Volkswagen Beetle -

Used Car Review

VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, side
VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, front
VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, rear
VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, boot
VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, interior
VW Beetle 2.0 TDI, dashboard

THERE'S absolutely no doubt about it, but the Ferdinand Porsche-designed Volkswagen Beetle is the most instantly-recognisable vehicle to have ever rolled off a car production line.

No matter what age you are, chances are that you've been touched somewhere along the line by one of the German manufacturer's iconic machines.

First launched in 1938, from its humble beginning as the "People's Car", it began a run which eventually saw 21,529,464 examples being built worldwide before it was pensioned off in 2003.

However, even before the original was finally retired off, the Beetle was given a new lease of life when VW went back to the future and introduced a stunning retro model for 1998.

And while the new Beetle took over the mantle left by the original and went on to become a super success story in its own right, VW were not content with resting on their laurels.

So it was back to the drawing board and for 2012, VW designers came up with a revamped model that as well as being larger all round than its predecessor, was closer in looks to the original pre-war design.

And as an added bonus, owners could get around 50 per cent more boot space than its predecessor, with a more-than-respectable 310 litres of boot space in the rear, making it a much more user-friendly machine for all the family.

Three basic trim levels were available, in Beetle, Design and Sport, although limited editions based on these specifications are certainly worth keeping an eye out for.

In mid-range Design trim it's nostalgia all the way with the car's exterior colour-coded metal dash and upward opening glove box very much reminiscent of the early cars.

Because of its shape the Beetle has bags of headroom - particularly for those in the front - although you've got to remember the car is strictly a four-seater and comes with only two doors.

Nevertheless, getting in and out of the rear is a breeze, because the doors - although smaller than those normally found on most two-door models - open wide for ease of access.

With a choice of 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines pumping out between 103bhp to 217bhp, and two-litre diesel units good for between 103bhp and 148bhp, there's plenty of choice to suit most needs.

For used car buyers, one model worth looking out for is the 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI which is good for a top speed of 126mph, yet can return up to 48.7mpg on the combined cycle.

Super sophisticated and ultra quiet on the hoof and built to VW's exacting standards, the Beetle is no slouch in and around town and will happily cruise at high speed all day long.

Used car buyers will have to pay somewhere around £9350 to £12,240 for a 2012 1.4-litre TSI model on a 12-plate with around 40,000 miles on the clock.

A newer 2013/13 example will add another £1,200 to £1,500 or so to the above prices, while you will have to part with between £11,560 and £14,625 for a tip-top 2014 14-plate example with around 20,000 miles on the clock.

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