Retro VW a great

drive

VW Beetle Cabriolet, front, action
VW Beetle Cabriolet, side
VW Beetle Cabriolet, rear
VW Beetle Cabriolet, interior

THE new Beetle Cabriolet is great to drive with VW's 1.4 TSI engine but it is pricey.

I recently had a drive in a couple of different trims, which are named Fifties, Sixties or Seventies.

The 160bhp 1.4 turbo gives sparkling performance even in what is quite a heavy car, with a six-speed manual gearbox to help get the best from it.

It is smooth and quiet, tuneful when revved and able to pull from tickover in top gear without a murmer.

The performance was huge fun - the engine willing and punchy from low revs - and acceleration was very good from almost any speed.

Under the skin, the Beetle is a Golf of course, with front engine and front wheel drive, and all the excellent handling and road holding combined with a comfortable ride.

The interior trims are similar, but with different equipment and emphasis. The Seventies model I spent most time in is the luxury range-topper, beautifully appointed and with excellent fit and finish.

Ostensibly a four seater, the interior will only seat three in comfort with a normal sized driver, because there is no legroom behind him.

The electric hood is quick and easy and equipment includes stability control, traction control, alarm, leather, bluetooth and DAB CD/radio/MP3 player.

FAST FACTS

Price: £25,690

Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,390cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 128mph

0-62mph: 8.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 41.5

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions:  158g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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