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Top Gear Philippines

What we have here is the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Club Edition. This limited-run variant, which is exclusive to the Philippine market, adds to the already fun Beetle experience by throwing in a black leather interior with beautiful red stitching, a touchscreen infotainment system with Mirror Link, front and rear proximity sensors, a variant-exclusive Club side stripe, and 17in Rotor wheels in ‘Hyper Black’ paint. All this, on top of standard goodies such as adjustable-range bi-xenon headlamps, LED DRLs, and driver, passenger, and integrated side/curtain airbags.

Based on the 1.4 TSI with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Club Edition features the same twin-charged engine that delivers great fuel efficiency coupled with overtaking strength. Ask the car for some practical power and it provides, no questions asked. It’s such a satisfying experience when I take the car out for a drive through the beautiful backroads of Rizal and Laguna.

The gauges are bright and clear, making it easy to read engine and vehicle speeds at a glance. The main touchscreen is responsive and easy to use, and though an issue with my Android phone prevented me from setting up the Mirror Link, I have zero problems hooking up my Spotify playlist via Bluetooth. The navigation system is very accurate and well-detailed, even occasionally pointing out pedestrian crossing zones in small towns. And navigating through small, pedestrian- and tricycle-filled streets is made easier by the audible chime of the proximity sensors.

The most pleasant surprise for me, however, is the powertrain. For relaxed driving, the engine gives a continuous flow of torque and power, which the dual-clutch gearbox efficiently converts to a smooth and buttery drive. For those times when a little spirited driving is called for, dropping the lever into Sport mode wakes up the Beetle’s sleeping GTI genes to give access to all 158 horses, making the car feel much more agile than its perceived heft suggests. 

This car is a great charmer, and going by its rich lineage, it’s poised to be a keeper. With everything for almost everyone, the Beetle Club Edition provides a driving experience as fun and as unique as its looks.

SPECS: Volkswagen Beetle Club Edition

Price: P1,790,000

Engine: 1.4-liter twin-charged petrol I4

Power: 158hp @ 5,800rpm

Torque: 240Nm @ 1,500-4,500rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch

Layout: FWD


Score: 17/20

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