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Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

CALL ME A CAB (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Volkswagen's third take on the Beetle theme might just be at its best with a roof that folds back. This improved model line-up also now features a trendy Dune version too. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 66

Let's face it, you don't buy a Volkswagen Beetle if practicality is at the top of your agenda, so why not go the whole hog and opt for a soft top? The improved third generation Beetle Cabriolet we look at here is strong on style and looks a really great ownership proposition. If you want to make a statement, the fashionable Dune version will be tempting.

Backgroundword count: 200

Oscar Wilde tells us that the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. And if you're amongst those who've always promised themselves a modern, affordable yet nostalgically styled new convertible, then what you might well be thinking of yielding to is something like this, the improved third generation Beetle Cabriolet. This car's been on sale since 2013 and has proved to be a big step forward from its predecessor, bigger, better equipped, with superior engineware and much-improved quality. It also remains the most affordable route into Volkswagen soft-top ownership, which might make you feel better about stretching up to the trendest 'Dune' version lately added to the range. The Beetle Cabriolet is also rather unique in the affordable drop-top segment, offering the kind of character you simply don't get in soft-top versions of ordinary family hatchbacks, the kind of rear seat space you'd never find in a convertible MINI and the sort of proper 'wind-in-the-hair' experience that can't be fully replicated by cars like the Fiat 500C and the Citroen DS3 Cabrio that aren't fully-fledged convertibles. A new kind of nostalgia then - in an appealing kind of Beetle. Let's put it to the test.

Driving Experienceword count: 275

Let's start with the roof, a beautifully tailored multi-layered piece of heavy duty fabric that at the press of a button rises up in 11 seconds, folds away in 9.5s and is operable at speeds of up to 31mph. That's in contrast to the similar soft-top fitted to the Golf Cabriolet that requires you to slow right down to 18mph before the electrics will work. Like all proper convertibles, you'll find it a bit blustery when driving al fresco unless you put the windows up, but with the optional wind deflector in place across the rear seats, things improve considerably. As for engines, well they're all borrowed from the older MK6 model Golf - so in other words, a couple of generations more modern than those supplied in the previous generation version of this car. The most popular version has an eager 1.2-litre TSI petrol unt offering 105PS and capable of making 62mph in 10.9s en route to 112mph. If you've a little more in the budget though and wouldn't mind a little extra punch, then don't ignore the 160PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit, which manages 9.1s and 125mph and could very well be the prime pick in the range. There are also 110 and 150PS version of VW's familiar 2.0 TDI diesel powerplant. Around the bends, you notice that this generation Beetle Cabrio is an awful lot stiffer than much older versions, thanks to copious body strengthening across the floor and thicker A-pillars, which is why it won't judder about so much over the bumps. Most small soft-tops need vibration dampers to try and take care of that but this Beetle doesn't need them.

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Category: Convertibles

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