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Volkswagen A5 Beetle (2013)
Let it be said that the new longer, wider and lower Beetle comes without a bud vase.
It’s all part of ‘butching up’ one of motoring’s most iconic names and shapes to appeal to a broader ownership.
Inside is a modern, practical and distinctive place to be. Colour accent panels to the dash and doors add appeal. However, the steering wheel tilt adjustment could do with some more height.
Under the stylish exterior is not the same underpinnings as the newly-released Generation VII Golf, but the 2003 Gen V PQ35 platform – minus its multi-link rear end. Instead, there’s a semi-independent rear suspension. The result is ride and handling quality that is not entirely at ease on our bumpy back roads.
The one powertrain on offer – a 1.4-litre TSI twincharged (super and turbo) petrol engine – is an energetic and responsive unit, though it loses some of its 'oomph' in propelling just over 1300kg in the Beetle (compare this with 1189kg for the Polo GTi).
Our test car came with optional seven-speed DSG transmission.
The Beetle is a four, not five-seater, so rear interior width is pretty good, though adult passengers might want for more headroom. Cargo capacity has increased, and ranges from 310 litres to 905 litres with split/folding rear bench folded (previously 209/769). There's an impressive standard equipment list.
Style, proven power/drivetrain
Spacesaver spare, fidgety ride
17” alloys; six-stack CD player with MP3 capability, aux input, eight speakers, media interface and bluetooth; dual-zone climate-control airconditioning; cruise control; remote central locking; front/rear parking sensors; steering wheel audio/cruise controls; tilt and reach steering
Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, hill start assist, electronic stability/traction control, front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters
||Small Under $35,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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||1.4-litre, twincharger petrol, 4-cyl
||118kW @ 5800rpm
||240Nm @ 1500-4000rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||8.7sec (as tested)
|Braking from 80 km/h
||27.4m (as tested)
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.