Before 2011, the adorable, bubbly Beetle sat squarely in the pantheon of “cars men would rather be hit by than caught driving.” In 2011, however, VW gave its iconic coupe a masculine makeover, broadcasting ads featuring owners fist-bumping Harley riders.
Far-fetched marketing aside, is the new Bug a winner? First, I like the new look; it’s gender-neutral without sacrificing the car’s unique curves. The 1.8L turbocharged engine provides thrilling low-end torque, and the car handles well (though not as sublimely as a Golf GTI).
The new Beetle provides style and well-rounded capability for <$20k.
– Chris Butsch, @HappyGuyChris