Though still undeniably cute and fun, the 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle isn't so new anymore. Other competing two-door hatchbacks and convertibles offer more features and more power, and are more fun to drive.
It's hard to believe that 2007 will be the 10th year on sale for the Volkswagen New Beetle. It doesn't seem that long ago that the New Beetle was surrounded by bubbly hype and anticipation. America went bonkers over the car's retro-themed, original Beetle-influenced exterior and the flower bud vase on the dash (how cute!). For '07, the bud vase remains, but much of the hip and cool sheen has long since worn off.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, the 2007 Volkswagen New Beetle is still a pretty decent car, especially considering that it's never received a full redesign. It's based on the old VW Golf platform and is available as a two-door coupe or convertible. It's fairly quick thanks to a 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine, has comfortable road manners and is quite roomy for front-seat passengers. Basic amenities all come standard, and you can easily upgrade via a couple of options packages.
But compared to other competing models, all of which are newer in design, the New Beetle has no real advantage other than its nostalgic halo. Other two-door coupes or hatchbacks, such as the Honda Civic or even VW's new Rabbit, provide better utility, driving dynamics and features. For a cute convertible, we prefer the more entertaining-to-drive Mini Cooper. Overall, we'd probably pass on a "new" New Beetle, though getting a certified-used model -- same car, less money -- might be an interesting alternative.