The New Beetle received several major updates for 2006, including an external makeover and a new 5-cylinder engine. For 2007, the New Beetle adds some new color choices, but the diesel-powered TDI version has been dropped.
The original Volkswagen Beetle's classic rounded shape could well be the most easily recognized profile in automotive history. As with its spiritual predecessor, the rear-engine, air-cooled Volkswagen Type 1 (the original Beetle's official moniker), the New Beetle's name appears nowhere on the car, yet virtually everyone can identify it at a glance. Volkswagen designers even went to great lengths to engineer the New Beetle's convertible top so it resembled the original Beetle's baby-buggy profile with the top down, maintaining the famous curved roofline with the top up.
The New Beetle shares its front-wheel-drive underpinnings with the Volkswagen Jetta and Rabbit, though while those cars moved to the new "A5" platform in 2005 and 2006, respectively, the New Beetle remains on the previous-generation "A4" platform. A 2006 restyle brought modified head- and taillights and new fenders with flattened edges. The New Beetle also received a new powerplant for the 2006 model year-a 150-hp, 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine. Its high torque rating-170 lb.-ft. at 3,750 rpm-makes it much better suited to the optional 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission than the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder it replaced. The New Beetle is also available with a 5-speed manual. Changing emissions regulations have put an end to the diesel-powered New Beetle TDI, but a new diesel engine is expected to arrive in 2008.
Standard safety equipment for the New Beetle includes front-seat-mounted side air bags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and-for the convertible only-a pair of aluminum posts that pop up from behind the rear-seat headrests in the event of a rollover. Two new colors-Black and Laser Blue-are available on the 2007 New Beetle hardtop and convertible. Sunflower Yellow and Gecko Green, colors formerly exclusive to the hardtop, are now available on the convertible. The New Beetle is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty with 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Volkswagen New Beetle competes in the Compact Conventional segment, which consists of 20 models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and safety, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Corolla (328,699 units sold), Honda Civic (316,638), and Chevrolet Cobalt (211,449). The Volkswagen New Beetle sold 35,110 units in 2006, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Conventional segment include the Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta, and Saturn Ion. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Pontiac G5, Suzuki SX4, and Volkswagen Rabbit.
|New Beetle (M5)||5 speed manual||$16,490||150-hp / 2.5L 5-cyl||23/31|
|2.5 (M5)||5 speed manual||$17,180||150-hp / 2.5L 5-cyl||23/31|