2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1.8T (1071)


This week we’re looking at the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1.8T that is a delightful car. It isn’t the1969 VW I used to get through college. Remember those years when the heat vents, that didn’t work, that ran along the floor that you opened manually by sliding an opening along the tube. It was absolutely basic but they did have a radio – two knobs and a few AM stations. What a trip, and speaking of trips it would drift into other lanes or off the road in a stiff wind. Not kidding.

Well that is the distant past and this new Beetle is nothing like Hitler’s legacy to the conquering ally’s and it is unimaginable that post war citizens of the world would even consider buying a German product. But then cute and inexpensive to buy and operate is a strong economic reason and was enough to stimulate demand of a near cult following.

Today this V-dub is amazingly solid and delivers a fantastically smooth ride as well as being fast. Not blistering acceleration but more than enough get up and go for the speedy freeway movement we have come to embrace in our busy day needs.

General Information: Parts – US/Canadian 15%, Mexico 40%, Engine – Mexico; Transmission – Japan. It is assembled in Mexico. Classification is Compact. Cars from Volkswagen: Jetta, Passat, CC, Beetle, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, e-Golf, Tiguan, Touarag, Jetta SportWagen, Eos and Beetle Convertible.

Handling & Performance:

A wide stance give this VW great stability and also powerful from a Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine. It did well on a quick trip over the Angeles Crest Highway giving way to none. Nice.


VW’s unmistakable design not so different from my 1969 other than they put the engine up front and the trunk where we expect it to be and it is no longer a small car. Compact, yes but I see it as the biggest of little cars. I like it a lot. Many however will think of it as a ‘chick’ car confirmed by comments of approval from Carol and Frida and other ladies, I guess it is more attractive to our female friends.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly is light years better than the early years.


Ok. It is worth the money for what it is but if small car economy is what you’re looking for there are much better choices.

Conveniences and comfort:

You don’t get a lot of trunk space and the legroom in the rear is nearly non-existent unless the front seats are all the way forward. And then you will only get a couple of kids in the back. Not a bad thing because you can have that discomfort in a Porsche for three times the money or even the Camaro or Mustang will be as bad. Or you can go with the MX-5 Miata without a back seat at all.

Consumer Recommendation:

Great for your kids’ first car or those remembering Woodstock in the 60s.

Recognized Competition:

Beetle Convertible $28,000, Chevrolet Camaro $32,000, Mazda Miata $25,000, MINI Cooper S $29,000.

Good News:

Nice ride, fast, fun to drive, low operating costs.

Bad News:

I had a problem with the radio that would for no apparent reason go dark and then for no more reason come back on. Obviously an anomaly that likely is not to be expected and easily fixed.

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter 170 HP4-cylinder turbo engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 17” alloy wheels, ABS braking system, stability control, crash response system, LATCH system, tire pressure monitor, power convertible top, AM/FM/HD radio with CD / MP3 and 8-speakers, Sirius XM satellite , Bluetooth, media device interface, keyless access with push button start, seathette seating, heated front seats, manually adjustable front seats, folding rear seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and brake handle, climate control, cruise control, mustifunction display with trip computer, power windows, power heated mirrors, variable intermittent front wipers with heated washer nozzles, and daytime running lights.

Gas Stats:

$2.29/ Gal avg. January 22, 2015


for more information.

24 City and 32 Highway MPG


MSRP $28,475.


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