The great thing about the original beetle - the reason there are still so many around today - was the fact that it was designed to be maintained by the owner.
With every passing generation of cars of every make, user maintenance moves further and further into the realm of myth. Because of this, there is no modern-day spiritual successor to the original beetle.
VW is expected to start selling a small rear-engined economy car called the up! that they consider fits the bill. If modern VWs are anything to go by, it will be anything but. Instead, it will be filled with all sorts of impenetrable electronics, a sealed-until-failure transmission, and engine components that cost hundreds of dollars apeice hidden under ugly plastic cladding that requires specialized tools to remove.
That being said, the up! is a cute one that I would consider purchasing if I didn't live in the land of 5000 lb full size trucks that sell for less than the average import economy car goes for (if you haven't heard, you can now buy a brand new base model Ford F-150 for $13k - about the same as a smart fortwo).