2014 Volkswagen Beetle

1.8T FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

1.8T FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

2014 volkswagen beetle Reviews and News

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR And 1964 Porsche 356SC
Joe Montana or Tom Brady? Madonna or Lady Gaga? The first love or the new flame? It’s in our nature to look in the rearview mirror, to measure the brightness of the present against the best of the past. It’s no different with car enthusiasts. For all the areas in which automobiles have improved -- safety, performance, efficiency, reliability—they still live in the shadow of the past. The great thing about cars, though, is that we don’t have to rely solely on our memories. We’ll never know how twenty-eight-year-old Michael Jordan would have fared against twenty-eight-year-old LeBron James, but we can find well-kept classic cars—the icons that enthusiasts worship -- and pit them against their modern equivalents. That’s just what we did with these seven matchups. It’s throttle cables versus direct injection. AM radios versus infotainment screens. Old-car patina versus new-car smell. So, was it really better then?
"How cute" is the first phrase that comes to mind when describing a Volkswagen Beetle. That's not at all what we're thinking as we take a long sweeper in a jet-black, 1964 Porsche 356SC. The phrase we're repeating aloud at this moment happens to be, "don't lift." The Porsche's skinny radials hold on and its flat-four clatters up to 5000 rpm as we accelerate out of the turn.
Filling our rear-view mirror and taking the corner with far less effort is the latest Bug with an attitude, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR. It is, of course, a very different car; front-engine, front-wheel drive, and fifty years younger. Yet its basic purpose is the same: turn the lovable, functional Beetle into something much spicier.

From People’s car to Porsche

The Beetle GSR officially pays homage to the 1973 Gelb Schwarzer Renner (Yellow Black Racer), but the crazy notion of making a sports car out of the Beetle can be traced back to an old sawmill in Gmünd, Austria. That’s where Ferry Porsche found himself at the end of World War II. Porsche chose the Volkswagen as a starting point not because it was fast or even because it was charming—the innovative advertising and the hippies would come along much later—but because it was cheap and reliable.
Porsche’s engineers cut nearly a foot out of the wheelbase and heavily modified the flat-four engine. Designer Erwin Komenda penned a sultry new body. The result, the 356, was a world-class sports car that continued to get better throughout its long life. It developed a cult following that included Bill Kinley, who bought his first 356 in the 1960s, when he came to Ann Arbor for college, and who owns the ’64 356SC pictured here.

From flower power to GTI power

Volkswagen hopes to cultivate its own set of discerning enthusiasts with the GSR. The hoards who bought New Beetles as fashion accessories have long since moved on, so the latest iteration has become faster, meaner-looking, and more sophisticated. The roof is chopped and the headlights slant back, just as they do on the 356. Underneath, the Beetle now shares an independent rear suspension with the Golf and in Turbo iterations employs a 210-hp four-cylinder similar to that in the GTI.
No surprise, today’s Beetle feels like a rocket ship compared with yesterday’s Porsche. The GSR’s 2.0-liter inline-four makes more than twice the power of the 356SC’s 1.6-liter air-cooled flat-four, even though the latter was tuned within an inch of its life by future Porsche motorsports legend Hans Metzger. It also benefits from a much more precise manual transmission, more grip, and more predictable handling (Kinley nonchalantly recalls rolling his Porsche back in the ‘60s).
The 356 still can teach Volkswagen a few things, though. The unassisted steering has some slop on center, but dials in with quartz watch precision and transmits information from the road that never makes it to the GSR driver. The throttle responds on a hair trigger, whereas in the GSR there’s a noticeable lag. Kinley credits the excellent bodywork on his car to a local restoration shop, but notes that the cars came out of the factory with tight panel fits. He can barely conceal his disdain for the stripes, big wheels, and duckbill spoiler that make up the GSR package, although he quite likes the tasteful black interior.
Of course, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR isn’t supposed to appeal in a literal sense to those who crave a Porsche 356. Really, how could it? The approving nods the GSR gets from young toughs as we drive around town indicate it’s connecting with a new audience, which is precisely the point. Nearly seventy years after those guys in Gmünd started hacking away at the Volkswagen, there are still those who want a Beetle with a mean streak.
More from our Then vs. Now series: 1972 BMW 2002tii vs. 2014 BMW M235i
1964 Porsche 356SC2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR
Engine1.6L H-4, 107 hp, 88 lb-ft.2.0L turbocharged I-4, 210 hp, 207 lb-ft.
Transmission4-speed manual6-speed manual
Curb Weight2060 lb3056 lb
Price$4753 ($36,100 after inflation)$30,850
Value Today:$60,000-85,000
2014 Volkswagen Beetle
2014 Volkswagen Beetle

New For 2014

An all-new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with direct injection replaces the long-in-the-tooth 2.5-liter I-5 engine. The top-spec R-Line model is new, replacing last year's Beetle Turbo; there's also a sportier, limited-run Beetle GSR special edition for this year. A backup camera is now included in the Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation models.

Vehicle Summary

It can be hard to revive a legend without sullying the original, but Volkswagen managed to pull it off with the Beetle. At the 1994 Detroit auto show, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a bubble-shaped two-door coupe that was able to both pull on heartstrings from decades past and be twenty-first-century futuristic. The Concept One previewed what the classic VW Beetle would look like for the new century, and the 1999 Volkswagen New Beetle stayed close to the concept. We were so taken by the New Beetle that we named it our 1999 Automobile of the Year (putting it and Jerry Seinfeld on our cover) and awarded it an All-Star in 2000. The New Beetle has also been credited with starting the retro-futuristic craze of automotive design that also spawned the Chrysler PT Cruiser, the Chevrolet HHR, and the fifth-generation Ford Mustang. A convertible version of the New Beetle was added in 2003 and to this day remains Volkswagen's sole soft-top convertible offering in the U.S.
After 2010, the New Beetle was killed off, a victim of old age and diminishing sales. That sales hiatus lasted only for about a year: Volkswagen introduced the Beetle (no more "New" in the name) for the 2011 model year, which gave the New Beetle's bubble shape a few more creases and a flatter roof in hopes of "butching" up the car to appeal more to male customers without losing the Beetle's iconic looks. Both the New Beetle and the Beetle share most of their mechanicals with the Golf/Jetta models of their eras, from platform to powertrains.


The Volkswagen Beetle is based on the outgoing Golf hatchback, a car that offers a superb balance of comfort and superior driving dynamics. However, the base Beetle has been stripped of its multilink rear suspension -- instead, it has a less sophisticated torsion-beam setup in the rear that leaves some handling adeptness to be desired. Then again, it's worth remembering that the Beetle is more about style than being a hot hatchback.
Power for the base car now comes from an all-new 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder that Volkswagen says returns 17-percent better fuel economy than the ancient 2.5-liter five-cylinder it replaces. The diesel four-cylinder is capable of returning up to 41 mpg on the highway. The Beetle R-Line (formerly the Turbo) is almost as poised and engaging as the GTI that inspired it. Its steering weight is superb, the suspension is firmer without being jarring, and prodigious power comes from the 210-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Along with the name change, the R-Line also receives revised front and rear bumpers, R-Line badging, and special R-Line sill kickplates. The base Beetle uses a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic; the Turbo and the TDI raise the engagement factor with a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic that delivers crisp, speedy shifts.
For 2014, Volkswagen has added a limited-run Beetle GSR special edition atop the Beetle's model hierarchy. The GSR harks back to the "Yellow Black Racer" GSR Beetle of the 1970s with yellow-and-black two-tone exterior paint, unique nineteen-inch "Tornado" wheels, black-painted brake calipers, and a larger rear spoiler. Inside, the cabin is done in the same yellowjacket-like color scheme with black leather seating surfaces and contrasting yellow stitching. Other interior upgrades include a high-grip sport steering wheel, sport seats, a GSR shift lever, and a special-edition badge. Only 3500 copies will be made. Mechanically, the 2014 Beetle GSR is identical to the Beetle R-Line.
The Beetle's interior features slick body-color accents and the simple, intuitive controls that Volkswagen is known for. There's enough headroom for six-footers in the rear but only enough legroom for small children. If you're a sucker for style, the Beetle is a smart small car with substance beneath the surface.

You'll like:

  • Classic, but not comical, looks
  • Supple ride
  • True four-seat convertible

You won't like:

  • Scant rear legroom
  • Down on performance from Golf/GTI cousins
  • Poor outward visibility

Key Competitors

  • Hyundai Veloster
  • Mini Cooper
  • Nissan Juke
Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Side Motion
It’s a long time coming considering that the first Beetle Dune concept debuted in Los Angeles in 2000, but Volkswagen will finally build a production off-road Volkswagen Beetle. Based on the Beetle Dune concept that bowed at the Detroit auto show earlier this year, the new Beetle Dune will arrive in 2016.
Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Rear Three Quarter View In Motion
Volkswagen is mulling over putting the Beetle Dune concept into production. The VW Beetle Dune concept was overlooked by many 2014 Detroit auto show attendees (with Lake Michigan freezing and all), but VW doesn't want you to forget it exists, releasing new photos of the Baja Buggy reincarnate rolling down the road.
Volkswagen Beetle GRC Racecar Front View
Volkswagen used the 2014 Chicago auto show to announce that it would campaign modified Beetle hatchbacks in this year's Red Bull Global Rallycross championship, and today the company revealed even more details on the new race car. Drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed will pilot the car, which will be run by Andretti Autosport, later this season.
2014 Volkswagen GRC Beetle Front Three Quarters
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept shown at the Detroit auto show may have been inspired by off-roaders, but at the 2014 Chicago auto show, Volkswagen is showing off a Beetle that will actually go off-road. In partnership with Andretti Autosport, both Tanner Foust and Scott Speed will pilot specialized, 560-horsepower Volkswagen Beetles in the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship.

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2014 Volkswagen Beetle
2014 Volkswagen Beetle
1.8T FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
22 MPG City | 31 MPG Hwy
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2014 Volkswagen Beetle
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2014 Volkswagen Beetle
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2014 Volkswagen Beetle Specifications

Quick Glance:
1.8L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
22 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
31 MPG
170 hp @ 6200rpm
184 ft lb of torque @ 1500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 144 months
36,000 miles / 36 months
24,000 miles / 24 months
Recall Date
Volkswagen of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2014 Jetta, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, and Passat vehicles equipped with a 1.8T engine and torque converter automatic transmission. In the affected vehicles, the O-ring seals between the oil cooler and the transmission may leak fluid.
The leaking transmission fluid could contact a hot surface and result in a vehicle fire.
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the O-ring seals in the transmission oil cooler, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on April 16, 2014. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 38B9/9V.
Potential Units Affected
Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Recall Date
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Beetle vehicles manufactured June 13, 2013, to July 3, 2014. The glass sunroofs in the affected vehicles may break when the vehicles are operated over a hard road surface or strike a pothole.
Vehicle occupants could be injured by falling glass. A sunroof break during vehicle operation also increases the risk of driver distraction and a resulting vehicle crash.
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the sunroof, free of charge. The recall began on December 15, 2015. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 60B9.
Potential Units Affected
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Recall Date
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Jetta vehicles manufactured March 28, 2014, to November 24, 2014, 2014-2015 Passat vehicles manufactured April 7, 2014, to November 18, 2014, 2015 Golf and GTI vehicles manufactured July 1, 2014, to November 20, 2014, and 2014-2015 Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles manufactured March 31, 2014, to November 27, 2014. A sealing cap at the fuel rail may fail, allowing fuel to leak into the engine compartment.
A fuel leak, in the presence of an ignition source, can result in a vehicle fire.
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel rails with new parts, free of charge. The recall began February 6, 2015. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 24BL. Note: This recall expands and supersedes recall 14V-809 (Volkswagen recall number 24Bi) and only affects vehicles not previously repaired under that campaign.
Potential Units Affected
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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