Volkswagen Beetle tyres
Whether you love or hate the original Beetle, you’d have to be very curmudgeonly to decry its status as the small car for the world. Indeed it is just about the only thing for which the world could ever thank Hitler. Those who had one invariably remember them fondly, with the passage of time allowing them to overlook all of the car’s foibles and weaknesses.
The original Beetle was one built with an emphasis on utility and practicality – style was something which came to be endowed upon it, rather than inherent in its design. In contrast, the modern Beetle is all about style. That’s not necessarily to say that it lacks for any utility and practicality. However, it is effectively a Golf in retro clothing; in many ways not as good as a Golf but a more fashionable car. It may be a pastiche of the original, but the new Beetle didn’t half prove popular when it was launched at the end of the 1990s. Models from that original (re)launch era now make a slightly left-field but solid used car choice, having a lot more personality than many other cars of the same age.
In common with many models of the VW range, a wide range of tyres have original equipment status for the Beetle. As some industry insiders have unkindly said, the car will come fitted with whatever tyres happened to have been delivered to the factory that week! However, that only tells half the story. Invariably, the tyres used are premium types from well-known manufacturers, rather than just any old rubbish. Of these, Continental tyres have been the most popular factory fitting. It therefore follows that the PremiumContact range from Continental is etyres’ best-selling line for the Beetle. These tyres are known for their high grip levels, which gives them an emphasis on comfort and safety. They make a perfect match for the Beetle, as does the same manufacturer’s EcoContact range, designed specifically for small and compact cars.
For many Volkswagen drivers, Michelin is a preferred tyre choice, something clear from both statistical as well as anecdotal evidence. For the Beetle, the best bet will usually be the Energy Saver range, another common fitting in VW’s factories. These tyres are designed to be very fuel-efficient, as their name suggests, but also come with excellent wet grip ratings. Similar comments apply to Goodyear’s EfficientGrip tyres, another original equipment range. Neither of these will be the cheapest option but they come highly recommended. Both also feature excellent durability, making the initial investment worth it in the long run.
Nexen tyres are a popular middle-market choice for drivers of many small VW cars, not just the Beetle. Budget and economy tyres are a common choice for older ‘new’ Beetle models: in choosing between these, each tyre’s wet grip rating should be your guide as much as its price.