Beetle Cabriolet 70s Edition 2.0 TDI
to the new VW Beetle
for men. Yes, really!
The last chopped-top Beetle was
the very definition of the girly
from its cutesy curves to its dash-
mounted flower vase...
THE NEW BEETLE CABRIOLET is designed to be mucho macho, so it can be targeted
more at men. Consequently it's longer, lower, and wider and has a rear spoiler
as standard Phwaor, it's very nearly an Impreza!
But can the Beetle Cabriolet really ever be a bloke's car? Well, quite a few
chaps on my test drive could be seen checking it out. One even asked if it was
a Porsche. While he must surely have been squinting hard into the sun, the overall
'sporty' message of the new roofless Beetle is definitely clear.
Hang on, though. VW then launches the Cabriolet with three special editions
that evoke particular decades and suddenly we're back to metrosexualism.
There's the 50s Edition with its chrome trim and black paint, for example, while
the 60s Edition has groovy spoked alloys and Denim Blue or white paint.
a child of the 1970s (too much information Ed) so I headed straight
for the 70s Edition. Its proud '70s' badges on the front wings look less like
they're telling the world your age group than the '50s' or '60s' badges.
But can the Beetle
Cabriolet really ever be
a blokes car?
Well, quite a few chaps
on my test drive could be
seen checking it out
one even asked if it was
The main points that make the 70s Edition so fab 'n' groovy for me are the Java
Brown paintwork (at the risk of sounding a touch Tatler, brown really
is the new white watch this space), beige hood, beige leather trim and
fetchingly funky alloys.
The roof is multi-layered so it's very refined inside when the Cabriolet's rolling
and the glass rear screen adds to the sense of quality. The roof folds
at the touch of a button in 9.5 seconds (which is very fast by convertible standards)
and you can do it at any speed up to 31mph. Like Beetles of old, a tonneau covers
the roof when it's stacked behind the seats. You can also order an optional
wind deflector to minimise buffeting, which stows neatly in a drop-down tray
in the boot.
Speaking of the boot, don't buy this car if you need to transport your 70s tribute
act band members and their gear; the rear seats are just about big enough for
two adults with short legs who are on friendly terms.
The boot is rendered almost useless (even though it can actually swallow a decent
amount of luggage; and even more with the rear seats folded) by the ridiculously
narrow opening. Only the squashiest of bags can be squeezed in.
I remember when Audi launched the world's first diesel sports car convertible
(the TT Roadster) and the sound of eyebrows rustling as they raised themselves
was positively deafening: diesel fumes being wafted into the open cabin? Surely
have moved on dramatically since then. Today almost every car-maker has a diesel-powered
model in its convertible range. So, why should you consider diesel?
The 2.0 TDI Cabriolet
costs £730 more than the
1.4 TSI petrol, but its
55.4mpg (versus the
and substantially better
low-rev pulling power
makes a strong case
for taking the
Well, the formula is pretty simple. Diesel engines cost more than petrol ones
to buy (in the Beetle's case, the 2.0 TDI costs £730 more than the 1.4 TSI petrol)
but they're undeniably more economical: 55.4mpg versus 41.5mpg. Okay, so you'll
need to keep the car for a few years and/or drive a significant number of miles
to make back the difference.
the 1.4 TSI petrol engine is a very fine unit, but there's still a strong argument
First is the ease of driving. You never need to rev the engine hard and, despite
the fact that the 2.0 TDI has less power (138bhp against 157bhp), its low-rev
pulling power (torque) is actually substantially better (236lb ft versus 177lb
ft). That equates to a much easier driving experience and less need to change
The handling is tidy the Beetle is based on the Golf Mk6 so it doesn't
have the latest (and thoroughly excellent) VW Group MQB platform, but the basics
are all there. Yes, there is some scuttle shake (where the structure wobbles
when it encounters imperfections in the road surface) but it isn't as noticeable
as some other convertibles. The ride isn't bad either, thanks to sophisticated
multi-link rear suspension.
I can't help thinking that soft-top blokes will probably still go for the Golf
Cabriolet rather than the Beetle, but there's definitely more reason for them
to go Beetle now. Especially if you're a child of the '70s. Chris
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 70s Edition 2.0 TDI | £26,420
Top speed: 122mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Average MPG: 55.4mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 134g/km