The cool vibe given off by the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is love-bug-turned-uber-modern with a touch of masculine in 2015 too. While this car offers a certain persona and it's just the right oomph you might want to give out, the truth is the Beetle is great behind the wheel and is a sturdy, hearty car for any driver.
Therefore, this makes it the perfect set of wheels for a ride along Germany's Fairy Tale Road.
Since its introduction way back when Truman was president, while the price tag has risen over the years, the Volkswagen folks are saying that this is the least expensive Beetle that has been on the market for some time, depending on trim.
Different than its American counterpart, which have a little bit thinner glass than the European models, when driving the Volkswagen Beetle in Europe, you can expect less noise. The American version is noisier with wind and engine noise especially in the R-Line trim.
Competition for the Beetle includes the Ford Focus and the Mazda 3, but nothing can really compare with the Volkswagen Beetle since it just seems to have a way to make folks smile when they see you coming.
And as for the fairy tale road in Germany, did you ever wonder where those popular fairy tales came from that we listened to as children? Many came from Germany and the Brothers Grimm.
However, it turns out there is a lot that children aren't told in regard to the true versions of these wicked little stories (thanks to Walt Disney, of course). So one of the best ways to discover the real stories about Snow White, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and even Sleeping Beauty, to name a few, is to visit Germany and take your own tour of The Fairy Tale Road.
Begin your journey in the town of Hamelin, made famous by the fairy tale the Pied Piper of Hamelin in which this evil piper coaxes the entire population of children away with him.
Hamelin is not only the home of the pied piper and the story of the rats that were plaguing the town that he was asked to get rid of, but it is also a scenic village with rolling hills, the quintessential German town, where you can enjoy good food and shopping.
The folks in Hamelin won't let you forget about their Pied Piper story either. The interesting thing about the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin is that it is historically true that the children of the town did all go missing around 1602, but no one really knows why other than about 130 children were lost.
The two Grimm boys were actually born in Hanau, Germany and their full names were Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and since 2006 the town has been able to officially call itself a Brothers Grimm town due to the distinction.
So a stop in Hanau is, of course, warranted with Brothers Grimm sites like the Philippsruhe Castle with a Brothers Grimm section and there is also a market square in front of the Baroque Neustädter Rathaus or town hall with a Brothers Grimm memorial dating back to 1896. This memorial also marks the starting point of the 373-mile-long Fairy Tale Route.
Another town in Germany not to miss in regard to the brothers is Kassel, where the two lived for about 30 years. There is a Brothers Grimm Museum and it is here that you will find the Brothers Grimm "best of the best" manuscripts and personal mementos on display. In addition to their fairy tale compilations, it is also important to point out that the Brothers were language scholars, legal historians and politicians.
After Kassel you can visit nearby Steinau where there is a Brothers Grimm House, but the best way to see the entire Fairy Tale Road is to get a map of the route, jump on the train and pick and choose your favorite fairy tales that coincide with the towns.
For example, Alsfed is a magnificent medieval town that is Little Red Riding Hood Country, Oberweser is where "Snow White" and "Puss and Boots" originated or another stop of great importance is the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Sababurg-Hofgeismar, a hunting lodge/castle built by the Landgraves of Hessen. By the end of the 19th century this castle was referred to as the fairy tale castle described by the Grimm Brothers in their stories so this castle alone keeps the stories alive.
And, finally, as in every good fairy tale (at least the ones in the United States with happy endings), the final stop you will want to make will be in Berlin. It was in 1840 after a three-year exile in Kassel and not working, the King of Prussia, Frederick Williams invited the brothers to Berlin as members of the Academy of Sciences and gave them a job. To end the story, it is here where both Wilhelm and Jacob are buried in the city's old St. Matthews Cemetery.
As for that Volkswagen you're driving, you can choose the Beetle in a coupe or convertible version with three engine options, but note that the TDI diesel is no longer available in 2015. There is also a new trim line available on the convertible and coupe called the Classic. The Classic stands out with unusual cloth upholstery on the inside and it is a six-speed automatic.
On the base Beetle you get a CD player with an auxiliary input jack, a leather steering wheel, 17-inch wheels and split-folding rear seat, heated front seats and that cool glove box like in the Beetle's of old.
The Beetle R-Line, which was last year's Turbo, has a special R-Line exterior styling and standard features include all the goodies from the base trim as well as the 2.0-liter turbo gas engine, 18-inch wheels, rear spoiler and cool sport seats.
Under the hood there are some choices. The 1.8-liter turbo four gives out 170 horsepower and the Beetle TDI Clean Diesel has 150 horsepower with 236 pound-feet of torque. For faster driving the 2015 Beetle R-Line is your car with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering 210 horsepower. As well, you can choose in most cases from either the five- or six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Safety on the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is the standard safety features like front, side, and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes with stability control and active headrests. If you opt for Bluetooth as an option or choose a trim with it standard this feature gives you the hands-free phone capability and the rearview camera on some of the trims is also an excellent option.
There is plenty of room inside this 2015 Beetle and you get a straightforward design that is easy to navigate the buttons and knobs. There is plenty of leg and head room in the front, but no leg room in the back seat at all. Surprisingly there is quite a bit of trunk space even in the convertible option with 15.4 cubic feet in the hardtop and the seats fold and lay flat, which gives you the added 30 cubic feet if needed.
Driving the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is a lot of fun as it handles well and takes the corners with confidence while also rolling onto the highway with a certainty that makes this 2015 love bug live up to its name.
For more information about visiting Germany and the Fairy Tale Road visit www.germany.travel/en/leisure-and-recreation/scenic-routes/german-fairytale-route.html.
NOTE: This author does not and will never take any money from any automotive brand or destination/restaurant/activity, etc. in exchange for coverage, the views are strictly the author's opinion.