23 October 2015

A weekend with the Bug | 2015 Volkswagen Beetle 1.4 TSI DSG

main photo

Words and photos by Carlo Sapera

The Volkswagen Beetle. Pendong! I’m sure most of you have used this expression whenever you see a Beetle on the road. Some refer it as kotseng kuba because of its hunchback shape. Based on many people’s story, this iconic car from Wolfsburg was known as a “people’s car.” Its sales around the world were indeed a success. Today, the Beetle has hugely evolved – from a classy two-door sedan to a flashy and eye catchy locomotion. I spent my birthday weekend with the latest Beetle. So, how did it fair from its competitors?

 

DSC 0305

 

In the capsule
The body-color panels on the doors and dashboard, and an attractive three-spoke steering wheel when you get inside. It doesn’t have a touch screen infotainment system, but the head unit helps you when backing out of the parking. The seats are very comfortable, though a bit challenging to adjust. Back seats are best for kids but space in front is great for tall adults. I like the leather gearshift knob and the multi-functional display on the dashboard. If you are a music nut, the Beetle’s 8-speaker sound system is terrific. Electronic Dance Music fanatic will love its crisp and clear sounds. My only complaint is making the AUX port work. It took time for me to figure it out. Otherwise, it is easy to use.

DSC 0258

Driving around
Two days before the getting the unit, Leslie Sy, our online editor and me were talking about the Beetle. At first, we were hesitant about its power output. The 1.4 TSI engine sounds weak. We were both wrong. Engine’s output sounds good at 158hp and 240Nm of torque. It speeds on open roads smoothly. The 7-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG) is very responsive and shifts effortlessly. As for the fuel efficiency, the Beetle was able to return around 8km/l on heavy traffic. On the highway, I was able to get 12km/l. Not bad at all. Many of the roads in Metro Manila aren’t good. After a week’s rain, you’d expect plenty of potholes. Surprisingly, the ride is still comfortable even on uneven roads. With the large 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/55R17 tires, I’d expect that tagtag feel. But there wasn’t.

DSC 0260

Parting ways
I did have fun having the Beetle on my birthday weekend. There’s peace of mind inside because of its straightforward features. The car’s attractive shape draws attention around. If the P 1.790M sounds steep, look at the specs again. You get a smooth and responsive gearbox, great engine, plenty of safety kits, a nice sound system, and the prestige of owning an icon. It was hard to let go of the car. Having it on my special day was truly memorable. Special thanks to Arnel Doria, Timmy Naval – de Leon, and Ian Co.

DSC 0263

DSC 0267

DSC 0268

DSC 0274

DSC 0278

DSC 0287

DSC 0290

DSC 0291

DSC 0292

DSC 0295

DSC 0316

DSC 0325

DSC 0338

DSC 0344

DSC 0346

DSC 0349

main photo2