The Beetle has gone from being VW's most beloved child and a hit on the auto-show circuit to the black sheep of the family. When this retro classic was resurrected in the Nineties -- to great fanfare -- as the New Beetle, it gave the VW brand a shot in the arm. Fast forward to today and you'll see Beetles languishing on dealers' lots.
Despite a recent heart transplant in the form of a new turbo engine, the Beetle is merely a statement of wanting to be cute and nostalgic. While it drives reasonably well it suffers from some inherent deficiencies. The ride is unsettled, moving about with body flex over most bumpy surfaces. Wind noise is horrendous even at modest speeds. Fuel economy of 27 mpg is nothing special. Emergency handling could be scary.
Built-in limitations of the two-door body style and lousy visibility are everyday frustrations that compound the problems.