By on April 16, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Beetle Exterior-008

Will there be a Green Mile edition?

The slow-selling Volkswagen Beetle is living on borrowed time, if a tweet by industry insider Autoline can be believed, but aside from nostalgia, why should the world mourn a vehicle that few buyers want?

In the wake of the disruptive and wildly expensive diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen needs sales in a big way, and they’re not getting them from the Beetle. Seven months out from the diesel revelations, Volkswagen’s sales are still dropping, and the Beetle’s popularity with buyers has all the power of, well, an original Beetle engine.

Once popular with the types of people who would explain how the world is supposed to work on Sesame Street, the Beetle saw its production peak in the early 1970s. Like Linda Lovelace’s career, it was all downhill from there.

The diminutive Bug represented an automotive ideal born of unhappier times, but that ideal no longer resonates.

At 22,667 units, last year’s U.S. Beetle sales were half of what they were when the previous New Beetle still had some whimsical clout in 2003. In fact, they were almost half of 2013 sales.

In Australia, where life’s a beach every damn day, the Beetle was put down like an injured wallaby after selling just 240 units last year.

No one wants to see a storied nameplate fade into the history books, but the “new” Beetle is cursed with a retro design that shuns design updates, and buyers can’t be blamed for wanting something that looks new and fresh.

So, if the model does get killed off at the end of 2018, buyers will shed a tear for the cute car their elementary school teacher once drove, right before actually considering putting money down on the compact crossovers and three-row SUV that will actually save the company.

[Image: © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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104 Comments on “The Volkswagen Beetle Will be Missed by People Who Weren’t Planning on Buying One...”


  • avatar
    phauser86

    Other than the cuteness, what reason would anyone have to not buy a Golf instead?

    • 0 avatar

      You’re clearly not a 17 year-old girl.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I assume Beetles have more cash on the hood…?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The New Beetle is the finest road trip convertible this side of a 911 and a Drophead. Perhaps nicer than the P car at being a convertible. The first New Beetle ‘vert was even nicer, but the current one is the best there currently is. The rest of them either have their windshields raked onto or above one’s forehead, or are too small and drafty (Miata/Boxster), or rough (Mini). The S2000 and the Azure were fine, but neither is in production anymore. Being forced to spring for a Drophead for lack of a $25K bug, is a bit of a raw deal for many…..

      • 0 avatar

        Okay, the New Beetle was certainly cuter but had garbage build quality and problematic automatics. True junk from ’03 to ’06.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        As an S2000 owner, I’d say it’s far from a good road trip convertible. It’s too loud, too twitchy, and lacks decent wind abatement from the rear. Great track day toy though.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I loved it as a road tripper. Did several long ones. The longest a month long, 15000 mile blast from Cali to most of Alaska, via seemingly most of Western Canada. Don’t know how Honda did it, but it’s the only two seat ‘vert I have ever driven that did not freeze my ears off in cold weather. A++ wind management. And I’m over 6’, with a long torso and head. Only downside was, the wind management was good enough to provide air pockets still enough for the darned mosquitoes to do their thing as well…..

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You actually just compared a Beetle convertible to a Bentley Azure, in seriousness.

        I’ve seen it all now.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Blame the rest of the peddlers of modern day so called convertibles.

          Hint to automakers: Convertibles are supposed to feel as open as a golden era Chris Craft or Riva. If your peripheral vision don’t see sky above the windshield frame, you may as well sit under a bloody roof.

      • 0 avatar
        mac

        I presently OWN a 2015 VW Diesel Convertible which I purchased in March 2015 and I absolutely LOVE IT!! I don’t really understand why the big to do with not selling them anymore. I get between 42 & 45 mpg’s and have 20,500 miles on it. IT IS A TRULY GREAT CAR!!

        I have owned other convertibles like the 2001 Toyota Solara convertible which I traded in for this one, having owned it for 12 years. It doesn’t even come close to this great car.

        When they start to sell this car again, I’d trade mine in in a second so as to promote the car and take advantage of the huge savings with the great gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      OK…time to come out from the closet and be strong! Time to defend fav cars against this girl/chic car urban talk.

      I am not a 17 yr old girl.

      I like the “cuteness”…and way more than the alien lookin to eat anything in my way looks coming out.
      In fact, I am sick of the angry looks in cars these days.
      Lighten up folks…it is just grills and machines.
      And yes…I am one of those that l9ked the Mazda3 look these past years. It was all in fun car stuff.

      And I like the Miata…the so called chick car that it is called.

      And, to your point, I want a rag top. I like the VW rear seat option and do list the VW bug R as a strong possibility along with the Mustang V6 base.

      Personally…I think many years down the road and with proper care…the car would still be getting looks as it gets around town…unlike the GTI and other sports cars that just turn into just old metal years later.

      • 0 avatar
        VoxMortis

        finally, someone like me. I had a NB TDI shortly after launch and loved that car. Great MPGs, easy to get around. Just got a 2018 Beetle Dune.. once again, love it. Great MPGs and a 6yr/72,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty. Let the hater’s hate.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Tastes and styles evolve. The Boomers who bought VW Beetles have aging hips and failing eyesight and have moved on. (Myself included). My wife drove a Beetle in college, wouldn’t touch one now. My kids do not understand the appeal of lava lamps, fondue pots, patchooli oil or Beetles. Time for VW to move on; there are other ways to design and manufacture cheap, reliable transportation.

    • 0 avatar

      A good start would be to offer cheap, reliable transportation. There used to be some German company that did that, I’m pretty sure.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        +1 the jappa-bloody-knees have taken over on you know what practice makes… Quite remarkable when you consider they live on shakey-knee land and can still assemble A1 quality product.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Plus they can set up shop in Dental Gap, USA or No Neck, Mexico and maintain A1 product.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            No worse than Dee Troy It, Mushigan…where the line workers take 140-proof lunches and feel put upon when they’re fired for sleeping in cubbies. Where they think they are ENTITLED with a Union-scale line job.

            At least in Dental Gap, or Cat Dirt, or Outhouse Falls…they’re grateful for their jobs. Honda, in Marysville, Ohio, has produced quality product that rivals what comes out of their original home-country plants.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            You are correct. Any population can provide good workers if given a ladder to climb and protection from thugs, at least on site.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Not all of us boomers are worn out. I’d rather have the memories of my old Beetles than have them spoiled by this Jetta in disguise.

    • 0 avatar

      I also do not understand appeal of drugs (even prescription ones), lava lamps, fondue pots, patchooli oil or Beetles, including Beatles, even though I would consider myself to be a boomer. Yes hippies die and Beetle with them, and they were supposed to live forever young. If even they cannot survive what is the hope for rest of us?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “I also do not understand appeal of drugs..”

        Perhaps you just never met the right ones.

        Patchouli, though, yechh… smells like digging up earthworms for fishing.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Beetle simply isn’t a relevant car anymore. Like the lookalike TT, it suffers from not being nearly as bubbly and fun as it was during the Bauhaus, geometric days of the early-2000s. I think Volkswagen only keeps it around because it sort of symbolizes the brand…but really, the Golf is the vehicle that now represents the brand and has been since the start of the water-cooled days. Most of VWs wares—including both versions of the modern Beetle—are *based* on the Gofl.

    Not to mention that it has become increasingly hard for any non-sports coupe (read: anything that isn’t a Camaro, Challenger or Mustang) to sell well. Combine that with the fact that the Beetle is not particularly well-equipped in any trim level for what you pay, and it’s no wonder it’s flailing in the marketplace. People would rather spend their coupe dollars elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar

      I just pulled the window sticker on a ’14 Beetle Cabrio r-LINE w/Sound & Nav that’s running at Central next week.

      Comes one way, no options

      $35,315.00!(OMGWTFLOLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        They’ve really priced themselves out of the 17-year old girl market, $35k is pushing into Audi A4/3-Series territory.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          An Audi A3 convertible starts around $36k or you can find yourself the final 2016 Eos for around $32K plus money on the hood.

          I always had a hankering for the previous generation New Beetle Turbo S. It had the 225hp 6 speed drive train from the Audi TT sans Quattro plus the unique 4 light nose and special wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            the problem these cars start here…and easily get higher without doin much.
            The VW R is nice around 31K.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          Guys, doesn’t the beetle start under 20? Doesn’t the convertible start in the mid 20’s?

          This car is definitely not on my wish list, and I agree with kyree that it is irrelevant, but it’s not really overpriced.

          It’s a jetta coupe, it would be really interesting to compare it to the take rate percentage of the civic and accord variants to see how it stacks up.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      To think that in 1999, I was actually going back-and-forth between the 2000 Accord V6, and a silver Beetle GLX Turbo with a 5-speed!

      WTF was I thinking?

      (Ended up with the Accord — glass transmission, versus Lord-knows-what! I saw what my Mom went through with her Emm-Kay-Four Jetta! I made the right call!)

  • avatar

    Sucks for the used car market to an extent. When I can buy a ’13 Beetle 2.5 with a $21.5 MSRP and 27k miles for $9200, why would I spent more on a Golf that doesn’t have the Beetle’s kitsch factor?

    I grant you kitsch and warm fuzzies aren’t enough to move the metal at $21k, but at $12,995? I’d buy that for a dollar.

    • 0 avatar
      Pinzgauer

      This. Exactly this. I bought my 2012 Turbo Beetle exactly a year ago for $12,500 w/33k CPO. Couldn’t find anything remotely as good in that price range. Its been a great car honestly, I really enjoy it.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Had, what, a twenty-year run? The Type I KdF-Wagen had a 27-year run in the States; and that was unprecedented. And only beaten, since, with the SJ Jeep Wagoneer, which made 29 years.

    I think they got their money’s worth out of the concept. The tooling, for the new, retro-retro design…maybe not so much; but not every idea is gonna be a home run.

    They played this one for all it’s worth; and as it happens, the company, Volkswagenwerk, is decomposing around its history. It is no longer the vendor of durable, timeless machinery – it is the opposite. Hip, trendy…designed to sell to people who take themselves very, very seriously; have SERIOUS concerns about the ecology, about the whales, about Fair Trade and about all that pollution gas engines emit. Pixie-dust diesels – that’s the ticket.

    That images is popped like a Chinese balloon; and there’s nothing there. Few people still driving had licenses when the Type I was in its heyday; even those who did have long forgotten the memory and don’t connect that charming-if-primitive car with today’s pricey “People’s” Car Company.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      The first original Beetles were imported in 1949 while the last new ’79s were sold in 1980. That’s 31 years.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        After 1977, only the Karmann convertible, still on the otherwise-discontinued Super Beetle chassis, was sold. And only because Volks was having trouble coaxing the drop-top Rabbit out of its hutch.

        Since the Super/1131 was essentially a new car, more than simply a variant, in 1971…and the convertible a low-volume one at that, with final assembly at the Karmann coachworks…it scarcely counts, IMHO.

        Some Mexican Beetles came in after 1977 in a dark-grey market, too. Used to see them when I was in Texas in 1981.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    The Beetle is yet another swing and a miss by Volkswagen. Had Volkswagen priced/equipped/marketed the Beetle against cars like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Soul, Nissan Versa, and the like, they could have sold a ton, while its unique (for the VW line) looks would have differentiated it from the rest of the line up and not damaged the brand. A $12k Beetle with steel wheels, hand crank windows and good device connectivity would have done a hell of a lot better than the mid 30’s nostalgia mobiles they’re (not) selling now.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      There’s something to this idea; however, VW at the time was very-publicly abandoning the low-price market. VW’s chairman at the time, I don’t recall his name, insisted that loss-leader Rabbit sales would cease and the Fox was headed out. Volkswagen, he said, would rather sell one car at a profit than three at a loss. Which makes sense – depending on your definition of “loss.”

      Anyway…at the time there were some efforts, by VWoA and IIRC Briklin’s people, to see about converting the Mexican Beetle to American standards. The big problems were the position of the fuel tank; the lack of front crumple zones; the then-new door-reinforcement standards…and of course, putting emissions controls on the 1930s air boxer engine. That last, of course, was what finally killed the Type I in Mexico.

      But the project disappeared; and about five years later appeared the New Beetle. Replete with a new, improved price tag and profit margin.

      Sell it for the price of a Hyundai? That wasn’t their market. They were after the 1960s hippies, grown up and successful by that time, the late ’90s. Play to their memories while plying them with every luxury then available…power seats/windows; air conditioning; sound deadening; stereos…and of course, a flower-stem holder on the dash.

      It was a good attempt at a potentially-profitable niche market…and it had to be profitable, because there wasn’t a promise of high sales volume. Probably the success of the first New Beetle surprised even them.

      • 0 avatar
        JonBoy470

        VW definitely chases the low-cost segment of their home market. They just do so with Seat and Skoda branded offerings. A lower cost Beetle, based on the Polo (or hell, the Polo itself) would have come in much closer to the size, and spirit, of the original Beetle.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          Why does it need to be smaller? The NA market development costs are already spread across the various models that use this chassis. The existing car, decontented, would have been fine.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            That goes against VW’s marketing strategy for the last thirty years. They’re chasing UPMARKET. The New Beetle and new-new Beetle were to wring out all the nostalgia they could from former SDS tools-turned-capitalist-pigs. The diesel push was to promote Green to people who had the money to chase fantasies about Saving The Planet.

            As it turned out, the marketing scheme, based not on value but emotions and driven by sleights-of-hand…blew up; but that doesn’t mean they’re going to experience a sea change in their overall strategy. Or even that they can – look at the difference between a Kia store and a VW boutique; and imagine both the cost to convert and the loss of per-unit profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            VW forgot the part where more upmarket cars are supposed to be better than cheap cars in meaningful ways.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    “…before actually considering putting money down on the compact crossovers and three-row SUV that will actually save the company.”

    Nothing will save NSU, dba Volkswagenwerk AG, aka VW of America.

    Nothing except DELIVERING VALUE to consumers.

    Since the NSU takeover-from-within in the 1970s, VW has delivered the opposite. Flash; new technology, HYPING its roots in German engineering (without delivering the robust durability it had in the past) and finally, those miracle diesels – which, like the Wizard of Oz, were in fact a high-technology fraud and illusion.

    Their only salvation is to first copy the Toyota model, that of engineering durability into the product; and THEN overturn their customer-relations model. They need to start considering their customers as PARTNERS – not marks and gulls to be fleeced as brutally as possible.

    They need to do this and they need to communicate that they are doing this. Anything less, and they disappear, at least from North America.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      +7000

      As a pissed off former owner of 2001 VW Jetta TDI, that’s +1 for every dollar I soebt to maintain that POS over the year I owned it.

      I’ve owned Toyotas as DDs ever since, because my Jetta showed the errors in my youthful car maintenence confidence. Now, I realize I must start with a well engineered vehicle in order keep up with the repairs.

      (I rarely touch cars with less than 100k miles on them, so my frame of reference is quite different than some of your all’s.)

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I grew up watching Herbie movies and always thought it would be cool to get a white Beetle and put some stripes and numbers on it to make it just like Herbie. Actually, I’ve seen that several times already. I’d love for someone do that with the newer Beetle Turbo. I’ll be sad to see the Beetle go, but I’d never buy one over my current A5.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Understood, but they are playing to different price ranges and to very different markets.

      I like the newer gen much better than the original New Beetle – it seems a higher quality vehicle for the price, especially inside. I also get a slight Porsche vibe in the newer design.

      Still, the Puritan in me says why not the Golf with more room and purpose…

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I’ve spoken to a couple of recent arrivals to the US who owned Polo’s back in their country and miss them very much, one of them bought another VW and he says it’s just not the same.

  • avatar

    My problem with the Beetle is that this latest iteration is just too damn big. It looks like a caricature of itself. It should be smaller and on the Polo platform, and not the Golf platform. And priced lower.

  • avatar
    John

    Twice Volkswagen has had a lock on the chick car market – first with the Cabrio, second with the New Beetle. Each time, they gave the market away. When my daughter was a tween, she longed for a driver’s license and a Beetle. Once Volkswagen turned their chick car into a diesel dyke mobile, daughter lost all interest. There is nothing wrong with marketing a car to women, Volkswagen! And hey – Cadillac – nothing wrong with marketing a car to old folks! Here’s a tip, auto manufacturers – there aren’t enough Edgy Urban Hipsters to keep any brand afloat.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The chick market is firmly in the hands of the Ford Edge right now.

    • 0 avatar
      oleladycarnut

      A diesel dyke mobile? What an asinine comment.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I assume that was his teenage daughter’s comment. Teenagers can be like that sometimes, and it’s OK.

        My sister, who is an actual lesbian, wouldn’t consider a diesel beetle. She has been considering restoring a Ranger, though, because it served an actual need that she and her partner have. The older she gets, the cooler she becomes!

    • 0 avatar
      JonBoy470

      Especially since “edgy urban hipsters” won’t buy anything actually marketed at them, and in fact, in many cases aspire to *not* own a car…

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        “and in fact, in many cases aspire to *not* own a car…”

        They say that. It’s their way of saying “Whatever, dood…” They can’t AFFORD a car on their burger-flipping jobs and their Medical Marijuana expenses, so they tell themselves and each other that they just don’t care.

        Which to some extent is true; they don’t care enough to figure out how to improve their lives. Maybe, in this climate, they can’t. But…I guaran-damn-tee ya, if and when we get out of this mess, in fifteen years…they’ll be buying an Estabishmentmobile Excess as fast as they get their 100,000-Amero line of credit approved at the local Federal Reserve Bank Consumer Lending window.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    OMG! There will be tens of people that will be devastated by this news!

    Bout time they trim the fat. Besides the crossovers, I think a decent subcompact, like the Up! would be a decent addition to their product-starved North American lineup. But, theyd probably try to price it like its 10x better than it actually is, as per typical.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I realize steph writes for maximum snarkiness and click bait; but it’s the third paragraph really exposes its ignorance. Many bought the original Beetle because it was cheap to buy, cheap to run, and you could buy a repair manual bound like a spiral notebook. At least Jalopnik has some useful stuff; not a Baruth-butt-boy wannabe like this author

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      What he said.

      And writers should generally avoid condescending familiarity with things from and events transpiring before those writers’ births.

      Millions of necessarily frugal people, especially the young, bought Beetles for el scotto’s reasons but we didn’t necessarily enshrine them in our hearts. Dangerously slow and *still* under-braked, noisy and utterly without creature comforts, they briefly proliferated only because the Japanese hadn’t yet arrived.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Steph Willems: all of the snarkiness of a Baruth, none of the clever thought.

      • 0 avatar

        Steph Willems is a screen name under which Jack Baruth fools around in TTAC. Otherwise I cannot explain who is Steph Willems and how he suddenly came out of nowhere to dominate TTAC. Steph Willems who are you?

        • 0 avatar
          natrat

          lot of these second rate online publications are populated by these arrogant writers who have put themselves on pedestals, not steph necessarily but ttac is rampant with self congradulatory hacks . Kind of amusing but in the end just annoying because of the narrow mindedness.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    The new “Beetle” always bugged me. It’s not a Beetle; it’s just a Golf w/ a silly factory body kit (sort of). A Beetle has a rear, four cylinder, horizontally, air-cooled engine. And, as el scotto said:

    “Many bought the original Beetle because it was cheap to buy, cheap to run, and you could buy a repair manual bound like a spiral notebook.”

    Anybody could take it apart and a whole lot of people could even put it back together.

    And, it made a superb deathtrap when appropriately hopped up.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    My Niece had a 2002 Beetle Turbo. It was nothing but expensive repairs and poor build quality.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I almost bought a 2002 Beetle Turbo, but instead I bought a 2002 Passat V6.

      I couldn’t keep it out of the repair shop, so it got traded when the 3-year warranty expired. The last straw was high oil consumption, which also plagued many A4s lately. My sister in law just had her 50k mile engine rebuilt under a recall settlement.

      • 0 avatar

        I did not add motor oil to my Fusion 2L Ecoboost engine in 3K miles since last oil change – oil level did not change at all, car has 27K miles on it. There is something wrong with VW. Probably VW production system is up to modern levels or they cut corners when engineering engines. I know they put cheap stuff inside where nobody can see it or touch – from experience my friends had with their VW cars – they are money pits after warranty expires. Even interior plastics do not fare well in California’s hot summers and sun.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          The oil consumption thing right now is an industry-wide issue to do with low-tension rings used to minimize internal friction and improve fuel economy. There was a list of the vehicles most effected several months ago, and it was hardly limited to a few manufacturers.

          Back in 2002 it was probably from cost cutting. All the European manufacturers had quality issues around that time that seemed to be rooted in cutting corners.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @inside:

          We *know* Volkswagen cut corners engineering their engines!

          And their organization hasn’t had their $#!t together enough to follow the advice of a competent PR firm, much less actually fix the problem. They’ve had 7 months to get everyone in the same page, and it still hasn’t happened.

          I could see the corners that were cut under the hood of the 2001 Jetta I used to own, so it’s been going on for a while. No thought was out in to making the unreliable parts easy to replace. I’d say that this level of disorganization isn’t new at Volkswagen.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Interesting. Come to think of it, I was just at the VW lot by my house and I don’t recall seeing a new New Beetle on the lot.

    I won’t miss it. It was a compromise in just about every way simply to have a funky nostalgic design. All the former hippies who bought it when it first came out can’t get the grand kids in it so they’ve joined the rank and file in Rav4s.

    Hopefully this will signal the final nail in the retro design coffin. Maybe the next Mustang and Camaro will have completely new and unique designs. Though the Mustang is just about there with the current one.

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    I blame crossovers.

    Even though I like the Golf more, I’m not mad at the current Beetle. Well, maybe its pricing.

    But aside from the Versa sedan (ugh) and the Mitsubishi Mirage (double ugh)… what car is actually “cheap” nowadays?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      There’s a lot of stuff in the mid-teens, like the Sonic, Sentra, Forte, or Fiesta, or their larger siblings 1-year used.

      All much better cheap cars today than the cheap cars of the past.

      Corrected for inflation, a 71 Pinto and a new Versa are the same price.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The Kia Soul is surprisingly cheap and useful. $14k-$20k.

        The 2015 Mazda 5 we just bought is a real minivan for $20k. Alas, it was discontinued for 2016.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The Beatles still sound good. The Beetle doesn’t.
    .
    .

  • avatar

    Do you remember those two idiots in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? They drove VW Beetle, for the reason. While rest of guys drive normal cars.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    The Ersatz Beetle is “stick a fork in it ” done, not surprised.

    I had a half a dozen Type ones in my youth, I remembered them fondly their simplicity was comforting. When I started looking at purchasing a weekend classic car I considered a 70s cabrio.

    After a short test drive, the rose colored glasses came off. I would rather walk.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      Wise decision…walking compared to driving a dung beetle is a safer and healthier choice. Cardio > cabrio

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Although I recognize hip snark, I take exception to that. I am of the generation that drove Beetles as kids…the tail end of it; but still. A Super Beetle, Type 1131 for all you trivia types…and I was [email protected] glad to have it. Always started, for the brief period before a rear-end collision broke the engine block and got me a trashed boneyard engine…started and drove like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

        Of course it was with the Porsche-cribbed MacPherson strut front end – which really did make for a different feel. A friend had a 1967, which was not nearly as much fun.

        It had no heater to speak of; and ice would build up around the floor-hinged gas pedal…but, you deal with it. The alternative, waiting for the bus, was a colder ordeal and a lot longer.

        Would I want one today? Sure…if I had the money and space for a toy car that would get out four times a year. As a DD? NO…EFFIN…WAY.

        But those things weren’t death traps. They were utilitarian but useful.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “But those things weren’t death traps.”

          Only because roads were slower and emptier back then.

          But imagine if they had been death traps; today cardiologists, endocrinologists and ortho surgeons would have to take side jobs cleaning and landscaping their own clinics.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            No, the unemployed high-school dropouts who today have Obamaphones and mo’ money fo’ free, would be cleaning those clinics.

            As they have ever been. USED to be, we had a meritocracy – those with value and skill, rose to the top. Know where Andrew Carnegie started? Henry Ford?

        • 0 avatar
          ExPatBrit

          I think every classic car is designated a death trap, that didn’t bother me.

          My death trap classic is not a my default daily driver but it leaves the garage several times a week when the weather is nice.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            JustPassinThru:

            I’d love an Obamaphone and mo’ money fo’ free.

            Can you tell me where I find a hookup with either one?

            Unless you meant a “BlackBerry” as the Obamaphobe. Meh.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Volkswagen has forgotten what made the Beetle famous. It wasn’t their “New Beetle.”

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    The headline is so apropos.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Actually, the New Beetle did what it set out to do; use the existing hardware and front-drive layout to simulate the “cute” car that boomers remember – and to make it crash-worthy and clean enough that boomers would buy them for their college-aged daughters.

    The “masculizing” refresh (removing that vase, lowering the roofline, adding the turbo) almost tempted *me* once (when I saw one in all black), but when the booze wore off and I read some reviews, I said “Nah”.

    It’s had its run, and it wasn’t bad for the money spent (just a heavily reworked Golf), and the low-spend on adverts (Adolph + Ferdinand’s design sold itself).

    Auf Wiedersehen, das insekt

  • avatar

    Will cancelling this mean they can get the new Tiguan to market faster? I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what on earth is taking them so damn long to get it out the door.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I like the car…especially in the convertible set up.
    In fact, although this seems like girlish thinking to the minds above…I am seriously thinking about it along with the Mustand V6 base.
    The Bug R can be had pretty close to 31K with loaded insides.
    That along with its rear seat keep me a liker.

    Must be the girl in me.

    Then again, the Miata is another chic car I want.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    At the risk of echoing comments left above: The Beetle is losing sales because it no longer embodies the characteristics that made it unique, and therefore a success in the first place: very low purchase price, low operating costs, quality of build, mechanical simplicity and general dependability. These characteristics were strong enough to overcome its drawbacks: no luxuries at all, difficult access to a cramped back seat, little cargo space, engine, wind and road noise, slowness, lack of air conditioning, and practically no safety features other than seat belts. Its niche was those who could barely afford to buy and operate a car, but could make do with one of these.

    Today’s New Beetle only imitates the exterior style of the original. Its drawbacks, when compared to other contemporary cars are: lack of cargo space, middle-of-the-road fuel economy and performance, electrical (ECU) and other gremlins, and a high price.
    So there is really no reason to buy a New Beetle other than its looks. There are way too many other, better choices for the money.

    So the fix is to drop the price until it becomes a viable choice in its class. Maybe a stripper Beetle (AC only, hand-crank windows, no touchscreen) for 13,995? How about 1000 down and 200 a month?
    If VW doesn’t reinvent itself in a way that makes it the go-to marque, like Toyota and Honda have done, it will continue its downward spiral and join the likes of Daihatsu, Renault, Suzuki, Yugo and eventually, Saab and DMC.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    The new Beetle (NB) is unreliable, the old Beetle (OB) was durable. The NB is Mexican, the OB was German. The NB is high priced, the OB was cheap. No one will work on an NB, everyone can work on the OB. In short, VW has betrayed all its original core values since discontinuing the original Bug in 1979. Instead of building crappy New Beetles, VW should restore classic old Beetles and sell them factory direct! Or, if that is not feasible, Wolfsburg should buy Subaru drivetrains and install them into classic Beetle bodies.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Now what are Geek Squad and Nerds on Site going to do? At this point I bet those two groups are responsible for a chunk of those sales.
    Seriously, if you buy a beetle and get their advertising stuck on it they increase your commission by something like 30%, but then again you have to drive a beetle.
    The idiotic thing about that whole plan was it had to be red. And the time they were trying to recruit me into the program, red was not aavailable as a colour choice in Canada.

  • avatar
    Zjz125

    To Anyone thinking a Golf or Jetta is a substitute. Drive a Beetle. End of Story.

    I was completely in agreement with most Comments here until I put about 5000 miles on my girlfriends over the last year.

    hers is a 2014 W/ 12k miles on in it.

    I am very thankful she bought the car for driving experience rather than the practically of a Jetta / Golf or the conformity of a stupid Tiquan.

    Plus she Mexican so its Perfect Nostalgic Fit.

    This chassis is remarkable !
    The biggest complaint for this car is heavy steering.
    Which by all means is the best Electric Steering system I have felt.
    With experience driving cars twice its worth.

    Recently bought a second set of steelies with some Star Specs Mounted for a Track Day.

    Also since VW cant give them away the lease specials are very attractive.

  • avatar

    Imagine an alternate universe where Ford is having to discontinue the Mustang, or Honda having to discontinue the Civic, and that should tell you everything about the current state of VW.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Chick cars have no value or sales longevity – by the time a Chick makes a car a Chick car, the other Chicks change their mind and move onto something that they can make a Chic car.

    The only exceptions are the Chicks who like each other very much and were flannel and use diesel fuel as perfume. Subarus and Toyoduh 4×4’s are historically Chick loving modes of transportation seemingly for centuries now.

    Chicks that still have their dangles seem to like Tahoes. Chlamydia Kardashian Jenner looks almost fab in hers. That ended when the almost Chick killed a real Chick in a Lexus. I’m not sure if Chlamydia has chosen a broom or some other model of transportation since she broke a nail nailing a car.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Forget what the New Beetle/New New Beetle AKA Beetle has been these last 18 years. If VW wants to bother selling the model again, they need to start back at the beginning: cheap, utilitarian transportation, only tweaked for 21st Century sensibilities and expectations.

    The New New New Beetle (AKA New New Beetle) should borrow heavily from the perennial B-segment leader – the Nissan Versa – and offer what the first Type 1 did not: loads of interior space, particularly in the back. The Versa has always won this segment because it’s roomier than the competition. People want the most room for their buck. They have spoken.

    After that, well, we see from both generations of the Versa sedan that you end up with a pretty frumpy vehicle. That doesn’t really matter to the people buying it (because they have the space they want at the price they’re willing to pay) but it also offers an opportunity to maintain the general Beetle form, i.e. big round greenhouse and flared fenders.

    I don’t really care if it’s RR or FF layout. What matters is Price, Room, and Safety. Check those boxes, and make it as fuel efficient as possible and you have a decent shot at competing in a segment VW has abandoned for decades.


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