Car review Volkswagen Beetle driven road test BBC Top Gear — Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

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Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

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No red-blooded male would be … in the current version of the VW Cabrio. As masculine as a miniskirt and less testosterone than a kitten, it’s the automotive of a make-up-packed handbag. And not a particularly one, at that.

All of the original of it being a simple, fun convertible a cheaper, more upright Speedster for the masses — was washed away when we saw and drove the thing. It is far too tall and to be taken seriously; it has a cramped, interior that can only hold two normal-sized people. And it is to drive, with almost understeer and bodyroll only a would find acceptable.

doesn’t matter to the skirt-wearing who buy them, as the roof goes up and electronically on all but the most budget of it is absolutely undemanding to own and it’s a VW, so it can be and serviced easily (if a little too. VW sells plenty of and they hold their extremely well, so whatever we it works, and there is no reason to it massively.

Unless, like the VW management, you one day that you want to try to sell it to too. In that case, a root-and-branch reworking of the whole car be required, to tone down


the factor and increase the bloke It would need to be lower, and wider to make it look a more athletic. It would an interior on a par with or better a Golf’s, perhaps with a brand name thrown in to add guy And it would need to go, stop and way better than ever

Which is precisely what the has done for the 2013 model A lot of the new Cabrio’s newfound upgrades courtesy of the recently launched Golf that provides all the and other oily bits you will never see. the world fainting with over the new everyman car, a prime parts bin for the Beetle to And it shows right from the the 2013 Beetle being a car in every way than the outgoing

But before we get into the moving we have first to deal the styling tweaks. If those work, the thing could a Lamborghini drivetrain in it and it wouldn’t much to a male audience. And the news here is that by making the car lower and wider, and lowering the roofline, so it now apes the original Beetle, and adding a to all cars — the

VW designers have managed to the gender of the car from purely to slap bang in the middle of sexes.

This masculine continues with the interior. are the rubbish high-concept Mini-like and flower-holders, replaced by a fabulously no-nonsense dash and centre Essential for any proper cabrio, a big stereo, including an even one by Fender, along with a starburst wood option for the which, against all normal tests, looks cool. The seats are fine; the rear — which fold so you can get more than a few bags of in the boot — are now acceptable for

There are a few problems, though. All the used aren’t fantastic, the strip across the door in of a proper door pocket is a feeble, and the pedals are almost Alfa Romeo-style in their (more about this in a but it’s a light year than

the current model.

Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

As is the chassis and There is the usual broad of options here, à la stretching from the titchy TSI all the way to the 2.0-litre 200bhp TSI unit from

the GTI. The two options we got to try on launch were the range-topping 2.0 and the 2.0 TDI diesel. While the petrol-powered car was more entertaining — seats, rapid enough to be good ride and handling it’s the diesel we are going to on here, as that’ll be the biggest-seller.

And it half bad at all. Mated the DSG gearbox, the whole car feels sorted, not over- or underpowered, enough to please and steady in the corners not to cause sickness. very little body even over badly cut up and, with the windjammer in virtually no air swirl in the cabin at The roof clears off in 9.5 seconds, no levers to release, and reinstalls in 11.5 seconds at speeds of up to It’s not exceptional in any way, but not in many, either.

The only issues we encountered, on a British-like foggy and rainy day, was that the roof water when it’s Lots of water. Water falls into the cabin in two crotch-soaking jets when you put the up. This is poor. What is poor is the offset on the pedals in the version. It’s there in the cars, of course, but much noticeable and irritating in the manuals, as less space. You can solve the issue by being careful and where you open/close the roof. The way to cure the second is to get the DSG version.

Which, if you choose your and options carefully — and secure in your masculinity VW is now hoping you might feel OK even if you are a man.

1968cc, FWD, 138bhp, 236lb ft, 145g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 120mph, 1505kg

Massive over current car broaden the appeal. Avoid the manuals and the roof down in the rain

Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio
Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio
Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio

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