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2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) #4465187
07/20/17 03:52 PM
07/20/17 03:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
My '03 Protege5 was in the shop getting the wobble taken out of the A/C compressor before it did any real damage.

So off to Avis for a rental. The local Avis store put me in a 2017 VW Beetle built in April 2017.

First, I have no idea how many miles were on the car. Seriously. After two days, about 400 miles of driving based on the trip odometer, a web chat with VW support and visiting the local VW dealer and having not one, but three service personnel looking at the car, none of us were able to produce the odometer.

Avis claimed the car had 15,300 miles on it when I took it. But that seems to really be when the next inspection service is due. Because when I brought the car back they tried to enter 14,900 into their system as the return mileage and it didn't like a negative number.

Apparently, no one on planet earth knows how the BASIC VW instrument cluster works. The web chat session had the lady telling me to use the buttons on the steering wheel. Even after I told her four times that the BASIC display doesn't have those buttons. It uses the trip and OK/Reset buttons on the wiper stalk.

She also had me reset the head unit, which did nothing to bring out the elusive odometer, but did lose my bluetooth pairing and radio presets.

But, in her defense, apparently, the service guys I met at the local VW store didn't know the answer either. They did manage to zero out the trip odometer I was using to track my mileage for work reimbursement. But I knew where I had been, so I could calculate that value.

When my OCD wasn't fixated on this problem, I drove the car. Like I said, 400 miles in two days.

On the positives, the engine is willing to go. It has ample power and didn't seem to suffer in the 100 degree midwest heat we've had the past two days. Other than the missing odometer, the interior seems to be laid out well. Not a fan of the glossy black piano finishes on the wheel and the dash. But that's just taste. Seems like 1990s style.

The seat was comfortable and there was ample headroom. I'm tall from the waist up and sometimes, in smaller cars, my head can brush on the headliner. No such issue in this ride.

The switchgear worked well and felt substantial. It didn't feel cheap.

The doors closed with a satisfying and solid thunk. However, I never got accustomed to waiting a moment for the window to drop as I would open a door. When you unlocked the car with the keyfob, one or both windows would drop down 2cm to facilitate opening the door.

The car had no problem cruising at 80MPH over the IL prairies in the 100 degree heat.

The not so good:

Visibility. Backing up this car can be a challenge. The C Pillars are very large and the rake they take consumes a large portion of your field of view. Leaving in an angled parking spot is a slow exercise as you inch out, hoping not to hear the crunch of sheet metal until you can see what is coming down the aisle in the parking lot. By the time you can see, your passenger door is just now out in the aisle. Which means 1/3 of the car is already out there.

The story is similar for the rear view mirror. I did not see a means to fold down the rear headrests, which take up a good deal of your field of view out the back window. That and a tiny mirror make the rear window only slightly less useful than one in the cab of a moving van. The side mirrors are kind of small as well. There was one instance when I was surprised by a car passing me as I didn't see it approach and it was in a blind spot in spite of my adjustments to the side view mirrors that help eliminate such blind spots.

The HVAC controls were easy to figure out. However, the car will not stay in recirculate. When you turn it off, recirculation is turned off. I guess this is not all bad. If the interior is hotter than the outside (and because the car was black, that was the case sometimes) it is good to get outside air into the car.

Just thought it was odd that it would turn it off on me. Probably a preference issue.

The ignition key was difficult to operate. It seemed vague. There didn't seem to be well delineated detents that indicated accessory, on and start.

The key fob didn't seem to pop the hatch. There is a button for the hatch, but the key fob didn't pop it. One has to manipulate the VW logo to pop the hatch open.

Luggage space seems small. Probably can't take much more than luggage for two for a long weekend. But it did manage to hold the styrofoam cooler of cold Budweiser I took to my mechanic.

It had power ports for both the front and back passengers. One cup holder I saw for the back and two for the front. However, one front cupholder is covered by the adjustable center armrest. Effectively, one cup hold front and back.

The transmission seemed indecisive when you would start out. I don't think this car had the DSG. In manual mode, there were six forward speeds available. The car turned a lazy 22-25 hundred at highway speeds. Fuel economy was in the low 30s according to the display. Since I don't know how full it was nor did I have an exact mileage when I refueled the car, it's hard to say what the real values are. However, low 30s for mixed driving, the high heat and subsequent A/C usage seems reasonable.

The steering was quick, but vague. I don't think the Hankook tires were helping here. Certainly not a performance tire. But the car itself has some responsibility here. Not the feedback I would expect from a German engineered car. Maybe the Beetle isn't supposed to provide as much road feel as one might expect from Teutonic engineering.

The basic head unit allowed me to pair my phone, play audio from it and make and accept phone calls. It didn't seem to care for my iPhone being plugged into both the USB port in the dash and connected via Bluetooth. I also had to stop in order to play audio from my phone. It wasn't an option while I was driving. But once I chose Bluetooth audio, I could play podcasts, music or any other audio source via the Bluetooth audio. But no apps on the head unit for things like IHeartRadio, Spotify or other similar streeming services. It's a basic unit that is essentially just a large bluetooth headset. While playing music, I could pause tracks and switch tracks using the head unit. But that's about it.

Of course, as a two door, opening doors in tight garages or other circumstances can be a problem. Finding your seat belt on a much further back B pillar relative to 4 door cars is also more difficult.

So while the car got me around, I can't say I was impressed.

For however many miles it had on it in its 3-4 months of rental service, it was still tight. No squeeks nor rattles. Not much road or engine noise at 80 MPH. The brakes seemed good as well, but didn't really have any reason to be hard on them.

Basic, competent transportation without a pesky odometer to tell you how many miles you've drive your car.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465308
07/20/17 05:40 PM
07/20/17 05:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
They break a lot here. Plastics can't take the heat long term.

Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465369
07/20/17 06:25 PM
07/20/17 06:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
Does the rear view camera not have a very wide field of view?

I’m assuming it was an S model , I think SE and above have car play...


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: DuckRyder] #4465391
07/20/17 06:38 PM
07/20/17 06:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
Does the rear view camera not have a very wide field of view?

I’m assuming it was an S model , I think SE and above have car play...


Camera? This was likely the lowest trim possible as a fleet car. No camera.

Apparently, it doesn't even have an odometer.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465418
07/20/17 07:02 PM
07/20/17 07:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
A rear view camera is standard on 17 Beetles... including the 1.8T fleet (which is a $500.00 cheaper S with V-Tex) according to what I can find.

Unless there is some sort of fleet option (which does not show up on the VW Fleet Site) to delete it. <shrug>


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465468
07/20/17 07:40 PM
07/20/17 07:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,898
FL, USA
gregk24 Offline
gregk24  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,898
FL, USA
Odd, it probably has the same set up as the Jetta and pretty much every other VW product. You should simply press the button to the bottom right hand side of the gauge cluster until the odometer appears.


2012 Honda Accord EX-L K24z3
54,xxx miles
PPPP 0w20 / Fram Ultra

2014 VW Jetta SE 1.8T ea888
40,xxx miles
Castrol OEM dealer fill / OEM filter
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465485
07/20/17 07:56 PM
07/20/17 07:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
It was a rental car, no telling what people have broken on it...

I’ll have to try to mess with one in the next few days just out of curiosity...


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: gregk24] #4465492
07/20/17 08:02 PM
07/20/17 08:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
I tried. So did the three guys at the VW service department. No go.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: DuckRyder] #4465496
07/20/17 08:06 PM
07/20/17 08:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
It was a rental car, no telling what people have broken on it...

I’ll have to try to mess with one in the next few days just out of curiosity...
.

The camera is in the hatch latch, right.

Didn't see one on this car.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465501
07/20/17 08:12 PM
07/20/17 08:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
Originally Posted By: javacontour
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
It was a rental car, no telling what people have broken on it...

I’ll have to try to mess with one in the next few days just out of curiosity...
.

The camera is in the hatch latch, right.

Didn’t see one on this car.


IIRC yes, the VW emblem/hatch handle should flip up.

Seems a little crazy that Avis would delete a rearview camera (and a possible liability) but anything is possible, I’ve seen a lot of Fleet stuff configured in ways the general public can’t get.


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: DuckRyder] #4465541
07/20/17 08:44 PM
07/20/17 08:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
From VW's own vwcorporatefleet.com website:

The 2017 VW Beetle Fleet Standard Equipment:

Quote:

1.8L TSI®, 170 HP / 184 lbs-ft, DOHC 16V, turbo 4-cylinder engine with direct injection
Front & rear antilock disc brakes
Electro-mechanical speed-sensitive power steering
Four-wheel independent suspension
16" Whirl alloy wheels
Halogen headlights with separate Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Power adjustable, manually foldable, heated side mirrors
Tilting & telescopic adjustable steering column
Manually adjustable front Comfort seats with manual lumbar support & Easy Entry
50/50 split folding rear seat
Heated front seats
V-Tex Leatherette seating surfaces
Center console with armrest & cup holders
Power windows with auto up/down
Front reading lights
Composition Color: 5" Touchscreen AM/FM radio & CD player with USB & aux-in
8-speaker sound system
Bluetooth® connectivity
Climatic manual A/C
Cruise control
Multifunction display with trip computer
Variable intermittent front windshield wipers
Dual front & front side airbags


I see no camera listed.


network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465562
07/20/17 09:07 PM
07/20/17 09:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
Originally Posted By: javacontour
From VW's own vwcorporatefleet.com website:

The 2017 VW Beetle Fleet Standard Equipment:

Quote:

1.8L TSI®, 170 HP / 184 lbs-ft, DOHC 16V, turbo 4-cylinder engine with direct injection
Front & rear antilock disc brakes
Electro-mechanical speed-sensitive power steering
Four-wheel independent suspension
16" Whirl alloy wheels
Halogen headlights with separate Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Power adjustable, manually foldable, heated side mirrors
Tilting & telescopic adjustable steering column
Manually adjustable front Comfort seats with manual lumbar support & Easy Entry
50/50 split folding rear seat
Heated front seats
V-Tex Leatherette seating surfaces
Center console with armrest & cup holders
Power windows with auto up/down
Front reading lights
Composition Color: 5" Touchscreen AM/FM radio & CD player with USB & aux-in
8-speaker sound system
Bluetooth® connectivity
Climatic manual A/C
Cruise control
Multifunction display with trip computer
Variable intermittent front windshield wipers
Dual front & front side airbags


I see no camera listed.


Yes but if you go to brochures from that site it says it is standard... those equipment list can be dubious too in my experience if it is ubiquitous it may not be listed... since they are required by May 18 they are pretty commonplace...

Anyhow...

They vary widely in performance, the one in my Prius is bad...


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: DuckRyder] #4465600
07/20/17 09:49 PM
07/20/17 09:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
javacontour Offline OP
javacontour  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,534
Illinois
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
Originally Posted By: javacontour
From VW's own vwcorporatefleet.com website:

The 2017 VW Beetle Fleet Standard Equipment:

Quote:

1.8L TSI®, 170 HP / 184 lbs-ft, DOHC 16V, turbo 4-cylinder engine with direct injection
Front & rear antilock disc brakes
Electro-mechanical speed-sensitive power steering
Four-wheel independent suspension
16" Whirl alloy wheels
Halogen headlights with separate Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Power adjustable, manually foldable, heated side mirrors
Tilting & telescopic adjustable steering column
Manually adjustable front Comfort seats with manual lumbar support & Easy Entry
50/50 split folding rear seat
Heated front seats
V-Tex Leatherette seating surfaces
Center console with armrest & cup holders
Power windows with auto up/down
Front reading lights
Composition Color: 5" Touchscreen AM/FM radio & CD player with USB & aux-in
8-speaker sound system
Bluetooth® connectivity
Climatic manual A/C
Cruise control
Multifunction display with trip computer
Variable intermittent front windshield wipers
Dual front & front side airbags


I see no camera listed.


Yes but if you go to brochures from that site it says it is standard... those equipment list can be dubious too in my experience if it is ubiquitous it may not be listed... since they are required by May 18 they are pretty commonplace...

Anyhow...

They vary widely in performance, the one in my Prius is bad...


I'd think they would li8st it if they list folding rear seats and the 5" display in the head unit.

As I said, the hatch release had no camera in it. I'd have felt it lifting the hatch. It wasn't there.

Also, the hatch button on the key fob did nothing. So I think they subbed out the camera and power release with a manual hatch mechanism with no camera.

They had to do something to knock $500 on the price of an S for fleet buyers.

Edited to add: The S lists the camera, so I suspect the fleet indeed has deleted the backup camera.

Last edited by javacontour; 07/20/17 09:52 PM. Reason: Editied to add the S lists the camera

network down, IP packets delivered via UPS -BOFH
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465612
07/20/17 09:59 PM
07/20/17 09:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,626
Atlanta
Originally Posted By: javacontour

I'd think they would li8st it if they list folding rear seats and the 5" display in the head unit.

As I said, the hatch release had no camera in it. I'd have felt it lifting the hatch. It wasn't there.

Also, the hatch button on the key fob did nothing. So I think they subbed out the camera and power release with a manual hatch mechanism with no camera.

They had to do something to knock $500 on the price of an S for fleet buyers.


You’re probably right. I’m assuming that you would have noticed an image on the 5” screen when you were backing up too... grin

You’ve piqued my curiosity though.


Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100
Re: 2017 VW Beetle (Mileage Unknown) [Re: javacontour] #4465732
07/21/17 03:05 AM
07/21/17 03:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
L_Sludger Offline
L_Sludger  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
Javacontour,
Thanks for the thread. I love the review format. I only wish the original post was slightly more concise.
Cheers cheers


too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less
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