Text and photos by Neil Pagulayan
The Volkswagen Beetle has to be one of the most recognizable shapes on the road. When Ferdinand Porsche first went to paper to design a people’s car, I’m sure he didn’t expect it to continue to retain the iconic shape it has today and be so well equipped as it is now. This “Club Edition” Beetle has extras that set it apart from the already cool “Comfortline” variant that’s currently available.
On the outside, you get a blacked out roof.Matching Hyper Black 17” alloy wheels wrapped in 215/55’s look pretty good contrasting with the white paint job and the not-so-subtle “Club” on each side. It may look like a two-door sedan like its classic inspiration, but it’s actually a three-door hatchback.
Under the hood is the 1.4L TSI four-cylinder, twin charged, fuel injected gasoline engine that puts out 160-Ps at 5,800rpm with 240-Nm of torque between 1,400-4,500rpm. It’s mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission. It behaves a little strangely between first and second gear but smoothens out at as you speed up and shift up.It’s not too much of a big deal when you get used to it.
Inside, it’s modern with a retro feel. The leather wrapped steering wheel, dash and tops of the doors are color keyed. You get manually adjustable leather seats and, instead of a regular radio, you get a touch-screen multimedia system with CD, AUX, USB, Bluetooth, SD card, GPS navigation, and Mirror link with eight speakers.
Getting in and out is easy despite the heavy doors. Most two-door cars have long doors, but the Beetle’s doors aren’t too long to make it tough in tight spaces.
Seating is only 2+2 and forcing a fifth passenger to sit in the middle of the back seat would be uncomfortable. Leg room is adequate for rear passengers and head room is fine even for taller passengers or drivers. Trunk space is large at 310 liters and can be enlarged by folding the rear seats forward.
The Beetle is equipped with six airbags, ABS with EBD, Traction and Stability Control, Hill Hold Assist and front and rear parking sensors. Power steering, door locks, windows and mirrors are all standard.
The ride is firm, with MacPherson Struts in front and a four-link torsion beam in the rear. Nonetheless, it feels planted though. Steering is a little dull at parking speeds but response actually feels better when you start to speed up.This could be due to its electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering.
The car feels better sorted when you’re on the open road, making this a good car to take on road trips, especially to experience its power.
The Beetle Club Edition is a fun car to drive and is by no means a subtle car.You can expect a lot of attention when stopped at traffic lights.
You will get a lot of smiles from young and old alike.
Its price may not be in the “people’s car” price range anymore but this is a car that’s sure to be a classic. If you’re the kind that holds onto a car for many years, this is a car for you as it’s sure to hold its value for many years to come.
And when the time comes to hand it over to your kids, I’m sure it’ll still have as much appeal as when you first got it.