2017 VW Beetle Convertible Review


The Beetle is an icon, a true legend! That classic bubble-shape has been kept and carried over for more than 50 years, ever since the Beetle’s origins back in the 1940s. To a certain extent, the new 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible carries over a lot of the styling features and cues unchanged, which is excellent news for anyone after a modern-day piece of history.

One could argue that the 2017 VW Beetle Convertible loses its traditional values because it’s been thoroughly modernized, but the fact of the matter is that people wouldn’t buy it had VW not brought it up to date with modern technology and features. Sure, the drivetrain is all new, as is the platform and the cabin, but the spirit of the Beetle lives on even with this new 2017 model.

UNIQUE EXTERIOR

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle shape is the most recognizable one on the road, even more so than other classics like the Ford Mustang. Offered as a coupe and a convertible, the Beetle boasts a sleek design in both variants. The current generation Beetle has been in production since 2012, but it hasn’t lost any of its charm or uniqueness. You can find certain hints of the legendary Porsche 356 here and there, but that comes as no surprise, given the original 1940s Beetle shared some elements with its Porsche cousin.

You could argue that the 2017 Beetle has no genuine competition. Instead it lives off of former glory, on the customers’ nostalgia. It may seem disappointing that potential buyers wouldn’t instead be drawn in by its amazing cabin, driving capabilities or even its value for money, because people buy it for one thing mainly – its looks. That distinguishable bug-like roofline with the round front and rear fascias can’t be mistaken for anything else. Everything on this car is round. From the wheels and the bubble-like wheel arches to the taillights and headlights. The only angular pieces are those carried over from the sixth-gen golf such as the air vents and opening at the front, on the lower portion of the bumper. As far as styling goes, you either hate it or love it, there’s not really an in-between.

CLASSIC INTERIOR

The 2017 VW Beetle’s cabin is modern, unique yet still having retro design cues, but definitely a far cry from the first reborn Beetle we saw some 20 years ago. The cockpit is similar to the VW Golf’s, but it’s somewhat bespoke to the Beetle. You can definitely tell they used Golf parts everywhere, from the steering wheel to the gear lever, but the design is unique. They’ve somehow managed to incorporate existing components into a brand-new design, and an appealing one at that. The glossy, color matched dash sits high and forward, just like it did on the original Beetle, with the large air vents on each side paying homage to the original.

The 2017 Beetle Convertible has a lot more cabin space than in the original Beetle, but the low, arching roofline limits things in a couple of ways. The front seats are perfect – lots of headroom and legroom with firm and supportive seating. Finished in cloth, leatherette or real leather, the seating is truly superb. However, things get a bit cramped when moving towards the rear as headroom and legroom are somewhat scarce. Rear passengers will most likely have their heads touching the roof with minimal leg and shoulder room as well. All in all the rear is cramped, but this should be expected in any two door car!

Trunk space in the non convertible Beetle, now located in the rear, is surprisingly generous and combining the hatchback style trunk and rear folding seats, there are many options for transporting various sizes of cargo. The 2017 VW Beetle convertible stores part of the roof in the trunk when the top is down which greatly reduces the amount of trunk space for this particular model.

DRIVING PERFORMANCE

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle convertible is powered by a 2.0L turbo charged, four cylinder engine outputting 174hp. Pair this to a six speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and you have a 2017 Beetle that’s built for drivers!

While the power statistic may seem low at 174hp, keep in mind the turbo charged engine really propels the Beetle at lower speeds. Pop the 2017 Beetle into manual mode and the zippy and responsive accelerations combined with graceful yet sturdy handling makes for a thrilling ride around town. Alternatively, you can ease off the gas and let the six speed automatic take over for a smooth and relaxed cruise around town.

The small size of the 2017 Beetle allows for easy maneuverability and when using the rearview camera, parking in even the tightest spaces becomes a breeze. When the top is down the visibility around the vehicle is top notch and even when the top is up the large windows around the Beetle make for safe all around visibility.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Most customers buy a Beetle from the heart rather than the head. The nostalgia, uniqueness and fun factor are usually the leading factors and while it may be an irrational purchase on many accounts, it’s still one of the best choices you can make if you truly desire a slice of history! With an economic price tag, a pleasing driving performance and an off the charts fun factor perhaps a 2017 Volkswagen Beetle convertible should be in your shortlist when shopping for your next car.


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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review – an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.

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