The 2017 Beetle convertible is an easy car to live with, and yet its styling clearly harks back to the classic Beetle of yesteryear. For a small and stylish drop-top, this is one of the best.
One of this car's best attributes is its turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It's powerful enough to give to give the Beetle a nice boost of speed when you need it, yet it's also pretty frugal, with the EPA estimating you'll get 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
Volkswagen offers the Beetle convertible in six trim levels, starting with the 1.8T S and then climbing to the 1.8T Classic, 1.8 SE, a new #PinkBeetle limited edition, 1.8T Dune and 1.8 SEL. Standard feature highlights for the base 1.8T S trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system. The 1.8T Classic adds a few extra features including a bigger touchscreen and a navigation system.
You get a few more features with the 1.8 SE, while the limited-edition #PinkBeetle is appointed similarly to the 1.8 SE but is only available in a metallic fuchsia exterior color. The 1.8T Dune model is also similar to the 1.8 SE trim but adds unique exterior styling elements. At the top of the Beetle line is the loaded 1.8 SEL.
No matter the version, the Beetle is decent to drive. The steering is firm and responsive, though the thin-rimmed steering wheel feels a bit flimsy. The Dune model has a raised suspension that makes it lean a bit more when going around turns. Yet all versions of the Beetle ride comfortably, albeit with some wind noise around the closed roof. You'll notice some big blind spots; the small rear window limits visibility to the rear when the top is up. Good thing a rearview camera is standard. Also, the trunk is tiny (just 7.1 cubic feet — the removable tonneau cover takes up a good chunk of that — and the opening is tiny), and there's not much storage space in the cabin.
Still, for a small convertible with a combination of retro-themed flair and daily-driver utility, you can't do much better than the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Use Edmunds to help find the perfect one for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.