2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review

Pros & Cons

  • More practical and comfortable than other small convertibles
  • Turbo engine provides a good mix of power and fuel economy
  • Stylish interior design
  • Awkward cargo hatch
  • Poor rearward visibility
  • Limited secure interior storage
Other years
Volkswagen Beetle Convertible for Sale
List Price Range
$22,448 - $29,380

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Which Beetle Convertible does Edmunds recommend?

We would select a base Beetle S with the Style & Comfort package. That package gets you a wealth of desirable equipment, including an upgraded tech interface that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the same time, it doesn't seem as if you get enough by stepping up to the SE. If you're looking for max Beetle style, the tasteful new Coast edition could be worth a look since it features several stylish add-ons courtesy of the Style & Comfort package.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.2 / 10

It's not easy to find an inexpensive convertible. Drop-tops are few and far between to begin with, and those on the lower end of the price scale are an absolute rarity. Pleasingly, though, the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is just such a vehicle.

True, as a Beetle, it comes with iconic styling and a half-century's worth of reputation, expectation and even stigma wrapped up in its kitschy package. It will never be for everyone. But judged solely on its merits as a convertible, the Beetle is a comparatively sensible choice.

First and foremost, it is larger and more comfortable than its primary points of comparison: the Mini Convertible and the barely-a-convertible Fiat 500C. Is its cabin spacious? No, but it's also not clown-car-cramped. Its bigger size contributes to a greater sense of refinement and better ride quality. Its ride isn't choppy like the Mini's and Fiat's.

Now, it certainly isn't the sharpest car to drive (a Mini or Mazda MX-5 would be a better call if you're looking for that), but it's hard to complain about the engine. New for 2018 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It produces the same 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque as last year's engine, but it is more fuel-efficient. By comparison, a comparably priced Mini has 134 horsepower, while the Fiat 500C has 101 hp.

Ultimately, the Beetle's combination of size, refinement and power translates into a bigger-convertible feel at a reasonable small-convertible price. You'll still be dealing with compromised cargo space (which you will in almost every convertible) and limited rear visibility (ditto), but based on its objective merits, the Beetle is a great drop-top choice.

2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible models

The 2018 Volkswagen Beetle is a two-door, four-passenger convertible with a standard power-operated soft-top. There are four trim levels: S, Coast, SE and Dune. The Dune boasts a slightly raised suspension for more ground clearance, but otherwise all are mechanically the same. Every Beetle comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available.

The base S comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, heated mirrors, a fully powered retractable soft-top, a separate tonneau/boot cover for the lowered roof, a rearview camera, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, the Composition Color 5-inch touchscreen interface, one USB port, and an eight-speaker sound system that includes a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a media player interface.

The Style & Comfort package adds 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, extra body-color exterior trim, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, the Composition Media 6.3-inch touchscreen, HD and satellite radios, and VW Car-Net App-Connect (adds various smartphone-integration apps, most notably Android Auto and Apple CarPlay). Every Beetle convertible can be fitted with a removable wind blocker placed over the back seats. It's a dealer-installed accessory.

The special-edition Coast trim includes all of the above plus a sunroof, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, and special design elements (a unique Deep Sea Teal paint option, a surfboard-look dash pad, houndstooth cloth upholstery and special floor mats). The Coast Light package adds bi-xenon headlights and LED taillights.

The SE includes all of the Coast's extra equipment apart from the special design elements. It also adds dual-zone automatic climate control and VW Car-Net Security & Service emergency communications. Its SE Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, the bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, a Fender audio system, and the Discover Media 6.3-inch touchscreen that essentially adds a navigation system to the Composition Media system.

The Beetle Dune features extra ground clearance, a wider track and exterior design elements, plus 18-inch wheels, faux leather and cloth upholstery, front sport seats, and all of the SE Premium's added elements apart from Discover Media, which is not available. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems and VW Car-Net Security and Service are also not available on the Dune.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Dune (turbo 1.8L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Beetle has received some revisions, including a new engine that's now standard in every variation, including the Dune. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Beetle.


Acceleration should be strong whether you're pulling away from a stoplight or looking to overtake on the freeway. But braking effort is higher than anticipated because the brakes aren't quick to respond. The Dune's raised ride height and comfort-oriented suspension hamper handling.


The Beetle gets a new 2.0-liter turbo engine for 2018, but given that it has the same output as its 1.8-liter predecessor, we would expect it to turn in a comparable 0-60 mph time of about 7.5 seconds, quick for its class.


Like other VWs, there's a lack of initial braking force that makes it difficult to slow the Beetle smoothly. There's also a lot of pedal travel, so stops require more force than expected. Stopping power is impressive, though. We measured a very good 115-foot distance in our panic-stop test from 60 mph.


Steering effort is a bit heavier than expected, making the Beetle feel more controllable at highway speeds than its rivals yet very light when maneuvering at low speeds. The thin-rimmed steering wheel feels a little flimsy.


The Dune's raised suspension feels nice around town, but around tight corners, there's a noticeable amount of body roll. Every other Beetle would be better, but none is truly engaging. Don't expect a VW GTI, or even a Golf, in retro clothing.


The Beetle does most things right and is easy to drive. Its engine and transmission are responsive, and its steering makes it easy to maneuver in parking lots. Rear visibility, however, does not.


The Dune features 6.3 inches of ground clearance, which is far from SUV-like but more than what you'd get in any other convertible not named Wrangler or Evoque. You can literally take it off the road, but not very far.


Though Volkswagen plays off the 2018 Beetle's style, this is one of the more comfortable and refined small convertibles (perhaps the most). The seats hug you without being oppressive, and the suspension dispatches road imperfections without transmitting any harshness to the driver.

Seat comfort

The seat bottom isn't long enough to provide taller drivers with outstanding thigh support. Otherwise, the seats feel supportive and comfortable, and the cloth upholstery offers good cushioning. Adjustable lumbar support isn't standard in this class, so we're happy the Beetle offers it.

Ride comfort

The Beetle's ride is far more comfortable and generally civilized than what you'd get in its handful of competitors. Impacts are well-controlled, and the Beetle never feels jittery. And although the Dune's raised suspension doesn't do much for handling, it improves the ride.


The Beetle is bigger and generally easier to use than its few competitors. Its roof is also high enough for a pair of tall adults in the front. Visibility out the back is hampered by a small window surrounded by the convertible top.

Ease of use

The controls are logically placed, clearly labeled and within reach of front-seat occupants. Climate controls are simple, and the steering wheel buttons are easy to operate without having to change your grip much. The roof goes up and down with the touch of a single button.

Getting in/getting out

The fairly large doors make getting into and out of the Beetle easy, but their size can limit how far they can be opened in a parking lot. Rear passengers will have a very easy time of getting in the back with the roof down, but they understandably will struggle with it raised.


There's plenty of headroom for those in the front, although two adults are likely to brush elbows. The rear seats are comfortable, but minimal amounts of leg- and headroom diminish their long-distance usefulness. It's more of a parcel shelf.


Forward and side visibility is just fine thanks to the large windshield and windows. Rear visibility is compromised due to the large pillars, rear headrests and small rear window. The standard rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors are appreciated.


A slight creaking noise came from the dash in our tester, but otherwise build quality was solid. Interior materials looked and felt fine but weren't class-leading or VW's best. Its hard, body-colored plastic trim is an acquired taste.

Convertible top

The power soft top is operated fully by the press of a button. Operation is reasonably quick. A separate tonneau cover can be placed over the lowered roof, but it must be stored somewhere when not in use.


There isn't a lot of space for your personal items in the cabin, and the trunk is not only small but accessed by an awkward opening. On the upside, virtually every other comparably sized or priced convertible suffers from trunk issues.

Small-item storage

The gimmicky door nets are a poor substitute for actual cubbies, and the armrest bin doesn't hold much. But there's a good amount of space under the center stack.

Cargo space

The tiny 7.1-cubic-foot trunk has a small, upright opening suitable for a couple of bags but little else. Unfortunately, the top-hinged trunk hatch makes loading awkward. A very narrow pass-through behind the rear seats will help with longer items.


As far as infotainment systems go, the VW Beetle's isn't cutting-edge, but it is relatively easy to use and the screen resolution is sharp enough to read at a quick glance. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are found on all but the most basic, optionless S trim.

Audio & navigation

There's a standard 5-inch touchscreen, but the 6.3-inch one is found on most trims. It uses a nice mix of physical and digital controls. It's easy to use and includes CarPlay and Android Auto, but it's a couple inches too small by contemporary standards.

Driver aids

A rearview camera is standard, and blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are available, but that's it. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking or lane keeping assist aren't offered.


Overall7.2 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Beachy Keen!
2.0T S 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I adore this car. I have had American, Asian and German automobiles. This German/Mexico built sun rider is the best and most fun all around vehicle I have ever had. The sound/entertainment system is outstanding. Comfort is excellent. Mood lighting is striking and fun. I find reasons to ride around in this car because it is very sporty and fun. I get more compliments on this vehicle than I have received on any of my other vehicles. I just can’t stop loving this beetle! Top down or up, it’s a very fun, safe and retro ride. Fit and finish is as expected from Volkswagen. Tons of places to store stuff, but being a convertible the boot/trunk storage is low. Definitely adequate though for what I need a boot/trunk for. Sport mode turns the beetle into a race car. It’s very easy to speed. My warranty from Volkswagen is great. I have all servicing paid for, for the next 3 years. I just can’t stop bragging about my little white bug convertible.
Great cute Car
Jose C S Leon,10/11/2018
2.0T SE 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Check that the car has the PREMIUM package
German Car - Will I get spanked after warranty?
M Spangler,09/26/2018
2.0T S 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My wife bought this car because it was orange & a convertible. I was looking through the manual at service intervals; in usual German fashion, it's high maintenance & it's not even a performance car. How often do you think brake fluid should be replaced? I wish it had crank windows so that nothing electrical would go wrong. I think the auto transmission is Japanese , that's a plus. It has a the new 2.0 T; I don't know if it's a newly designed engine or if it was used in other models. I like German cars; I just don't like to own them out of warranty.
VW beetle
2.0T S 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I love this car!


Our experts like the Beetle Convertible models:

Automotive Rollover Support System
Two bars automatically pop up in the event of a roll-over situation. Makes up for the lack of a full, solid roof.
VW Car-Net Security & Service
Automatically informs emergency services in the event of a crash. Also includes an emergency response button.
Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
Automatically applies the brakes in the event of a collision, reducing the likelihood of a secondary impact.

More about the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Overview

The Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is offered in the following submodels: Beetle Convertible. Available styles include 2.0T Coast 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 2.0T Dune 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 2.0T S 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and 2.0T SE 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.0T Dune is priced between $29,380 and$29,380 with odometer readings between 46337 and46337 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.0T S is priced between $22,448 and$22,448 with odometer readings between 40328 and40328 miles.

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Which used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertibles are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2018 Beetle Convertibles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $22,448 and mileage as low as 40328 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

Can't find a used 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertibles you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Beetle Convertible for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $7,813.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,687.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Beetle Convertible for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,438.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $9,889.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Volkswagen Beetle Convertible lease specials