2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review and Road Test
Redesigning retro is a herculean task. You need to change the vehicle enough to be worth the effort, meanwhile maintaining an iconic retro theme. If you don't change enough, shoppers won't see a reason to trade in their old flashback for the new time capsule. Change it too much and you're left with a caricature. The task is so daunting that few even attempt it. (Just look at the one-hit-wonders: PT Cruiser, HHR, SSR and Thunderbird.)VW on the other hand is different. After all they continued to build and sell the same Beetle with minor tweaks for 65 years straight. If anyone can tweak retro and convince people they need it, it's VW. Sure enough, 2012 was the best Beetle sales year since 1973. As a chaser to VW's revived retro-mojo, the Beetle is now offered sans-top and VW tossed us the keys to a brown-on-brown model for a week so we could get our 70s on. Can you dig it? This Beetle, like the old "New Beetle," sells on nostalgia and cutesy-bubbly good looks. In fact, the first words anyone utters upon seeing a Beetle are: "aww, its cute." See the problem? How many guys buy "cute" cars? Recognizing the problem, VW set out to "butch things up" with the second generation FWD Beetle. The bubbly-fenders, round headlamps and "smiling" hood lines haven't left but they have been joined by VW's corporate "Gillette" grille, sharper corners and more "masculine" tail lamps. (Or so I'm told.) The redesign also adds an incredible 3.5 inches to the Bug's width and 5 inches to the length. The extra length means the Bug's side profile is no longer semi-circular, something of a loss for retro fans. The wider stance and crisper creases do make Herbie look meaner, but the ginormous fenders make him look fatter as well. Sorry '70s fans, our chocolate brown Bug didn't come with a built-in CB radio. Burn! Instead shoppers will need to get hip with the 21st century, VW style. Base drop-tops get an AM/FM radio, single slot CD player, Bluetooth speaker phone/audio streaming and VW's USB/iDevice interface (MDI). Working your way up the ladder, the next stop is the touchscreen audio system which adds HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and am MP3 compatible CD reader (why is there no 1990s edition?). You won't find a air-cooled engine in this Beetle, this isn't the '50s. Base Beetles (and the '50s and '70s edition models) use VW's refreshed 2.5L inline 5-cylinder engine which gets a 20 HP bump to 170 at 5,700RPM while torque creeps up to 177 lb-ft at 4,250 RPM. VW mates the 5-banger to a 5-speed manual and for an extra $1,100 you can opt for the 6-speed automatic. If you need more shove, you can opt for VW's ubiquitous 2.0L turbo, good for 200 ponies and 207 lb-ft of twist. A first for America (as far as I know), VW's topless cruiser can now be had in oil-burning form with the same 140 HP 2.0L TDI powerplant as the Jetta. Both 2.0L mills are mated to VW's slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission or for $1,100, VW's latest 6-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission. How well the Beetle accelerates and handles is unlikely to matter to prospective convertible shoppers. I'm not kidding. There isn't a drop top I can think of that has better performance metrics than its hard-top donor car, that's just the nature of the beast. Convertibles are all about open air motoring and style, something thee Beetle, despite all of its flaws, still has in spades. VW's infotainment options feel like they are stuck in 1990, the lack of power front seats and automatic climate control irk me to no end, and the 2.0L engine needs a testosterone injection, yet the Beetle's topless charm is enough for me to overlook its flaws. There is only one problem: Herbie's still cute. Go figure. Music by Kevin MacLeod Statistics powered by ChannelMeter http://channelmeter.com
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (convertible) 2013 review - CarBuyer
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 2014 review: http://bit.ly/12ZRh5Y Subscribe to the Carbuyer YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/17k4fct Subscribe to Auto Express: http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/cb The new VW Beetle is perfect for those seeking a retro cool soft top whilst still enjoying a certain degree of practicality and everyday comfort. The Coupe was introduced in 2012, with the cabriolet joining the range in 2013. There's plenty of different specs to suit all tastes and budgets, but thankfully this one that we are in today has head turning looks for the right reasons and has managed to impress us at CarBuyer. And that's because it really does look the part with its non threatening smiley face and distinctive bulbous wheel arches. The small spoiler on the rear plays up to its cheeky and playful side, too. But first and foremost we are interested in its practical side. Despite not having a huge amount of space -- which is to be expected from a car like this -- the folding roof doesn't affect bootspace in any way thanks to the fact it folds on the outside of the boot. Thanks to this, you will always get this much room [point], no matter where the roof is. And although quite cramped, these seats are brilliant for occasional use -- as opposed to having none at all. The first thing I noticed when I got in this car was the combination of tones, there's some tasteful shiny painted, colour coded, trim here, soft touch materials, which enhance the overall quality and the retro theme we saw on the outside is very much present in here too. There are six equipment levels available however the mid-level Design provides everything you really need including air-conditioning and DAB radio, while the options list includes a touchscreen sat-nav and a upgraded Fender sound system. The 50s, 60s and 70s versions are a bit more expensive, but if you want retro flair, those are the cars for you. Anyway, enough tech, let's get this roof down. It can be operated of speeds up to 31mph so you can put the roof up and down as much as the weather fluctuates on your journey. Bringing me on to my next point, it isn't noticeably noisier to travel in than the coupe thanks to the multi layered fabric hood that provides plenty of sound insulation. Bringing me on to my next point, there is hardly any wind buffeting with the roof down, as long as you have installed the easy-to-fit wind deflector thus allowing me to talk to you about how economical this car is. As expected there are a number of different petrol and diesel engines to choose from. However the most economical is the 1.6 Bluemotion Diesel returning a claimed 62.8 miles to the gallon and emitting just 118g/km of CO2. All can be teamed up with a manual or Automatic DSG gearbox, apart from the one that we're in today - the 1.4 twincharged engine only comes in manual and that returns 41.5 miles to the gallon and certainly has enough pace to complement the comfortable ride. And that does bring me on to the Beetle's downsides. While it drives much better than the outgoing model, mainly due to the fact that it shares its platform with the previous generation Golf and is just as much fun as the Coupe due to extra bracing, it isn't quite as much fun as the practicality smaller MINI Convertible. The biggest sour grape in the Beetle fruit bowl though is the price. It's £2,000 more expensive than the MINI, and that's quite a lot! Well that pretty much sums up the new Beetle Convertible, it's an easy to live with retro inspired cool soft top that turns heads for all the right reasons.
VW Beetle vs. Mini - Cabriolet
Ahhh...SOAKING up the sun on the Cote d'Azur -- just the thing on a day like this --all spruced up for a trip into the past. But, what's this? Rain in the south of France? And we've got some fabulous companions together for the trip to yesteryear as well: the new Beetle cabriolet is there, and as a fitting test candidate, the Mini cabriolet. But first, we have to escape the precipitation.
2014 VW Beetle Convertible - Review and Road Test
Let's say you like the VW Beetle and you also like convertibles. Then maybe you should consider buying a Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Before you do, Kelley Blue Book's Micah Muzio is here to share what you should know about VW's iconic soft-top. For the latest VW Beetle Convertible pricing, reviews and vehicle information: http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/beetle/2013-volkswagen-beetle/ Kelley Blue Book is your source for car reviews, road tests, new car launches, auto show videos and infotainment reviews. Subscribe to catch all the latest Kelley Blue Book video reviews. http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kbb To follow Micah Muzio on Twitter, please visit: http://www.twitter.com/micahmuzio