2007 Volkswagen New Beetle


2007 Volkswagen New Beetle Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle was new.


Performance: 6.9

The New Beetle has become more peppy and spirited since its introduction in 1998, but many find the performance merely "adequate" when compared to sportier alternatives such as the Rabbit and Mazda3.

Based on the VW Golf platform, the 2007 Beetle comes standard with a 2.5-liter in-line five-cylinder engine. While U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman says that "The Beetle is about driving. Period," Edmunds considers it more of a "boulevard cruiser." "Decent, but not exceptional in any category," concludes the Washington Post. It continues, "It lacks the zoom of a Mazda 3, the sassiness and smart handling of a Honda Civic Si, and the homeboy attitude of a Chevrolet Malibu SS. It's just an egg of a car, a motorized curio -- interesting, but not compelling."

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers report that the Beetle's 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine delivers zippy, immediate acceleration. The 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle is mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission but can be fitted with an optional automatic. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman calls the acceleration on the New Beetle "vibrant," finding that accelerates "like a hare." Automobile Magazine agrees, finding that, "Setting off from traffic lights, it feels quick." But praise for the 5-cylinder engine's power isn't universal. "Acceleration is modest," finds the Kansas City Star, which also reminds Beetle shoppers that it "isn't intended to be a performance car."

"When you stomp the clutch, push the accelerator and shift gears, the motorized egg moves," claims the Washington Post.

The 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, about on par with most of its competitors.

Handling and Braking

"The New Beetle is not as agile as a MINI Cooper," according to MSN, "but its steering is fast, handling is good, braking is strong and the ride is firm but compliant."

Most auto reviewers find the 2007 New Beetle to be smooth and comfortable on the road, with the optional 17-inch tire upgrade receiving ample praise for delivering additional road grip. The 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle is fitted with independent, MacPherson strut front suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and torsion beam rear suspension. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman calls cornering "tight" and steering "taut" on the 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle, citing the 17-inch tires to "provide the grab of a much larger car."

The Chicago Tribune experienced a decent ride and handling but pronounced wind noise while cruising the interstate. It also reports strong performance when driving off the straight, smooth highway: "Good grip in corners and turns while still cushioning cabin occupants from bumps in the road." Edmunds, among others, also praises the Beetle for its comfortable, soft tuned suspension.

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