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Word Count: 536
Whats there to dislike about the New Beetle Its a car that makes people smile wherever it goes It stands out like an orange life raft in a grey sea of auto-anonymity Even if they dont immediately recognise the Beetle connection - and not everyone does - expressions of affectionate interest are instant and heartfelt Whats there to dislike about the New Beetle Almost everything Its cartoonish design perhaps which compromises its practicality in a way that the originals designer would surely never have countenanced Or maybe the fact that its a profoundly ordinary car to drive But lets begin at the beginning When Ferdinand Porsche sketched the outline of the Beetle in the 1930s he ignored existing conventions of small car engineering in an attempt to create something better than anyone had hitherto managed He proceeded logically step by step So successful was the car that it became the foundation of a company that is now one of the worlds five largest car-makers Now comes the New Beetle a retro design draped over parts that belong to the fourth generation Golf This isnt design Ferdinand Porsche-style The Golf as ever has an in-line four cylinder engine at the front driving the front wheels Its not an easy fit with the shape of the original Beetle a car with a flat-four engine at the rear driving the rear wheels The exterior style of the New Beetle makes its interior an odd environment The base of the windscreen is so distant and the dash so deep that it feels like driving a people mover Except of course that theres a distinct absence of roomy accommodation aft Many adults will find the New Beetles two-place rear seat unbearable Head room is tight for those of average height impossible for anyone taller The front seats unlike those in the rear are very comfortable Firmly supportive and generously proportioned both are equipped with lever-operated height
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