Sunday, September 19, 2004
NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE TEST DRIVE.
The New Beetle is still one of the simplest, purest design out there.
Just like the Mini, the PT Cruiser or the Thunderbird, it just stands out.
Although it might look "cartoony", it doesn't drive like it.
It is actually pretty surprising to see how comfortable and quiet the car is. The Mini Cooper looks great, but rides like a skateboard. And the PT sounds pretty rough.
The base 2.0 Liter is plenty smooth and quiet for most uses. But if you push it, it does get pretty noisy.
And not much will happens anyway with only 115 hp. The car is mostly made for the way most people want to drive convertibles: not too fast.
If you need speed, get the Turbo. But VW charges a full $2000 for it!!!
The car feels very solid, for a convertible. It doesn't shake or creaks. Unlike the PT Cruiser which feels almost like a bowl of Jell-o, even on smooth roads.And because of its design, the windshield is far from your face, unlike in a Sebring or most other convertibles. That means you really get that open feel you are looking for, without a top.
The interior is pretty much the same as when the car came out in 1998. The rear seats in the convertible are, of course, a bit smaller, and upright. And the console was redesigned a couple of years ago.
VW was supposed to have an all new interior for the 2005 model, but that idea was either pushed back, or canceled all together. They are selling less and less of these cars every year...
But for 2005, the big news are in the audio department. The standard CD player now can play MP3 CDs. AND, the unit now has a standard MP3 Player plug!!!! No need to spend a dime on some wierd, clunky installation.
The Apple iPod fits right in!
Another change for the new year is the lack of the cool animated "flaps" on each side of the roof. They are now replaced by... Nothing! VW had quite a few complains and break downs on these. And that was costing them money.
If you are looking for a convertible, do not miss the New Beetle. It rides great and starts at around $22000. Turbos with options car run above $27000.
It really is a unique car and will put a smile on your face avery time you drive it. Even if it's to go get a root canal.
Can you say the same thing about the car you drive now?
Posted by Vince Burlapp at 9:57 PM