of any car in its class. While the sloping hatch creates a nearly unusable rear seat, the arching dome roof provides an unbeatable 38 inches of front headroom, making the New Beetle the friend of the tall and very tall. Unfortunately, the roof design also creates some massive blind spots around the windshield pillars. Once plentiful engine choices have dwindled to a single source: a 150-horsepower 2.5-liter gasoline engine.

YOU'LL LIKE THIS CAR IF...
The most significant aspect of the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is its familiar and friendly shape but, as a bonus, it is actually quite comfortable as a daily driver as well. Even taller drivers will appreciate the quantity of front-seat headroom.

YOU MAY NOT LIKE THIS CAR IF...
If you need on occasion to carry four adult passengers, the New Beetle's rear seats offer very little headroom and the cargo area is tiny. The instrument panel configuration takes some getting used to as it spans the considerable distance between the windshield and the driver and front-seat passenger.

WHAT'S SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS CAR
The New Beetle is reduced to one, well equipped trim level. New features for 2009 include heated seats and washer nozzles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a leather handbrake cover.

Driving It:

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS
Because it's based on the previous-generation Golf platform, the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle exhibits most of the same ride and handling attributes of the old Golf hatchback. The 2.5-liter engine delivers acceptable acceleration and good fuel economy, but is not as much fun to drive as the old turbocharged models that once populated the lineup. On the road the Beetle offers an extremely smooth ride and handles well under normal driving conditions. Push it a little harder and its relatively soft suspension and 16-inch all-season tires begin to show their limitations. If you desire better handling, your VW dealer can upgrade the car to optional 17-inch alloy wheels and stiffer springs designed by VW, which will make it more responsive.

OUR FAVORITE FEATURES
Blue Instrument Lighting
Cornflower blue lighting in the instrument cluster is easy on the eyes both night and day.

Headroom
Because the driver's and passenger seat sit in the very center of the car, the arching roofline and height-adjustable seats create phenomenal headroom, suiting even the tallest occupants.

Vehicle Details:

INTERIOR
In order to create the New Beetle's shape, the windshield and dashboard have been partially extended over the engine compartment, creating a tremendously deep dash and a large blind spot where the front pillar meets the side mirror. The New Beetle's seats are some of the most comfortable we've experienced, with excellent back, side and thigh support for both driver and passenger. The trademark domed exterior shape provides ample front-seat headroom, but somewhat less for rear-seat passengers.

EXTERIOR
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle mimics what is probably the best-known automotive shape in the world, the original Beetle. Considering the price, the New Beetle is remarkably detailed and offers excellent crash-test results and projected accident-repair costs.

NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle includes a 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stabilization program, air conditioning, rear defroster, illuminated remote keyless entry, key-operated open/close feature for power windows and optional sunroof, dual heated power mirrors with built-in turn signals, heated front seats, heated washer nozzles, front side-impact airbags, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and an auxiliary input jack, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power locks, 16-inch alloy wheels and remote hatch release.

NOTABLE OPTIONS
There are only three options this year: a power sunroof, a six-disc CD changer and the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

UNDER THE HOOD
The 2.5-liter 20-valve five-cylinder provides the kind of low-end torque needed to move the New Beetle with some authority. Though not as quiet or vibration free as similar-size engines from Honda and Toyota, the 2.5 is nevertheless a good match to the New Beetle's size and weight.

2.5-liter in-line 5
150 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (manual), 20/29 (automatic)

Pricing Notes:

PRICING NOTES
The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $19,000 and tops out around $23,000 when fully loaded. The six-speed Tiptronic automatic adds about $1,000 to the price. A look at past New Car Blue Book Values shows consumers typically paid right around dealer invoice, which should hold true for the 2009 models as well. These values show the typical transaction price paid in your area, so be sure to check them before heading to the dealership. The New Beetle is expected to retain above-average resale values, although over time it does fall behind the MINI Cooper and Scion tC.

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