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What Changed for 2009:
Redesigned 16-inch wheels
Available 17-inch wheel package
Two exterior colors dropped
Two new exterior colors (Candy White and Heaven Blue)
New free maintenance program
Overview Volkswagen'sNew Beetle pays design homage to the original Volkswagen "Beetle" thatfirst took to the road in 1938. That classic design sold over 21million copies during its 60-plus-year model run, making it one of thebest-selling cars in the world. In 1994, Volkswagen introduced a modernreincarnation of the "Beetle" at the North American International AutoShow in the form of the "Concept 1" prototype. Strong public reactionpushed the car into production and it arrived as a 1998 model. Muchmore advanced than the original, the New Beetle hatchback is based onthe modern front-wheel-drive (FWD) Golf Mk4 platform with the latestelectronics and safety equipment. The drop-top convertibleversion was introduced in 2003, again in response to public demand.In 2006, the NewBeetle received a facelift with larger bumpers and a 5-cylinderpowerplant (the turbo and diesel models were dropped). The 2009Volkswagen New Beetle is mostly unchanged, with the exception of a fewminor cosmetic updates.
New for 2009 is Volkswagen's carefree maintenance program.It is standard on all New Beetle models. The benefits of theprogram include no-charge scheduled maintenance during the first3 years or 36,000 miles of ownership. All variants of the 2009Volkswagen New Beetle feature a 3-year/36,000-mile basic limitedwarranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.Volkswagen also offers a 12-year/unlimited mileage corrosionwarranty on all new vehicles.
Model Lineup The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is offered in either 2-doorhatchback or 2-door convertible body styles. There are two trimlevels: S and SE. All variants feature an identical 5-cylinderpowerplant on a FWD powertrain. The standard "S"hatchback model has a 5-speed manual transmission while the"SE" model may be fitted with an optional 6-speedautomatic "Tiptronic" transmission. All convertiblemodels are fitted with a semi-automatic, power-operated, clothconvertible top and the 6-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features on all 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle S modelsinclude V-Tex leatherette upholstery, automatic power windows,air conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, and a premium6-speaker AM/FM single-CD stereo. New Beetle SE models add aleather steering wheel, leather shifter and a leather handbrakehandle. In addition, heated front seats, heated washer nozzlesand a premium amplified audio system are included in the SEpackage. Stand-alone options include satellite radio, coldweather package and a power sunroof on the hatchback model.
Powertrain The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle hatchback and New Beetle convertibleshare an identical 2.5-liter, inline 5-cylinder engine rated at 150 hpand 170 lb.-ft. of torque (this is down slightly from its rating in theVolkswagen Rabbit).There are two transmissions offered with the engine: a 5-speed manualor a 6-speed "Tiptronic" automatic with a sport mode. According toVolkswagen, the 2-door hatchback will accelerate to 60 mph in 8.4seconds with a manual transmission (8.6 seconds with the automatic)towards an electronically limited top speed of 125 mph. The slightlyheavier convertible model takes 9.1 seconds to reach 60 mph, VW says.The FWD New Beetle hatchback earns EPA fuel-economy estimates of 20 mpgcity and 29 mpg highway with the automatic transmission.
The front suspension on the 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle is of anindependent design, with MacPherson struts and coil springs. Therear suspension is a torsion beam axle with coil springs andgas-pressurized shock absorbers. Brakes are power-assisted discson all four corners with standard anti-lock control (ABS).Standard wheels are 16-inch aluminum alloy with all-seasontires.
Safety All 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle models feature driver andpassenger front air bag supplemental restraint systems and driverand front passenger side thorax air bag supplemental restraints.The front seats are equipped with pre-tensioning safety beltswith load limiters. The rear outboard seating positions areequipped with LATCH (formerly ISOFIX) tether anchors for childseats. All 2009 New Beetle models are equipped with standard ESP(stability control), ASR (anti-slip control), ABS, and atire-pressure-monitoring system.
According to the NationalHighway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the2009 Volkswagen New Beetle with side air bags received 4 stars(out of a possible 5) in frontal crash testing for both driverand front passenger, as well as 5-star side-impact scores forboth front- and rear-seat occupants. The New Beetle received 4stars for rollover resistance. The convertible model received thesame ratings for frontal testing, but it was not tested forside-impact protection. The 1998-2009 Volkswagen New Beetlehas also been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for HighwaySafety (IIHS). The vehicle received a "Good" rating (theInstitute's highest) in frontal offset testing, but a"Poor" rating (the Institute's lowest) inside-impact testing. (Note: the vehicle in the side-impact testshad the standard side air bags and was representative of the2004-2009 models.)
Technology The 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle convertible features a 3-layerinsulated cloth top with a heated glass rear window. Unlike thestandard closed-roof hatchback version, the convertible alsogains an additional window switch that allows the driver to loweror raise all of the windows simultaneously. To improve safety,the New Beetle convertible features standard "ActiveRollover Support." The technology includes dualspring-loaded aluminum beams hidden behind the rear-seat headrestraints. In the event of an impact or a possible rollover,crash sensors activate a solenoid that releases both beams totheir full extension in just 250 milliseconds. Once extended, aratchet mechanism locks them in place to protect occupants if thevehicle should roll over. If they are not utilized in anaccident, the beams may be manually pushed back into theirhousings to keep repair costs to a minimum, Volkswagen says.