The future is uncertain for the Beetle, which may be reincarnated as an electric vehicle in the coming years, with 2019 marking the last year for the second generation of the brand’s best-known nameplate. The Beetle has undergone very good restyling that added some refinement and edginess to the curvy design that has extended its lifespan. Minor changes include a revised front fascia and rear spoiler, plus new wheel designs, a two-tone interior colour scheme, a leather steering wheel, shifter and handbrake lever, heated seats, 6.33-inch colour infotainment with proximity buttons, a backup camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto There are a couple of version of the Beetle convertible including the off-road inspired Dune version, while optional style packages offer 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, fog lights, a choice of black or brown roof and diamond-stitched leather seating in black, beige or brown. We tested a wonderful Habanero Orange Trendline model with 17-inch Heritage wheels, and really cool light “surfwood” design dash and nice patterned cloth seats. Features included: rearview camera, keyless entry, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, beige cloth seats, leather-trimmed shifter and steering wheel, automatic climate control, navigation, smartphone integration, The 6.33-inch touchscreen with proximity sensors, a CD player is also included, along with satellite radio. Front-seat headroom is good, but while adults will fit in the rear twin seats, legroom is not great .Take the top down via simple press of a button and its wonderful how the car feels and looks. The roof only takes about seven seconds to retract and really makes a difference to the cars ambience. Interior storage is tight and there is only a modest rear trunk cargo space. However the rear seatbacks flip down 50/50 for transporting longer items.
On the road with 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, the Beetle offers decent enough performance, but it is no hot rod- look to the Golf GTI for more scintillating performance. Handling is fine with a softer sprung suspension aimed for comfort. The Beetle is polite, easy to drive car with excellent visibility. It’s best with top down and the open road. Fuel consumption estimates are 9.0/7.2 L/100 km (city/highway). With rumours of its demise, I for one would buy one if you have always hankered after a Beetle. A wonderful convertible and an everyday icon.
Volkswagen Beetle Coast Convertible. Base MRSP $28,895
Price as tested with options $30,865 plus freight, PDI and taxes