After first seeing a photo of the Volkswagen Beetle in ‘Bottle Green’ posted by Chris Wee a while ago, I called up Volkswage‍‍‍n Malaysia and to see if the car is still available for review because that unique shade was not a common colour on the Beetle – my suspicion was that it would look awesome in photos.

My thoughts raced ahead in planning a location to photo shoot the car, my mind’s eye seeing how to best bring out its colours through the lenses. Turns out I jumped the gun a little, as the lovely ‘Bottle Green’ is no longer available for review. Instead, I was offered another unit in ‘Dark Bronze’.

Taking a quick preview of the colour on Volkswagen Malaysia’s website, the first thing that came into my mind was “that’s nowhere near bronze, its more like a Kit-Kat brown” and it doesn’t exude the kind of sex appeal as other colours available on the Beetle such as Blue Silk, Habanero Orange or Tornado Red and of course Bottle Green.

Ok colours aside, I scheduled a pickup of the Beetle Sport 1.2 TSI with little expectations on performance but more thought on style and sex appeal. A little fun fact: I used to have the previous-gen New Beetle 2.0 SOHC which was a fun car to drive in which I can put 4 teenager comfortably and go on a weekend road trip.

Certainly this fancy new 1.2 can’t keep up with my old 2.0?

At least its turbocharged, I mused. Looking through the spec sheet, I saw that I produces 103hp. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but an impressive number for the engine size. With the Beetle weighing in at just over a tonne and having 175Nm of torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm channelled through a 7-speed DSG gearbox, I was anticipating an adventurous weekend.

In the basement in Wisma Volkswagen, the ‘Dark Bronze’ shade actually appeared black with a tint of brown. It looked rather lovely, actually.

Not bad, not bad at all, I thought to myself, although making it stand out in night photo would prove challenging. I had planned to photograph this icon of a car on the backdrop of KL’s iconic nightline.

I managed to reply a few messages this way and was pretty surprised that it understood my part-Thai part-Malaysian accent – a plus point right there. If any of you are into hifi or HD quality of music the little Beetle does support .flac & .dsd files and playback trough 8 speakers which produce acceptable soundstage and depth. They are not Meridian, Bose, or Burmester, but I think most would not see the need of upgrading the standard speakers.

As the road ahead cleared, I pulled the gear lever one notch down to “S”. Right on cue, the DSG dropped a gear, firing the engine rpm up to 2,500-3,000 with the car feeling ready and raring to go, responding eagerly to my taps of the accelerate pedal. Pulling the paddle shifters and flicking through the gears myself, further added to the already delightful experience. All in, impressive fun from a 1.2-litre engine from which JPJ can only charge you RM55 of road tax per year.

The Beetle’s performance certainly exceeded its spec sheet; without realizing, I was already driving at about double of the city speed lim‍‍‍it. It’s a cheerful, fun-to-drive car – manageable at high speed, corners, and braking, giving you the feeling of safety, style, and comfort.

This little stint certainly brought back memories of my old New Beetle, though the times and circumstances has changed much since I parted with that old faithful. These days, I’ve grown a bit bigger and older, but I reckon a small family with two adults with two kids might find the Beetle as a perfect fit, be it for everyday drive or a weekend getaway.

words & photograp‍‍‍hy by TJ




Driving it out in the afternoon sun, the bronze flakes appeared dance with the sunlight. I was mesmerised by the metallic ‘Dark Bronze’ finish inside the cockpit. Yes, its not as bold ad Habanero Orange or Tornado Red but its classy AF.

Just five minutes after picking the car up, it started to rain so I plugged in my phone via USB; it auto-detected Apple CarPlay via app connect, and channelled my apps to the dashboard’s 6.5” touch screen display.

Stuck in the infamous traffic jams of Bangsar, I had time to fiddle with a few apps like Spotify, Maps and Whatsapp. Yes, Whatsapp, the software recognises it, and CarPlay reads out the person’s name and message to you, after which it asks if you would to reply the message.