Over the years, I’ve probably driven every colour vehicle you can imagine….from arrest-me red Ferraris, to barf-green Hyundais, to turd-brown BMWs, to insipid white Hondas….all grist for the mill.
But this is probably the first time I’ve piloted a pink car, and, unsurprisingly perhaps, it’s a VW Beetle, replete with a “Bug” badge on the rear deck.
Hard to miss, the Beetle Pink Edition is a limited production model aimed at a pretty specific group of buyers: young women. The paint is officially designated as Fresh Fuchsia Metallic, and it’s an eyeful. It’s also just one of a comprehensive palette of other colour choices, which include “Habanero Orange Metallic”, “Bottle Green Metallic”, and “Deep Black Pearl”….among others.
A few specs. Power is delivered by a turbocharged 1.8 litre four cylinder that puts out an impressive 170 horsepower. It may be ostentatious, but the Pink Beetle also has some snap. My tester had a six-speed automatic with TipTronic, but a manual five-speed is apparently also available. For this car and the market it’s aimed at, the autobox is probably more appropriate.
Because the Beetle is essentially a Golf with a different body, it’s among the most driveable cars on the market. You can choose it for its pinkness, or fuel economy, or funkiness, but whatever the reason, you’re getting a car with a huge fun quotient into the bargain. In the lexicon of boy and girl racers everywhere, this is a tossable automobile.
Huge inside as well. Because of its nice high roofline, the Beetle has generous interior proportions. ….all kinds of elbow room here, and with the back seat folded down, you’ll get some 30 square feet (850 litres) of cargo space. Not the most commodious model in this corner of the market, but, again, for the buyers its aimed at, just about right. If hauling stuff around is your main must-have, this is probably not the car for you.
All kinds of goodies with this one as well. Slip inside and you’re greeted by a “check pink” checkerboard pattern, with pink piping, a dual zone climate control system, app-connect smartphone integration, steering wheel-mounted controls, and heated front seats. Not to mention a huge sun-roof , cruise control, and a blind-spot detection system. In every respect, a moderately upscale compact automobile, with more than enough creature comforts.
About that colour. If you’re the shy retiring type, maybe not, but if you don’t mind being gaped at, knock yourself out. It’s a bit too precious for me, being the heterosexual, middle-aged, old-school male that I am, and were I to choose this car, it’d have to be something much less garish.
Which doesn’t affect the calibre of it one iota. I’ve always been a big fan of the Beetle – new and old – and in its latest sheep’s clothing, doesn’t take a back seat to anything in terms of performance, handling, or comfort. Bonus: because of its relatively aerodynamic shape, the Beetles is a surprisingly quiet highway car…NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) is very much under control, and the Beetles actually makes a fine long distance cruiser.
Price-wise, you’ll pay for being out there. While a base Beetle is a titch under twenty large, the Pink Edition is almost at the $27,000 mark….more after taxes and extras. On the other hand, you’ll drop that much and more on a fancy-shmancy Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper. And if the pink hard-top just isn’t enough to get your freak on, there’s also a soft-top convertible version.
AT A GLANCE
Engine: 1.8 litre turbocharged four cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed TipTronic
Horsepower: 170 hp @ 4800 rpm
Torque: 184 ft. lb @ 1500 rpm
Price: $26,890 as tested.
Fuel Economy: 9.5 L /100 km (city) & 7.1 (hwy.) Regular fuel.
Alternatives: Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, Hyundai Veloster, VW Golf, Mazda3, Toyota 86, Kia Rio.
Manufacturer’s Site: Volkswagen
Ted Laturnus has been an automotive journalist since 1976. He has been named Canadian Automotive Journalist Of The Year twice and is past president of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).