VW New Beetle review
The incessant product buzz at the North American International Auto Show in 1994 centered on the concept car from Volkswagen that redefined the classic Beetle.
The overall shape and the dash-mounted bud vase, though, were about the only elements that were like the original. After all, the original was an air-cooled boxer 4-cylinder, rear-engine people’s car, built as simply and dependably as possible to be sold cheaply. The New Beetle was a transverse mounted front-engine, water-cooled, inline-four, nicely trimmed, fully featured and priced well above the bottom feeders. It was a hit at the show and still a hit when it came to market in 1998.
Interior design, while interesting to look at, is just a hint at the abovementioned quirkiness. Attractive round shapes and good quality materials make the inside of the New Beetle a pleasant place to spend time. I found some of the controls to be a bit awkward, particularly the power window and mirror controls mounted in the door.
And speaking of packaging, that engine is packed very nicely into the front. It is designed to contribute to excellent crashworthiness as well. The New Beetle has four-wheel disc brakes, stability control, lots of air bags front and side, and active front head restraints – a very safe vehicle for its class.
Source: The Auto Channel