Strangely enough, given their dimensions and demands, the better models all have small engines, such as the 1.2-liter gasoline engine. This small turbocharged engine has enough to get you up and running and works well with the smooth six-speed transmission. The 1.4 liter turbocharged engine is even better, but the 1.2 is sufficient.
It definitely looks like a nice summer fashion accessory. The Beetle convertible looks like it can only be sold to younger people with (female) long, shiny hair and (male) perfectly groomed hipster beards. Of course, they all laugh at the scenery, each other, every passing street sign, with their perfect white teeth.
The Volkswagen convertible has substance that matches the style
The commitment to smaller engines shows itself to be a good bet when trying to drive relatively hard into corners. This is a convertible, and the chassis is really not stiffened enough to compensate for the missing roof. It wobbles and trembles and you will not want to put too much weight on it. So far, if you still only rinse it out with understeer, it is better to just sit back and relax. And to laugh, of course.
We’d probably stay away from the 2.0-liter diesel, because it generates a lot of expensive noise and vibration in addition to a lot of torque and more power, and having only a five-speed manual transmission with it doesn’t help either.
Besides smaller engines, we would also opt for smaller wheels, certainly not larger than 17 inches, even if they don’t look like macho arch fillers. With these, the ride is pretty docile, but when you drive bigger, the ride really gets worse. It is certainly not a mini convertible, that’s for sure.
With the roof open, everything is pretty calm and quiet, but if you wear a nice toupee, you will want to use the plastic wind deflector at the rear, even if you have to open it yourself. The front driving position is comfortable, the 6.5-inch infotainment screen is straightforward and easy to use, and everything is really, well, nice.
The cab is fine for the two front seats, but in the rear it’s pretty cramped, with an upright seating position and headroom compromised by the roof line. Still, the trunk is a reasonable size, although you don’t want to spend too much time in it. Not even without the tape.
That’s a good thing, because that way you have something to look at. Looking out is much more difficult with blind spots of some size – we would certainly opt for the optional parking sensors.
The Beetle convertible is undoubtedly an attractive car, and it becomes even more attractive when you learn that if you put on your best Kasbah routine, you should be able to deduct a decent discount from the list price. We would go for a design fairing because it gives you everything you need without getting silly. You might add the parking sensors, and while you’re ticking the boxes, why not the winter package – just the thing for a summer soft top – as it offers seat heating and windshield washer nozzles.