Volkswagen Beetle 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review
Love bug

Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline
10 Apr 2013


Like its British equivalent, the Mini Cooper, the Beetle is an icon of the 20th century that harks back to our grandparent’s generation with the original Beetle. There’s no doubt that this latest Beetle will replicate the staggering sales numbers of the version before it based on its nostalgic design alone.

But Volkswagen promises that this latest Beetle is much more than a facelifted version. With it, Volkswagen has improved its dynamic qualities as well as appearance in a bid to tease more men into the Beetle fraternity. 

The Beetle’s history is a long one and even crosses paths with its more illustrious brethren in the VAG group. In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler commissioned Dr Ferdinand Porsche to design a car for the people. An automotive enthusiast himself, Hitler’s requirements for the car were simple. The car had to be able to carry two adults and two small children at 100kmh and had to be affordable. Thus Ferdinand began the development work for the ‘Volkswagen’ or ‘The Peoples’ Car’.

The original Beetle’s strength was in its simplicity of design. Powered by a modest aircooled 25bhp four-cylinder boxer type engine, this proved to be quite an advantage when it served as a staff car with the German Army as part of the Afrika Korps.

The built-in oil cooler was able to keep the engine functioning at optimum even in the blistering desert heat. Another advantage was in its handling. Designed to use compact torsion bars instead of coils and leaf springs of the time, the little Beetle handled reasonably well for what was a ‘cheap’ car. 

The Beetle went on to become the inspiration for the Porsche 356 that featured a similar drive train configuration and shared the same chassis and engine. In June 2003, Volkswagen announced the end of the Beetle’s 58 year production run after producing over 21 million Beetles in total. Testament to the popularity of the Volkswagen. 

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Engine Capacity 1390cc TurbochargedSupercharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (76.5 x 75.6)mm
Power 160bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 240Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 117.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 8.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 207 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.1 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 11 metres
Kerb Weight 1359 kg
Boot Capacity 310 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 905 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs