Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen faced new challenges as they planned to update the look of the Beetle. A huge part of the Beetle history is the Cabriolet. Both the Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet have been updated and enhanced for 2006. The cars have received enhancements to their exterior body styles and their interior designs. This time the Beetle faces more competition than ever before in this increasingly competitive segment.

 The Beetle Cabriolet’s exterior looks much the same. It is difficult to detect the changes, unless you know what they are, but the car’s appearance has been improved. The car boasts restyled front and rear bumpers, different wheelarches. The headlights and front indicators are also different and contribute to the overall enhancement of the car. There are also a wider range of exterior paint colours available, providing a better opportunity for personalization. Mechanically the Beetle is the same, and provides the same engine range and suspension. The 1.8-litre turbocharged unit is very impressive, but the Beetle was not designed to be a performance car. Its convertible roof reduces the car’s body stiffness. The car sports a fabric top, with electric operation on all models except the 1.4-litre base version. Lowering the roof is easy with a pull and twist of the lever,and a push of a button. A single switch allows all four windows to be raised or lowered at the same time.  Raising the roof is a simple task and includes a reversal of the lowering process. The Beetle is similar in functionality to a conventional hatchback, but the car’s exterior styling and convertible roof mean limitedred rear legroom, a smaller boot and restricted rear vision. The car’s style will convince most potential buyers that it is worth the sacrifice.


 The Volkswagen Beetle will be inexpensive to buy and run if you opt for either the small petrol or diesel engines. Low insurance, good fuel economy, and low service charges add the Beetle’s attractiveness. The cabin is spacious and will provide sufficient space to the front occupants, though the rear passengers will have very limited legroom. The boot is small and isn’t hardly big enough for a single days shopping. The gauges are clear and concise and are of high quality. The buttons and knobs are of high quality too. The fascia is uncluttered and the controls are both functional and practical as they are clearly labeled. The rear seat passengers won’t be comfortable due to the combination of uncomfortable seats and limited legroom. The front seat passengers however, will be much more comfortable with plenty of head and legroom.The rear passengers will climb through the doors with a bit of difficulty when the hood is up due to its round shape. Access into the cabin is simple for front seat occupants as the doors open wide to allow for unrestricted access. The lid to the boot is light but hardly opens wide enough to offer unrestricted access to the boot.Parking the Beetle is easy, though due to the convertible nature and thus, restricted rearward visibility; reverse parking can be a bit difficult and parking sensors may be necessary. When pulling into a parking space forwards, visibility is good and judging distances is simple.

Life Style

 Mechanically the Beetle is based on the same components as the previous generation Golf. The Beetle successfully combines ride comfort with respectable handling. The car is better suited for cruising along at reasonable speeds, and boasts accurate steering and is well-weighted. The braking system is good and  the gearshift and pedals are easy to operateThe Beetle could function as a family car for a family with younger kids. The rear seats are limited in space, and small children could ride comfortably. The boot is small and may limit the Beetle as a true family car. The Beetle would be a fun and attractive car for first time buyers who could afford it.  It’s an easy to drive car, but may be better for novice drivers with a less powerful engine. Rearward visibility is somewhat limited and may pose problems for new drivers. VW has an excellent reputation for producing quality cars, and the Beetle is no different with its high standard of fit and finish inside and out. Paints and plastics are of an excellent quality, and the controls are functional and practical. The Beetle’s unique style has always had a positive impact on its image.

Security and Safety

Cabriolets are more susceptible to forced entry due to the fabric roof. The car comes equipped standard with an alarm with interior sensors, and an electronic engine immobiliser. The car’s safety features include ABS, front and side airbags and ESP. In addition, the Cabriolet has a reinforced windscreen frame and pop-up rear rollover bars.

The Finishing Touches

 The car’s standard audio system includes a 10 speaker CD and radio, an auxiliary socket for an MP3 player to be connected. The unit provides good sound quality. Standard on 1.8-litre models and up is a leather-covered steering wheel and gearknob. All the interior fabrics and surfaces are well finished and comfortable, and the dashboard itself is dark but areas finished in the exterior colour help to lift the mood.


 Despite stiff competition, the Beetle’s unique looks and dynamic personality will make it a favorite among many buyers. It doesn’t hurt that the car offers a good specification and respectable performance.