2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review
2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review
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Volkswagen Beetle Convertible model years
Volkswagen Beetle Convertible types
- Beetle Convertible
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- High-style yet functional interior design
- powerful turbo R-Line engine
- fuel-efficient diesel
- more rear seat and trunk space than most convertible competitors.
- Unrefined base 2.5-liter engine
- DSG transmission's slow responses.
For 2014, the Volkswagen Beetle convertible sees a handful of small but notable changes. The Beetle Turbo picks up 10 horsepower and a name change: It's now called the Beetle R-Line to avoid confusion later in the year when VW replaces the base Beetle's 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with a new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Finally, the base Beetle picks up a few more standard features, and Volkswagen's telematics system (dubbed "Car-Net") debuts, along with a rearview camera (late availability).
The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle convertible pays proper homage to an icon of the past, but it's thoroughly modern in important areas such as features and performance.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.5L PZEV 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$164/mo for Beetle Convertible 2.5L PZEV
Beetle Convertible 2.5L PZEV
Avg. Compact Car
Producing a retro-themed version of an iconic car can present automakers with quite a challenge. On one hand, they'll want it to pay proper homage to the original, but on the other, they don't want exaggerated styling cues to overshadow functional design. Unlike the previous "New Beetle" drop top, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle convertible deftly hits the sweet spot, appealing both to nostalgic hippies and modern hipsters, as well as plenty of people in between who merely want a stylish yet practical four-seat convertible that lets them feel the wind in their hair.
The reasons for this V-dub's broad appeal are many. Within the classic yet tastefully updated shape, there is ample passenger space, sensible ergonomics, a decently sized cargo hold and suspension tuning that provides an agreeable balance between sporty handling and a comfortable ride. Variety helps, too, as one may select from a number of color and trim options and pick a gas or diesel engine.
Speaking of power plants, the base and rather humdrum 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas engine is being replaced by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that boasts not only slightly better power output but notably better fuel economy as well. Furthermore, because there are now two turbocharged gas engines (the new 1.8 and the carryover 2.0), the Beetle Turbo is renamed the Beetle R-Line.
As affordable convertibles go, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle is pretty appealing. Compared to other retro-fashion small cars like the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper, the Beetle boasts a roomier backseat, a stronger base engine (with the new 1.8T) and a larger cargo area. That's all true in comparison to a Mazda Miata as well, though the Miata is much more fun to drive through turns.
Meanwhile, you'd have to move up to the Chrysler 200 convertible to find something roomier in back, or a Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang – both of which provide stronger performance. Volkswagen's own Eos provides extra security and noise insulation thanks to its retractable hardtop design, but it's much more expensive. Overall, if you're looking for a small coupe or convertible that provides equal amounts of style and function, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle should be on your consideration list.
Performance & mpg
Powering the Beetle Convertible 2.5L is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Later in the model year Volkswagen will replace this engine with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 170 hp and 184 lb-ft. Every Beetle is front-wheel drive.
For the 2.5L and the 1.8L, a six-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission to be had. Estimated EPA fuel economy for the 2.5L is a disappointing 23 mpg combined (21 mpg city/27 mpg highway) while the 1.8-liter four-cylinder does much better with 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city/32 mpg highway).
The Beetle R-Line convertible gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed automated manual (known as DSG) is optional. Fuel economy stands at 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/31 mpg highway) with the six-speed and 25 mpg combined (23 mpg city/39 mpg highway) with the DSG. In Edmunds testing, a Beetle R-Line convertible with the six-speed manual transmission went from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. That's a quick time compared to other compact convertibles and about average amongst sporty compact coupes.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine with 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque powers the Beetle TDI. As with the R-Line, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and the six-speed DSG. Fuel economy estimates stand at 32 mpg combined (28 mpg city/41 mpg highway) for the manual and 31 mpg combined (28 mpg city/37 mpg highway) for DSG.
Every 2014 Volkswagen Beetle convertible comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes and front side airbags that protect the body and the head in side-impact collisions. Volkswagen's new Car-Net telematics system features crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlocking and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers).
In government crash tests, the Beetle coupe received a rating of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars awarded for total frontal protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Beetle coupe its top rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, and side-impact tests. In IIHS's small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Beetle scored a rating of "Marginal," the third lowest of four possible ratings.
During Edmunds testing, the Beetle R-Line convertible came to a stop from 60 mph in 113 feet, which is an excellent performance for the segment.
How the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle convertible drives largely depends on the engine you choose. The base five-cylinder is respectably powerful, but it sounds unrefined and gets disappointing fuel economy. Having sampled the new turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, we suggest waiting to get a base Beetle with this engine, as it's much smoother and far more fuel-efficient.
The Beetle Convertible R-Line is still the top dog here, and has plenty of punch and sounds great. As with other Volkswagen diesel models, the Beetle TDI drop top provides plenty of low-end grunt and ample passing/merging power along with very good fuel economy.
The R-Line's six-speed manual is quite possibly the most easily shifted do-it-yourself transmission around, while the sophisticated DSG gearbox is a nice compromise for those who want the convenience of an automatic with the performance and control of a manual. However, the DSG's responses can be frustratingly slow when accelerating from a stop while using the normal drive mode.
The Beetle's handling is respectably adept, though the car's overall abilities and steering response are well short of what you'll get from a Fiat 500 Abarth or Mini Cooper S. Then again, most convertible drivers just want to cruise city streets or local highways with the top down, and driven in this manner, the Beetle is pretty comfortable. Even the R-Line's sport suspension shrugs off bumps and ruts in the road. You'll notice the road's imperfections, but there's very little harshness.
The 2014 VW Beetle convertible's cabin draws design inspiration from the original flower-power model, yet includes the same features, controls and construction as modern Volkswagens. The trim that runs across the dash and doors can be color-keyed to the exterior just as in old Bugs, while the Turbo gets secondary dash-top gauges and available two-tone seats.
It's a pretty cool passenger environment, and unlike a Mini Cooper, it doesn't induce the sort of head-scratching that can come from odd control placement and frustrating ergonomics. The optional navigation system is easy to use, though its small screen limits usefulness. The premium Fender sound system, on the other hand, is well worth the extra cost and provides impressive sound quality.
The Beetle still provides plenty of room for tall drivers, and most people will find the front seats pretty comfortable. Rear-seat passengers will find a modest amount of legroom and a bolt-upright seatback, but no mainstream convertible save for the Chrysler 200 offers anything substantially better. The soft top folds lower atop the rear deck, and a tonneau cover can be affixed to the folded roof for a cleaner look and less wind noise. The car's trunk holds up to 7.1 cubic feet, and that space can be expanded by flipping down one or both halves of the 50/50-split rear seatbacks.
2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible models
The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle convertible is available in three main trim levels: Beetle 2.5L (2.5-liter gasoline), Beetle R-Line (turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline) and Beetle TDI (turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel). Note that later in the model year the 2.5L will be replaced by the 1.8T (turbocharged 1.8-liter four).
The Beetle 2.5L comes standard with a power-operated fabric top, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated windshield-washer nozzles, heated mirrors, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and height-adjustable front seats (with lumbar adjustment), leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a trip computer and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Also standard is VW's new Car-Net telematics system.
The Technology package adds keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and a touchscreen audio interface. The Sound & Navigation package includes the above plus 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, and a premium Fender audio system with a subwoofer.
The Beetle R-Line adds the following to the Beetle 2.5L's equipment: a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, unique cloth upholstery, a performance gauge package, faux carbon-fiber accents and alloy pedals.
The R-Line Sound package adds the same items as the 2.5L's Technology package along with the Fender audio system. The R-Line's Sound and Navigation System adds 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, leather upholstery and a navigation system to the above package.
The Beetle TDI includes the 2.5L's standard equipment along with keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio, a touchscreen audio interface and a performance gauge package. It similarly offers the 2.5L's optional Sound & Navigation package.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
VW Convertible Bug
Karen Capron, 07/07/2016
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.5L 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl 6A)
Great and fun car to drive! I would recommend this to any two-party couples to drive for fun!
4 out of 5 stars
Great little car
Mo yousuf, 01/02/2016
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Turbo PZEV 2dr Convertible w/Prod. End 5/13 (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Sold my car in 9/2018 with 80,000 miles. One of my favorite cars that I’ve owned. @ 80k miles still no troubles. Great little car with an awesome engine. I defiantly recommend the car. 7/6/18. Car has 75,000 and still no problems. Just oil change done. A great little car. 1/5/18. Car has 65,000 miles and still no problems. All I have done is Oil change and new tires. Car is still … trouble free. Would I buy the car again? Absolutely. 7/4/17, car has 60,000 miles and still no problem. It's an awesome little car. If I had to do it again, I would buy vw beetle convertible. I'm avg 28mpg. Gas is premium which one should get 28 city 34 highway. Road noise is as good as hard top. It can get pricy once you start adding options. Now at 50,000 miles the car still runs great. No problems so far and still very happy with my choice. Still a great little car.
5 out of 5 stars
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)
My wife always wanted a convertible and this was the perfect choice. I convinced her to drive the tdi and she loves it. We do a lot of mixed driving, from sitting in line to pick up the kids(a lot of idle time) to highway trips @ 75mph. I track the mileage on fuelly, and after 6 months and just under 5500 miles, the average is 31.3. I do trips @ 55mph with the cruise set and it's over … 50mpg. This thing can move, too. It has a lot of low end torque. The only problem we've had is squeeky brakes. If you are moving slow and ease into the brakes(stop and go) they squeak. VW won't fix it, saying it's normal. No it's not, so we have a battle I guess.
5 out of 5 stars
Wow! Great convertible! I'm glad I took a test drive!
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Turbo 2dr Convertible w/Sound (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
I had no expectations going into the VW dealership. After driving a Mini Cooper S convertible for seven years I didn't think I would be impressed with the new Turbo Beetle convertible. Wow! I was surprised... Great acceleration, incredible comfort for four adults and superb sound was what I needed to move me out of my Mini into a car that could comfortably accommodate my family. My day … starts with a big smile getting into my car. Having driven many different convertibles I can say their are none at this price point that offer the level of performance and space found in the new Turbo Beetle. My entire family loves this car!
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, so we've included reviews for other years of the Beetle Convertible since its last redesign.
2014 Beetle Convertible Highlights
|Combined MPG||23 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$164/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|