(Originally published May 2011)
The wraps have come off the next manifestation of the Volkswagen Beetle and while its looks can hardly be described as dramatically different, there’s no doubt that it has a bit of a sporty swagger about it.
Since the original, known simply as the Volkswagen, was launched 73 years ago, the car has acquired legendary status and has racked up total sales of 21.5 million. So the popularity of the next generation is as certain as certain can be.
It’s longer, wider, lower and more butch in appearance, has four seats, three trim levels and a lengthy menu of optional extras, such as keyless access, sat-nav, panoramic sunroof and daytime headlights.
In the UK there will be a choice of four engines: 1.2, 1.4 and 2.0-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel with VW’s famed BlueMotion technology. It can be ordered this summer and the first cars will hit British showrooms early next year.
MM verdict: rock-solid winner with wide appeal.