Monday, February 04, 2013

VW Beetle Convertible test drive.

 It has been 10 years since a new Beetle convertible came out. And I must say, the new design does look great in person.
I had seen it at a consumer clinic over 2 years ago, and couldn't wait to see the car in the streets. So I was actually pretty excited to drive one for a whole week. 

My test drive was a loaded Turbo model with DSG. (It seems impossible to get a manual to test drive...)
So pretty much the convertible equivalent of the car I test drove last year.
The interior looks and feels great. The only thing that bothered me was the top dash surface that was a bit too shinny in the sun.
Otherwise, everything feels and looks very upscale. The seats are great, the Fender stereo is one of the best available. The steering wheel feels perfect . This is one of my favorite interior.
A few things are still missing, for some weird reason:
No power seats.
No auto dimming for the rear view mirror
No Auto ON headlights
No climate control

All these didn't really bother me, but for the price (about $32000), these should either be included or at least options...

The new convertible is a big step above the previous model. It feels much more upscale. More solid even, and more mature. Almost Audi like. The ride in the Turbo model is pretty firm. But always comfortable. And the whole car feels like a tank no matter how bad the road gets. No squeaks or rattles of any kind here.





The DSG still bugs me, and I wish VW had something better to offer. It's not as bad as some, but never feels as good as a good old fashion 6 speed auto.
In the "fake" manual mode, (as well as the S mode) there is a weird booming sound every time the car shifts. It isn't loud and most passengers will never notice. But it is there and feels really weird.
I did experience it in every other VWs equipped with the DSG. Except the Jetta Turbo which uses a newer, and much better, 7 speed version.
But I have to say, after a few days, I did get used to the whole thing. 
Even the weird diesel like sound the 2.0 Turbo makes felt OK for some reason.

The Turbo model is rated at 21/30 MPG. I observed 22/35 during my week. Which is pretty good for such a quick car.

I have to say that, after a week driving up the California coast, I became a big fan of the new Beetle convertible. It has a great interior, it feels great to drive. The steering/ride combo is one of the best.

The 2.5 Liter model starts at around $25 000, which seems to me like a bargain.
It is about the same price as the previous model. Yet the top is now fully automatic, no latches. And can be operated at speeds up the 30MPH. It has a more powerful base engine. And the whole thing feels much more expensive than before.

This is a great update to a classic model.





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