Review: Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019)
Retro Beetle looks with a modern soft-top. Fun to drive. Decent sized boot.
Expensive to buy. Interior is cramped and there's not a lot of room in the back either. Rear spoiler tips rainwater into boot when lid is opened.
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019): At A Glance
With its fun, retro styling, broad engine range and impressive build quality, the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is a great little soft-top. It’s a true cabriolet, unlike the Fiat 500 and Citroen DS3 – but it is also expensive compared to its style-oriented rivals. However, if you don’t mind paying upwards of £20,000, the Beetle is a great soft top.
Like the MINI Convertible, Volkswagen has gone for a full-size folding roof. It can be folded up or down in 11 seconds at speeds up to 31mph, so you don’t need to pull over and stop in a rain shower.
Like all convertibles, practicality plays second fiddle to style, so space in the back is tight – but the boot is surprisingly useful. The opening, while small, is wider than that on the MINI Convertible or Citroen DS3 Cabrio, plus it can cope with 225 litres worth of luggage, whether the roof is up or down.
There are five engine choices – three petrol and two diesel. The diesels are, as you would expect, the most frugal, with official economy of more than 60mpg, but the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines will suit most buyers perfectly, blending ample performance with affordable running costs. There is also a sportier 220PS 2.0-litre engine for more enthusiastic drivers.
Standard equipment includes all of the essentials, with a touchscreen system, DAB radio and air conditioning on all cars. However if you want Bluetooth or alloy wheels you’ll need a higher trim level – and most buyers will want to spend money on customisation and options too, all of which pushes up the price significantly.
That’s the biggest problem with the Beetle Cabriolet. You can get a MINI Convertible or a Citroen DS3 Cabrio for less – and if you can cope with the limited practicality a Fiat 500C is substantially cheaper. But despite high prices there is an undeniable charm and allure to the Beetle which, for many buyers, will make the cost worthwhile.
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Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 225 litres
The Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet blends a few retro touches with modern Volkswagen interior features, so there’s a body-coloured dashboard into which is embedded a second little glovebox, accessed with an old-school looking handle.
Alongside this old-fashioned design is a modern touchscreen system with Bluetooth connectivity and a clear insrument binnacle. The blend of old and new works really well and gives the car plenty of likeable character – even if the cute vase of old is absent.
Up front there is enough room and adjustability to get comfy, but the back row is tight. There are only two rear seats so while it’s possible for adults to fit the cramped knee room will make long trips uncomfortable. The Beetle Cabriolet is certainly better suited to couples.
The boot is surprisingly spacious, though. Sure, it isn’t as practical as the boot on a hatchback, but compared to a Fiat 500 or Citroen DS3 cabriolet there is good access and 225 litres of volume is up on the MINI Convertible. There are also easy-to-operate levers for folding the rear seats, should you need to carry any long items.
Standard equipment includes the essentials. All cars get Bluetooth, a touchscreen system and air conditioning. Upper trim grades get alloy wheels in place of the funky-looking steels on basic models, plus a larger infotainment screen and luxuries like cruise control and dual-zone climate control.
There are also numerous styling options to pick from, including various colours for and finishes for the upholstery, convenience features such as cruise control, a navigation system and an impressive, crisp and powerful audio system by guitar-maker Fender. Other options include sports suspension and numerous alloy wheel designs up to 20 inch.
Beetle Cabriolet comes with 16-inch retro-design steel wheels, manual air conditioning, electric windows, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, start/stop, 5.0-inch touchscreen system with AUX-in, DAB radio, CD player, SD card reader, USB input, six speakers and hill hold assist.
Design trim gains 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured interior panels and dashboard, 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and eight speakers.
Sport trim adds (over Design) 18-inch alloy wheels, gloss black exterior details, sports front seats, two-zone climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors plus sport dials.
Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019) like to drive?
The Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is available with a choice of five engines – three petrol and two diesel. The entry-level engine is a quiet and refined 1.2-litre petrol producing 105PS. It’s well-suited to the Beetle, giving ample if not particularly exciting performance. It also has low running costs, with official economy of more than 50mpg.
For cruising along and enjoying the sunshine it’s ideal, plus it is available with a DSG automatic or manual gearbox. If you tend to cover higher mileages or spend a lot of time on A-roads and motorways the additional power and torque (250Nm vs 175Nm) of the 150PS 1.4-litre TSI will be useful but there is no DSG option, just a six-speed manual.
Both diesel engines are 2.0-litre, but with a choice of 110PS or 150PS power outputs. Each is available with a choice of manual or DSG automatic transmission and have similar fuel economy figures of around 60-65mpg, so choosing between the two comes down to your budget.
The Beetle Cabriolet has fairly firm suspension, but it is nicely damped to keep the worst lumps and bumps from intruding into the quiet, refined cabin. The steering is light and doesn’t offer much feedback, but it is accurate enough for country roads, where the Beetle is competent and relaxing to drive, but it doesn’t feel quite as rigid as a hard top Beetle when cornering at speed.
For cruising along and enjoying the scenery it is ideal, particularly with the fabric roof down. Raising and lowering the roof takes 11 seconds and is possible at speeds up to 31mph. With the roof down buffeting and wind noise isn’t a problem at most speeds, but if you’re travelling long distance on the motorway the folding wind deflector will come in handy.
If relaxed cruising isn’t your idea of fun there is a much more potent 2.0-litre TSI petrol option producing a substantial 220PS. It benefits from a sportier exhaust note, sports suspension and an electronic front differential to tighten up the steering and handling. Cars fitted with this engine also get sportier styling, with a larger spoiler and larger alloy wheels.
|1.2 TSI||50–51 mpg||11.7–12.1 s||129 g/km|
|1.2 TSI DSG||52 mpg||11.7–12.1 s||126–127 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150||47–48 mpg||9.1 s||136–138 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 160||42 mpg||8.6 s||158 g/km|
|1.6 TDI||63 mpg||12.1 s||118 g/km|
|1.6 TDI BlueMotion||63 mpg||12.1 s||118 g/km|
|1.6 TDI BlueMotion DSG||63 mpg||12.1 s||119 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 110||64 mpg||11.7–12.1 s||115 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 110 DSG||61 mpg||11.7 s||119 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140||55 mpg||9.9 s||134 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 140 DSG||50 mpg||9.9 s||145 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150||60–61 mpg||9.3–9.6 s||118–122 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG||57–58 mpg||9.3–9.6 s||127–130 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 210||38 mpg||7.6 s||174 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 210 DSG||36 mpg||7.6 s||180 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220||42 mpg||-||154 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 220 DSG||42 mpg||-||159 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2013 – 2019)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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