Volkswagen went way back to the drawing board with its reimagining of the current Beetle. The Beetle draws its inspiration from the original Beetle that was made from 1938 through the 1970s. The modern Beetle is almost certainly better in every way–it features a lower, flatter roofline and a more aggressive stance. The engine is now up front, reflecting modern car design. Overall dimensions have grown, which translates to more interior room for passengers. Those passengers get a combination of retro simplicity in the gauge layout, elegance in the quality of cabin materials and great technology features.
The Beetle comes standard with one engine and transmission combination. All models utilize a 174-horsepower, 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a standard 6-speed automatic. In its final year, the Beetle is offered in Finale Edition SE and Final Edition SEL trim levels.
The Beetle shares its underpinnings with the Jetta, which includes front struts and a rear multi-link setup. Steering will feel very familiar to those who have driven previous modern Beetles, though the driving experience has changed significantly, thanks to the revised A-pillar angle and accordingly, the abbreviated dashboard, bringing the driver closer to the action.
A convertible version gets a power-folding fabric top. The top folds in 9.5 seconds and will operate at vehicle speeds up to 30 mph. Convertibles feature the same engine and transmission lineups as the coupe, and the modest weight increase barely hinders performance.
Final Edition SE trims ride on 17-inch, 15-spoke aluminum wheels and feature chrome exterior accents, body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles, keyless entry, push-button start, stainless steel pedals, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, a 50/50 split-fold rear seat, heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, VW Car-Net App-Connect, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, and a powered panoramic sunroof.
Final Edition SEL trims feature 18-inch white aluminum wheels in a disc design, plus bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. Inside, there’s a Diamond Media infotainment system with navigation, a Fender premium audio system, and a blind-spot warning system.
Safety comes standard as well in all 2019 Beetles, with anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags and combined curtain and side front seat airbags.
Production of the Volkswagen Beetle will cease after 2019. To pay tribute, VW is treating the car to two special trim levels–Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL. Offered in both coupe and convertible body styles, the trims include two unique colors (Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue), badging that replaces the standard “Turbo” with “Beetle”, and upscale interior décor. Coast and Dune trims have been dropped from the lineup.
Aggressive styling; practical and spacious interior; sporty turbo performance; plenty of in-cabin entertainment options; convertible available; special “Final Year” editions
With an aggressive design, spacious interior and a refined and efficient engine, the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle still offers a great alternative for buyers shopping around for a cool compact. With regards to features, performance and price, the Beetle holds its own against the likes of the MINI Cooper and FIAT 500, with a lower price than the MINI and more practical interior than the FIAT.