The VW Beetle, which is being retired after this year, is one of the few new cars you can still buy without all the new latest saaaaaaaaaaaafety features – which are really just driver pre-emption features.
These include Lane Keep Assist/Steering Assist – which obnoxiously assault you with flashing lights, vibrations through the steering wheel and even try to countermand your steering inputs – as well as ASS, automated start/stop.
The Beetle – bless it – lacks these “features.” Chiefly, because it’s old even though it’s new. The current (2019) model dates back seven years, to 2012, which was the last time VW did a major makeover. And seven years ago, things like Lane Keep Assist/Steering Assist and ASS were still To Come.
Today, they’re almost omnipresent. The only way to avoid them is to not buy a new car at all – or buy one of the few new cars that is still an old car.
Like the Beetle.
Lane Keep Assist/Steering Assist, for instance, gets its electronic panties in a bunch when you fail to signal before changing lanes or turning off the main road – even when there is no reason to signal – other than mindless ritual obeisance to traffic laws. If you don’t signal but do turn – and the car treads over a painted line – the lights will flash and the steering wheel will vibrate; the wheel may turn, too – if the Keep has Assist. Then you have to fight to turn the way you want the car to go.
ASS, of course, makes the car vibrate – at every stop – because the engine does. And then chugs back to life. Over and over and over and over. Stop and start. Stop and start. To “save” a little gas at the cost of your peace of mind.
The Beetle, bless it, lacks ASS – and most of the rest.
It’ll beep if you don’t buckle up for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. But that’s it. And you can defeat the seat belt nanny easily but just buckling the belt before you settle into the seat.
And then you can just drive – without being “assisted.”
I’ll miss you, Beetle.
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.