Volkswagen The Beetle 1.2 TSI (DSG) Review
Beetle remastered

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Yang and Raymond Lai
25 Jul 2012

The iconic Beetle is reincarnated once again, this time with less flower power. Does the Bug still have that appeal? Raymond Lai finds out.

Introduction, styling

The original Volkswagen Beetle is arguably the most recognizable automotive icon of the 20th century. With a production run that spanned 65 years and with over 21 million examples produced in all corners of the earth, the Beetle has touched and moved countless lives so much so that it is widely known as the Volks-wagen or the People’s Car.

So when Volkswagen decided to resurrect the Beetle in the late 1990s, it wasn’t a surprise that anticipation for the then New Beetle became fever pitch. When the New Beetle was finally launched in 1998, everyone just wanted to have one of the cutesy Bug, so much so that many, including Beetle fans in Singapore were willing to pay a handsome premium to get their hands on one early.

Almost 15 years after the launch of the New Beetle, the Beetle or the Kafer as the Germans like to lovingly call it enters its next phase with a new generation model. Dubbed the 21st century Beetle in Volkswagen’s marketing literature, the new model is yet another modern interpretation of the original Bug.

Outwardly, the new car is instantly recognizable as a Beetle. Volkswagen’s designers use words like dynamic, sporty and masculine to describe the styling of the new car so as to make it equally appealing to both men and women as the old New Beetle was a tad too feminine for most males.

The designers have done really well to preserve the original car’s cute profile on the Beetle while adding a touch of sportiness in its stance. The recent New Beetle’s circular shapes have been replaced by more well-defined lines and a slightly more chiseled look overall – the roof for example, is less dome-like in its overall shape. The new car’s wider, longer and lower dimensions, longer bonnet and steeper rear section also add to its improved dynamic stance. The new car is most instantly recognizable from the rear where the New Beetle’s circular tail lamps have made way for larger semi-oval items with VW’s distinctive C-shaped light patterns when lit. More importantly, the Beetle shares that lovable face with those round headlamps with its predecessor as well as the original.

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Engine Capacity 1197cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 105bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 175Nm @ 1550rpm
Power to Weight 82.4 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 180 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric


Body Type 3 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4278 x 1808 x 1486) mm
Wheelbase 2537 mm
Turning Circle 10.8 metres
Kerb Weight 1274 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L