I guess all good things must come to an end.
But I’m still holding out some hope that – at some point at least – this car goes back into production.
I’m talking about the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition SE. Introduced to the United States in 1949 shortly after WWII, this German “people’s car” has become iconic. People of a “certain age” remember the motion picture “Herbie the Love Bug” back when the engine was in the trunk, and it was a rear-wheel driver and most likely a stick shift.
How times have changed.
The third-generation Beetle has been modernized with 21st century conveniences, while still holding on to its rich heritage. Every Bug now comes with blind-spot monitoring and rear-traffic alert, to name just a couple new-fangled amenities.
Engineers did pay homage to the good ol’ days with the “Beetle bin” – glove box to non-aficionados – folding upward, just like it did before.
The 2019 Beetle is available in four trims—S, SE, Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
Mine was powered by Vdub’s most advanced EA888 engine ever: A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that delivers 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 3,940 rpm. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and achieves an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving.
The trunk’s no longer in the rear, but the front-wheeler performed nobly in the early-stages of Snowmageddon. It delivered me to work every day without incident. In fact three colleagues loaded into the Beetle (filling it to maximum capacity) for a ride home after work.
No complaints were lodged – even from rear-seated passengers.
Basically, the Beetle is as reliable as ever. Only now it’s a lot more fun!
The Final Edition SE offers standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, chrome exterior accents, heated washer nozzles, keyless access with pushbutton start, rhombus cloth seating surfaces with leatherette inserts, heated seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip, stainless-steel pedal caps and metal scuff plates, rearview camera, Climatronic, gloss-black center console, three-color ambient lighting, Composition media infotainment, SiriusXM radio, Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect, and a “Beetle” badge on tailgate that replaces the typical “Turbo” badge.
Another standard feature on the 2019 Beetle is Volkswagen’s automatic post-collision braking system. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact – the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The automatic post-collision braking system helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
VW operates a state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Base Price: $23,940
Price As Driven: $23,940