The VW Beetle Cabrio exudes positive flair

The Beetle Cabrio is a first-class sympathizer. Its cheerful charisma lets you forget everyday life and gives you that summer feeling even when it rains.

There are not many modern retro classics that have such a positive flair as the Beetle Cabrio. Unlike in an expensive sports roadster or convertible, the Beetle is fully recognized by society. Again and again, passers-by raised their thumbs up in view of the Beetle convertible, which did not happen to us in an open Lamborghini. However, this does not speak against the Lamborghini, but rather against our unfortunately enviable climate. But this is another story.

Actually, the current Beetle has nothing in common with its original ancestor, who rolled 1949 times from the assembly line from 1980 to 330.300. The fact that the modern Beetle has at best taken on the rudimentary form of the predecessor makes it no less attractive. When the Beetle fans gather for the Beetle Sunshine Tour 19 in Travemünde from August 21 to 2016, this feeling for a special kind of quality of life will be visible. Ancient, old and modern crawling animals on four wheels will celebrate the positive way of life that has always characterized beetle driving. This applies particularly to the convertible.

Volkswagen Beetle CabrioletWe drove the 105 hp version with a petrol engine (there are five engine variants, including diesel, new engines are coming in autumn) and can state that this power is sufficient in all situations. The gradation of the six-speed gearbox, which is very pleasant to switch, harmonises perfectly with the engine character, which, however, cannot shine with torque. But: If you drive the open Beetle, you want to take a deep breath, enjoy the fresh air and clear your head from the trivial thoughts of everyday life. Sporty driving dynamics play a subordinate role here. 10,9 seconds from zero to 100 km / h appear long, but they are not emotionally. And with a top speed of 180 km / h you are still traveling quickly. If that's not enough, you can also order the Beetle with 220 hp and go 230 km / h on the free highway. But whatever?

The Beetle Cabrio rolls on the golf platform

When driving over winding terrain and bad roads, you notice how torsionally rigid the body has become. This leads to extremely precise steering behavior, with the electromechanical power steering proving to be very pleasant. The Beetle behaves like a modern car with a well-tuned chassis both on winding country roads and on the motorway. No wonder, since this Beetle rolls on the proven golf platform. There is nothing wrong with the driving characteristics. We have never explored the limit, but we are sure that the Beetle will also show its good-natured qualities there. Here, however, the 105 PS set dynamic limits that could be explored with the 220 PS version. On the other hand, our test car was correspondingly modest with an average of 7,5 liters of real-life experience, which you certainly won't be able to say about the 220 hp model.

The roof of the Beetle Cabrio can be opened or closed up to 50 km / h Photos: VW

The roof of the Beetle Cabrio can be opened or closed up to 50 km / h Photos: VW

The allure of the Beetle Cabriolet is - what else - driving with the roof open. Using this as often as possible is also possible at cooler temperatures. Simply set the heating to full power and the convertible can be used as a convertible even in the transition periods. With the optional wind deflector, disturbing whirlwinds can be significantly reduced.

Formal modesty as a quality characteristic

The dashboard in body color is an attractive quote from old beetle glory. Three interconnected round instruments, including two glove compartments and the steering wheel with spokes, also in the body color, show a retro look as well as a modern design. There is no doubt that the past has been successfully combined with the modern. The very simple interior design is an absolute highlight, particularly because of its formal modesty, an eye-catcher of a special kind.

Probably the most important detail of the Beetle convertible: The soft top makes a very robust and well-insulated impression. Even in heavy rain, we felt comfortable in the Beetle Cabrio. We kept listening to the raindrops pounding on the roof. This creates a feeling of security that only campers experience in a tent. The quality of the roof construction is also evident in the car wash: we report absolute tightness from all sides.

The large doors are comfortable and impractical at the same time

Speaking of which: the fact that the roof can be opened and closed up to a speed of 50 km / h is very practical and thanks to the progress in the convertible top mechanism. It was and is very uncomfortable with some other convertibles if you want to open or close the roof at a red traffic light because it starts to rain or the sun comes out and have to wait in the standing car until the roof has reached its end position. If the back man honks, it does not improve driving pleasure. Not so in the VW Beetle Cabriolet. It reached its final position in just under ten seconds.

The large doors make getting in and out of our narrow parking spaces, planned for the narrower cars from the seventies, very tedious. But getting in and out is very easy for those sitting behind. And those who go on a long trip have to be satisfied with a relatively small trunk. But you know that when you buy a Beetle convertible.

VW offers the Beetle in so many color and equipment variations that it is easy to lose track. There are nine variants from the “Allstar” convertible (from € 27.025) to the “R-Line Exclusive” (from € 32.725). Plus an infinite number of customization options. Interested parties have to take a lot of time to study the catalogs. There they learn that the cheapest Beetle as a convertible costs at least 22.800 euros, but with all the extras can easily get over 35.000 euros plus. The Beetle Cabrio is certainly not a special offer, but it is something very special. The possibility of varying the model lettering on the trunk lid in chrome seems somewhat exaggerated: Beetle, Bug, Volkswagen, Beetle, Coccinelle or Maggiolino stand for 33,30 euros each to choose.

Technical data VW Beetle Cabriolet: Four-seater convertible with two doors, length: 4,29 meters, width (with exterior mirrors): 2,02 meters, height: 1,48 meters, wheelbase: 2,52 meters, turning circle: 10,8 meters, empty weight: 1.340 kilograms , Trunk volume: 225 liters, tank capacity: 55 liters, engine: in-line four-cylinder petrol engine with turbocharger, displacement 1197 cc, power: 105 hp at 4.500 rpm, max. Torque: 175 Newton meters at 1.400 - 4.000 rpm, 0 - 100 km / h: 10,9 seconds, maximum speed: 180 km / h, average vehicle consumption: 6,7, liters per 100 km, CO2 emissions: 126 g / km, price from: 22.800 euros.

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