Volkswagen Beetle Convertible: A Charmer
by The Car Family
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Every dictionary should have a picture of the Volkswagen Beetle convertible under its definition of cute. It drew admirers by the dozen. Call it the new Love Bug, but don’t call it soft. This turbocharged Volkswagen provides plenty of spunk for mountain travel or two lane passing. The interior is Audish with attention to detail and excellent stitching. If you decide on the most loaded model the price is over $33,000. but the base model start about ten grand lower, but isn’t nearly as fun. For those how like there cute with a slice of sensibility, the convertible can be ordered with a diesel engine that yields over 40 mpg.
Of course, there are some drawbacks. The trunk is quite small, the push-button starter is poorly located, the brakes are a bit soft, and the tonneau that covers the top when it is down is difficult to attach. Worse, the cover takes up valuable trunk space when stored. Our suggestion is to go topless and let it the wrinkles show.
Mom’s view: It was love at first site. Yes, it took a while to get used to the touchy accelerator pedal and it was nearly impossible to resist the urge to put the top down. This four passenger convertible is worth every penny just to see it smiling at you, ready to romp, and you only have to wait ten seconds for the top to drop. Add to this pleasure mobile has a 0 to 60 time just under seven seconds, gets 24 mpg in mixed driving and comes standard with traction, stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Crash test ratings were in the four out of five category. Final answer: Volkswagen has gone back to the future to capture the appearance and fun of the original Bug and padded that pleasure with performance and practicality.
Dad’s view: I appreciated the flat bottom steering wheel that made getting in and out easier, but the doors are very long and heavy and so parking on an incline may be a problem for some. The six-speed automatic transmission worked well, except at low speeds, when it was a bit abrupt. The six speed manual gets a tad better fuel mileage, but I prefer the automatic. This isn’t a race car, but it is plenty racy. Pulling onto the an expressway with the Turbo version is effortless regardless of the traffic and mountian raods are child’s play not even worth a downshift. There is road noise from the optional large when and tire package, but the ride is quite solid. Handling is adequate, but the Beetle is not designed for the canyon cutter crowd. Bottom line: Not many people can resist a ride in the Bug, but the turbo version makes it more memorable.
Young married woman’s view: Be still my heart. This is all about looks. The rear seats are small and there is very little storage room. So why consider it? Because it is cute, useful for two, and fuel frugal. I doubt there are many women who would not be tempted by its combination of youthful exuberance and charm. You sit low in the VW so visibility to the rear is limited. I would choice the diesel model over the turbo because in daily use there wasn’t too many times the more potent engine’s power was needed. My decision: Best VW for the young at heart and maybe the best car for that group period.
Young unemployed male’s view: Still looking for a job in the computer server field and so my enthusiasm for the VW Beetle was dimmed by my lamenting. Nevertheless, the standard sound system is okay, the electronic options and features adequate, and the operating control screen a bit small and can be washed out in sun light. In other words, nothing exciting, but also nothing distracting. I recommend you order the Fender audio system. It is excellent and well worth the extra charge especially when driving with the top down, The test vehicle was red with a tan top and large rims and tires and the female admirers were smitten with this combination. all over it. This Bug really isn’t about the latest in electronics, but in providing a refreshing alternative to dull transportation. It is easy to find in the parking lot, never makes you feel envious of the competition, and on those warm summer nights moves the convertible from a want to a need.
Family conference: This isn’t a car for the masses, but more for the Misses. It is practical enough and roomy enough for most and that is all this Volkswagen is about. If you really want to hedge your bets get the convertible with the potent diesel engine and get hybrid mileage while capturing a few rays while stalled in traffic on PCH.
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