2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

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Volkswagen New Beetle Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 150 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle

  • The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle is a cute alternative to more traditional compacts. But unless you're wedded to the Beetle's retro chic, you'll probably want to look elsewhere for a small coupe or convertible.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Cute yet classic styling, lengthy standard equipment list.

  • Cons

    Aged design, so-so power, lack of rear-seat space and cargo room, subpar side-impact crash test results.

  • What's New for 2008

    Volkswagen's New Beetle compact carries over into 2008 with just minor changes to trim level names and optional feature lists.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (4 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Never ever going back again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle SE 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

I consider this car a lesson learned in poor decisions. I purchased this car new in 2008 and have had numerous problems. So many in fact I'm not sure I can list much less remember them all. I will make this short (as possible) and sweet(as possible). The passenger side window motor stopped working, the radio buttons stick, the console top has broken twice, the compressor is barely working therefore I have almost zero air conditioning and the transmission is failing. Not to mention the car has an odd odor that I cannot get rid of. A light continually stays on that I was told needed a computer upgrade but the dealership never seemed to have the "disc". Too many problems to list.




Luv bug :)

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle SE 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

I purchased my brand new 2008 Convertible Beetle and love it ! (so far )I just traded my 07 Sebring in for it (never get a Sebring) I live @ the beach so its great to take the top down and just cruise in, very comfortable, great stereo Love the SRadio that it comes with, leather heated seats this car has it all my fav car out of all the cars i have had , I would def recommend it to anyone my husband didn't like the beetles @ 1st he said it was to much of a girl car but after he drove it he loves it too , gas is av.




2008 convertible - fun fun

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Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle SE 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

Bought a beautiful black with cream interior SE model a few weeks ago. Purchased this mainly for my daughters to drive, although I have to admit the old man likes it too! Haven't had a VW for a number of years, but they were always a fun car to drive, and this convertible is no exception. The SE comes with a power top, so makes it much easier for raising and lowering the roof. The car has plenty of pep and the Tiptronic 6 speed manual / automatic transmission is a pleasure. I also like being able to set it to "sport mode", where the transmission holds the shift pattern to higher RPM setting. Good handling as a touring vehicle and sure stopping brakes. Great little car!




2008 new beetle fun to

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle SE 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

I gave my 2004 Toyota Camry to my son and I purchased a Red Beetle with a Black top. I have owned my car for two months and I just love it. I shopped around for a convertible car that is fun to drive. The New Beetle is perfect. The gas mileage is not as good but is so much more fun to drive. My husband is a large guy over six feet tall. He has enough room in this car but back seats are for small children. He was not sure about a small car but he fell in love with it too. When I was sixteen my Dad had one of the old beetles they have made alot of improvements. Great job VW. People stop me all the time and tell me how much they like my car.



Full 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Review

What's New for 2008

Volkswagen's New Beetle compact carries over into 2008 with just minor changes to trim level names and optional feature lists.

Introduction

It's hard to believe that 2008 will be the 11th year on sale for the Volkswagen New Beetle. When the car was originally introduced, Americans went crazy over the retro-themed "Bug" styling and cute flower vase protruding from its dash. Its popularity has waned over the years, however, even as interesting variants like the Turbo and TDI direct-injection diesel models came and went. For 2008, the New Beetle's oh-so-cool veneer has worn thin as it faces strong competition from more modern rivals.

Despite its age, the basic 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle still has a few things going for it. Based on the old VW Golf platform and available as a coupe or convertible, it still elicits smiles from passers-by while delivering solid German engineering, comfortable road manners and a fair amount of room for those up front. All the basics are covered in its standard price, and you can easily upgrade the Beetle's content through trim packages and stand-alone options.

But compared to newer rivals in a very competitive compact segment, the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle claims no major advantage aside from its bubbly personality. Other small two-door coupes or hatches like the Honda Civic, Saturn Astra or VW's own Rabbit deliver superior utility, amenities and drivability at a similar or lower cost. As a convertible, the New Beetle makes a little more sense, as it likely will appeal to shoppers who value style over performance. But overall, we suggest taking a look at the competition first or even considering a certified-used New Beetle as an alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle is available as a two-door hatchback coupe or convertible in two trim levels: S and SE. Base S coupe models come with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, heated outside mirrors, power windows and locks, cruise control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, V-Tex leatherette seat trim, satellite radio and a CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack. Upgrading to the SE nets you 17-inch alloys, heated front seats and windshield washer nozzles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a premium audio system and a sunroof. Some of these features can be added to the S trim as options. New Beetle convertibles are similarly equipped, with the exception of a manually operated soft top on S models and a semiautomatic power drop top and wind blocker on SEs. The new Triple White convertible starts with the SEs standard equipment and adds -- you guessed it -- a unique white exterior, as well as a white-and-black interior theme, exclusive headrest badging and satellite radio. All models can be equipped with a trunk-mounted six-disc CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The VW New Beetle is powered by a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels through an easy-shifting standard five-speed manual gearbox on S models. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is standard on the SE and optional on the S. However the shifting occurs, acceleration is merely adequate. EPA-estimated fuel economy is similarly lackluster for a compact; 2008 EPA estimates for the automatic are 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

Safety

All New Beetles include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat-mounted head/thorax side-impact airbags and active front head restraints. Convertibles also feature a rollover protection system. In government crash testing, the 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle earned four out of five stars for the protection of both front occupants in frontal impacts. Side-impact testing netted a five-star rating for front passengers but only three stars for those in the rear. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the New Beetle a top score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection, but a disappointing "Poor" rating for side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The four-passenger New Beetle may be stylish, but it's smaller inside than VW's own Rabbit. An expansive dashboard featuring a huge circular speedometer seems to dominate the cabin space up front, while the car's bubbly body pinches inward tightly against rear occupants. The open convertible is less of a problem in this regard, with a top that's easy to fold and well insulated from outside noise. With its top lowered, the Beetle convertible makes an especially classic and polished statement. Outward visibility is surprisingly poor on both the coupe and closed convertible, however, and both New Beetle styles suffer from tight rear hiproom and a lack of useful cargo space.

Driving Impressions

Like other Volkswagens, the 2008 New Beetle is reasonably fun to drive and provides a smooth and comfortable ride, perfect for long trips. The suspension tuning is soft but the steering is direct and sure, making it just about right for most drivers who want to play with their Bug every now and then. The 2.5-liter engine is smooth and delivers adequate if not abundant power in most situations.

Talk About The 2008 New Beetle

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs