There are only a handful of cars that have ever been made that are instantly recognizable from just their silhouette, and the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is definitely one of them. If you like the idea of dune buggy style but you need a compact car you can use every day, the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible could be just what you’re looking for.

Styling

The current incarnation of the Volkswagen Beetle has been on the market now since 2012, but its look remains as distinctive and unique as ever. There are some undeniable hints of a Porsche 356 in there, which isn't an accident by any means as the original Porsche was a relatively close cousin of the original Beetle way back in the 1940s. This year sees the Beetle's front and rear bumpers getting a minor update, but you will really have to be very familiar indeed with this current Beetle generation to notice the differences. It used to be the case that if you weren't into retro, the Beetle wasn't really for you, but the current model is a pleasantly modern take on the original theme and definitely doesn’t look old fashioned.

Interior

Inside, the pseudo-retro theme continues, but it's nowhere near as overt as we saw when the Beetle was reborn almost nearly 20 years ago now. There's no flower bud vase on the dash anymore, and don’t underestimate the importance of such a minor change. The previous generation of the Beetle was undeniably feminine, and that will have put off plenty of potential buyers by alienating a good percentage of half the population. The dash itself is upright and features bold color themes on some models that are designed to mimic the original Bugs, but the funkiness isn’t too much, and even more conservative buyers won’t be too alarmed.

Powertrain

Two engines are available with the current Beetle. The base engine is a 1.8-liter turbo-four that develops 170 horsepower, while R-Line versions of the Beetle boast a much more powerful 210 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. Unfortunately, the 2.0-liter isn’t currently available with Convertible models. It's questionable as to whether too many people will be bothered, but VW has quietly dropped the standard manual transmission and left buyers with the six-speed automatic units. That means the 1.8-liter engine comes mated to a conventional automatic, and Convertible buyers also miss out on VW's excellent a dual-clutch gearbox that only comes with the 2.0T.

Trims and features

There are now five different versions of the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. The entry model is now the S with a starting MSRP of just $24,725, and from there the range goes upwards to the Classic, SE, Dune and finally the SEL. The S model is far from basic though, with standard features including: 16-inch alloys, a rear spoiler, auto headlights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a split-folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a touchscreen infotainment system with a 5.0-inch touchscreen and a USB port and more.

Verdict

It's now ok to own a Beetle Convertible, whoever you are. The flower vase might have disappeared from the dash, but this is a car that lacks nothing for the modern buyer. The soft top roof means there's no huge increase in weight to hurt performance, and the S and Classic models really are tremendous value for money with all the style, coolness and modern amenities you could ask for the money.

The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is available now from Ontario Volkswagen, so get in touch with us today to find out more and to arrange a test drive.