Sixty-five years after the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the United States as a distinctively shaped, little car, the Beetle keeps attracting buyers with its more-spacious-than-ever, flexible interior, turbo engine power and modernized iconic look.
For 2014, the Beetle lineup gets a new, performance-oriented trim name — R-Line — with beefier bumpers and a limited-edition, bright yellow GSR model.
In addition, all Beetles now have independent rear suspension for an improved ride.
The 2014 Beetle three-door hatchback also received the top overall score of five out of five stars in federal government crash testing.
Meantime, buyers of all 2014 Beetles, even the base model, get standard Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity; six-way adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustment; power, one-touch side windows; leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel, and three-color ambient interior lighting.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $21,115 for a base 2014 Beetle with 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated, gasoline four cylinder and five-speed, manual transmission, according to VW's consumer website.
The lowest starting price for a 2014 Beetle with an automatic transmission is $22,215, or $1,100 more, and this is with the 170-horse five cylinder.
To get a turbocharged Beetle, buyers must move up to a diesel-fueled model that has a starting retail price of $25,415 with six-speed manual, or a gasoline turbo model with a starting retail price of $25,815 with manual, according to the VW consumer pricing website.
The lowest starting retail prices for 2014 Beetles with turbos and automatics are $26,515 with TDI diesel engine and $26,915 with gasoline turbo.
All Beetle turbos have four cylinders. All Beetles are front-wheel drive and have seats for four.
Competitors include other small, European hatchbacks, such as the 2014 Fiat 500L that has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $19,995 with 160-horsepower, turbocharged, gasoline four cylinder and six-speed manual.