2015 Volkswagen Beetle

What's new for 2015? For the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle, the optional 2.0-liter diesel engine gets 10 additional horsepower, yet also delivers a slight increase in fuel economy. A new trim level called the Beetle Classic enters the lineup, and all but the base Beetle now come standard with a rearview camera (late availability).

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is as retro as they come. Park this modern Beetle next to its classic 1960s relative and you'll see plenty of styling cues that have carried over. But the appeal isn't merely superficial: When this bubbly Volkswagen is done reminding you of all things flower-power, turns out there's a pretty good car underneath.

One impressive aspect of the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is under the hood. Freshly updated this year, the available turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine gets an additional 10 horsepower and a bump in fuel economy to an impressively frugal 34 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA. If diesel isn't for you, the standard 1.8-liter turbocharged engine offers a good combination of economy and power. The interior of the Beetle also earns points. Take a seat inside and you'll find a stylish design that rises above common economy car standards, yet still is blessed with straightforward controls and high-quality materials.

Exterior Highlights
Four-passenger, two-door hatchback available in coupe and convertible body styles. Available in 1.8T, R-Line and TDI trim levels, which correspond to the engine

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is a four-passenger, two-door hatchback available in coupe and convertible body styles with three basic trim levels that correspond to the available engines: 1.8T, R-Line and TDI.

The Beetle 1.8T comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated windshield-washer nozzles, heated mirrors, full power accessories, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and height-adjustable front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Also standard is VW's Car-Net telematics system.

The 1.8T Classic gets unique upholstery, lumbar adjustment for the front seats, a touchscreen audio interface, satellite radio and a navigation system. The Sunroof package (called the Technology package on the convertible) incorporates the standard 1.8T equipment plus a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera (late availability), keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio and a touchscreen audio interface. The Sunroof, Sound & Navigation package (just Sound and Nav on the convertible) includes the above plus 18-inch wheels, a navigation system and a nine-speaker Fender audio system.

The Beetle R-Line adds the following to the Beetle 1.8T's equipment: a more-powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, unique cloth upholstery, a performance gauge package, faux carbon-fiber accents and alloy pedals.

The R-Line Sunroof and Sound package (R-Line with Sound on the convertible) adds the same items as the 1.8T's Sunroof package along with the Fender audio system. The R-Line's Sunroof, Sound and Navigation System (R-Line with Sound and Nav for the convertible) adds 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, leather upholstery and a navigation system to the above package.

The Beetle TDI includes the 1.8T's standard equipment along with chrome exterior accents, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a touchscreen audio interface and a performance gauge package. As an option, it also offers the optional Sunroof, Sound and Navigation package.

Classy passenger environment, optional navigation system, plenty of room for tall drivers, comfortable seats, Car-Net telematics system

The 2015 VW Beetle gets plenty of inspiration from the original flower-power model, but it still includes the same features, controls and construction as other modern Volkswagens. This translates to a pretty classy passenger environment. The trim that runs across the dash and doors can be color-keyed to the exterior just as in old Bugs, while the R-Line gets secondary dash-top gauges and available two-tone seats.

The optional navigation system is easy to use, though its small screen limits usefulness. The premium Fender sound system, on the other hand, is well worth the extra cost and provides impressive sound quality.

Despite its seemingly low roof line, the Beetle still provides plenty of room for tall drivers, and most people will find the front seats pretty comfortable. The rear seat also has a lot of headroom. The Beetle coupe has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, though the convertible cuts maximum cargo capacity to just 7.1 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats flat in the Beetle coupe and you'll have about 30 cubic feet of cargo space to work with. For the convertible, the power soft top folds down in about 10 seconds and it can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph.

Every 2015 Volkswagen Beetle comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and Volkswagen's Car-Net telematics system. Car-Net bundles crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlocking and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers).

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