Like the VW GTI, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line makes good use of its 210 horsepower, turbocharged four-banger that makes 207 lbs-feet of torque. Coupled with a six-speed DSG or a six-speed manual transmission, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line is the driver’s car of the Beetle line.
I’m not a huge fan of the slow-ish DSG and it definitely feels slower than the manual transmission. Fortunately, leaving it in ‘S’ mode (Sport) makes for a very fast automatic transmission. Left to its own devices and playing off the brakes, the DSG maintained good gear choices throughout my track run. The same cannot be said for its street performance as the transmission lag mixed with the turbo lag made for a mediocre commuter.
The sport suspension setup, unique to the 2014 Beetle R-Line, is beautifully sorted. It’s great on the track while providing a sophisticated ride in the city. It’s quiet, mellow and compliant during day-to-day runs. Steering feedback is okay, but the heavy steering weight is excellent.
All said, this 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line felt like a slightly larger GTI with a splash of design whimsy. That’s a compliment. Next to the Ford Focus ST, the VW GTI is my favorite hot hatch. I must add one thing: equipped with the Fender Stereo system, this Bug ROCKS!
Keep in mind: despite feeling bigger than the Golf GTI, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line only seats four.
Also, despite being a hatch, it does not offer a rear wiper.
My fully loaded tester came in at $32,215 (as tested) that’s MINI territory.
The doors are bloody massive and heavy.
Despite its well-made, beautifully designed interior (especially the dash) it lacks good storage.
This is already a much more driver-centric Beetle that’s leaps and bounds ahead of the former “New” Beetle. The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line simply takes it all to the next level. If you’re at all curious about how good it truly is, please test one. It’s that good.
Just remember to get the stick – you’ll thank me later.