You'll Like The 2007 Volkswagen Beetle If...
If you've been shopping for a fun, affordable convertible that won't be mistaken for a weekend rental, the New Beetle Convertible deserves a test drive. It possesses a great safety record, has loads of head room with the top up and displays an impressive list of standard features.
You May Not Like The 2007 Volkswagen Beetle If...
Though the New Beetle Convertible does have a rear seat, it's not very big. The long dash places the driver in the middle of the car, a driving position that takes some time to get used to. The car's repair history is a bit spotty, as well.
New colors and a Special Edition trim (late arrival) mark the big changes for 2007. Powertrain choices are reduced to one: A new 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine.
After eight years on the market, the New Beetle Convertible still offers one of the nicest interiors in its class. The seats are some of the most comfortable we've experienced, with excellent back, side and thigh support for both driver and passenger. The New Beetle Convertible's trademark domed shape cuts rear-seat headroom, with the result being an interior that can comfortably accommodate two small persons in the rear seat and two NBA-size adults up front. The New Beetle Convertible is really a year-round car. Its insulated soft-top latches securely to the windshield post via a clever one-handed latching mechanism. Once in place, you'll be amazed at how hushed the interior becomes, even at highway speeds.
The New Beetle Convertible mimics what is probably the best-known car in the world: The original Beetle. When down, the New Beetle's soft top rests high upon the rear deck, leaving room for a small trunk. Considering the price, the New Beetle is remarkably detailed, and its distinctive shape seems to be a contributing factor to its excellent crash test results and low accident repair cost analyses.
Anytime a car's roof is cut away it loses a primary source of rigidity. A convertible manufacturer compensates for this loss by adding bracing to the car's underside and engine compartment, usually with only minimal results. This is not the case with the New Beetle; its body is amazingly stiff, with no detectible flex - even in hard cornering. The ride is somewhat on the soft side, which fits the character of the car to a tee. You'll find the steering and braking response to be first-rate, right in line with other fine-handling VW cars.
The 2.5-liter engine delivers strong acceleration and good fuel economy, a noticeable improvement over the previous 2.0-liter engine, but is not as much fun to drive as the old turbocharged models.
The New Beetle Convertible has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $22,750. The six-speed Tiptronic automatic adds another $1,075. A look at the Fair Purchase Prices page shows consumers are paying about $1,000 over invoice for the convertible. The New Beetle Convertible is expected to retain an excellent five-year resale value, holding 66 percent of its price at 24 months and 54 percent at 48 months. Similarly-priced vehicles that also hold high resale values include the MINI Cooper Convertible, Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Pontiac Solstice.
The New Beetle Convertible includes a 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stabilization program, air conditioning, rear defroster, illuminated remote keyless entry, key-operated open/close feature for power windows, manually-operated top, dual heated power mirrors with built-in turn signals, front side-impact airbags, Active Roll Support pop-up roll-over protection, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, power locks and 16-inch alloy wheels.
VW has bundled its most popular items into two packages. Package #1 costs about $1,500 and includes heated front seats, a premium sound system, a semi-automatic power top and a windscreen. Package #2 costs about $3,200 and includes Package #1 plus fog lights, a garage door opener, automatic day/night mirror, perforated leather seating and rain-sensing wipers. Stand-alone items include a trunk-mounted six-disc CD changer, iPod connector and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Blue Instrument Lighting
Attractive Cornflower Blue lighting in the instrument cluster is easy on the eyes both night and day.
Optional Power Soft-Top
The convertible model's optional power soft-top locks into place with a single turn of the center-mounted latching mechanism.
Under the Hood
The new 2.5-liter 20-valve five-cylinder engine is a vast improvement over the old eight-valve 2.0-liter engine. Not only does it bring an additional 35 horsepower to the table, it also provides the kind of low-end torque needed to move the New Beetle with some authority.
2.5-liter in-line 5
150 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 22/30 (automatic)
Iconic convertibles seem to be making a comeback, and there is no more iconic a ragtop than the VW Beetle. The New Beetle Convertible makes a great looking drop-top, offering the power, safety and comfort that eluded the first generation Bug. Of course, the engine is up front, as are the drive wheels, but with the top retracted the feel from behind the wheel is just like old times. Strict new emission standards force the removal of the fuel-miserly TDI diesel option for 2007, leaving the new 150-horsepower 2.5-liter as the sole engine choice.