2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

By Steve Kursar-

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDI is a thoroughly modern vehicle that holds a strong resemblance to the car that first hit the road back in 1938. The “Bug” was instantly recognizable, and it went on to become hugely popular worldwide. But, although times caught up to the original rear-engine, air-cooled model, the iconic shape continues to live on in a new version that is loads of fun to drive.

This Beetle is actually the third generation of the car. In 1997, VW introduced the second generation on the vehicle which they called the New Beetle. Its exterior design was very round and curvy and easy to love. Unlike the original; however, this one had a front engine with the truck in the rear. It was highly popular with women and even boasted a small plastic flower vase on the dashboard.

The newest generation Beetle is decidedly more masculine in its exterior design with a lower, wider stance and sharper angles to the sheet metal. It also drives much more like a sports car, which makes sense since it shares a platform with the Audi TT. The interior is remarkable roomy in the front row so don’t expect the rear passengers to be happy on a long road trip.

The base Beetle, with a MSRP of $19,995, is powered by a 170 hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that gets estimated EPA fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The R-Line Beetle will cost you about $5,000 more and comes with a 200 hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Both are available with either manual or automatic transmissions.

But the real star of the Beetle lineup is the clean-diesel 140 hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel TDI with an MSRP of $24,195. If you still think of diesel engines as loud and smelly, you need to test drive a modern diesel. It’s remarkably quiet and refreshingly peppy. And, with fuel economy numbers of 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, you can go two weeks without filling up. You can easily drive the roundtrip from Houston to Dallas on one tank of fuel.

If you’re shopping for a fun vehicle that will turn heads but not break your budget, the 2014 VW Beetle should be on your list of vehicles to test drive.

Follow Steve Kursur at KursarOnCars.