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2015 Volkswagen Beetle : Current Models

Like the Volkswagen Beetle coupe, the Beetle Convertible offers retro styling, seating for four passengers and a wide array of powertrain options at an affordable price. While the previous Beetle Convertible was without a doubt the most adorable drop-top on the market, the latest version dials back the cuteness level and adopts a tauter, less rounded look. Inside, the dashboard is more dynamic-looking than before - the old flower vase is nowhere to be found - but the flat dashboard and retro-inspired circular gauges hark back to the original Type 1 Beetle.

With plenty of rear seat space, the Beetle Convertible is capable of carrying four adults for around town trips, and the 7.1-cubic-inch trunk can be expanded to accommodate bulky items by folding down the rear rear seats.

A fully insulated power soft top with a heated glass rear window is fitted as standard. It can be raised or lowered in just 10 seconds to take advantage of parting clouds or guard against sudden downpours.

Engine Lineup

The Beetle Convertible's engine choices range from mild to wild to super economical.

A 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque will gradually replace the aging 2.5-liter straight-five as the volume engine for the Beetle Convertible.

Those looking for a ragtop with a bit of scoot can opt for the Volkswagen's ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which churns out 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed stick is standard while a six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic is on the list of options; the former returns 21/30 mpg, while the latter is rated at 21/29 mpg.

Base-engined Beetle Convertibles feature an inexpensive torsion beam rear suspension, while the sportier R-Line model uses a more sophisticated multi-link setup. The two models also use different steering systems, with the standard Bug utilizing a hydraulically-assisted setup and the Turbo employing electric power steering.

The mileage champ of the Beetle Convertible lineup is the TDI model, which packs a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The oil-burning mill returns 28 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway with a six-speed manual and 28/40 mpg with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

The Beetle Convertible TDI is essentially identical to its gas-burning siblings inside and out but it gains a supplementary pod on the top of the dashboard that features gauges for oil temperature and turbo boost level as well as a stopwatch. Underneath, the TDI retains the standard Beetle's front struts and rear torsion beam, although it features the rack-and-pinion electric power steering from the gasoline turbo model.

Standard and Optional Equipment

The entry-level Beetle Convertible comes standard with power windows and locks, A/C, and eight-speaker sound system with USB/AUX input jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, leatherette seating, 17-inch alloy wheels and cruise control.

The sportier R-Line model gets all the features of the 1.8-liter version while adding 18-inch Twister alloy wheels, a locking front differential called XDS that improves high-speed traction, sports seats, faux-aluminum pedals and a rear spoiler. R-Line models stand out thanks to aggressive bumpers and chrome-framed turn signals.

The range-topping R-Line with Sound and Navigation adds 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels, a flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel, sports pedals, bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, stainless steel sill kickplates and a chrome vanadium panel for the dashboard.

Optional features, which can be bundled together in various packages depending on the model, a Fender premium audio system, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, a keyless entry system, a multi-function trip computer, a rear-view camera, a touchscreen-based navigation system, leather seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Most Beetle Convertible models can be ordered with Volkswagen's Car-Net infotainment system, which integrates the car's entertainment, navigation and climate control systems while offering crash notification, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle location assistance. Car-Net also features remote vehicle access, speed and boundary alerts and it can provide a vehicle health report. The bulk of Car-Net's features can be accessed via a smartphone.

TDI Standard and Optional Features

The diesel Beetle can be had in two different trim levels: TDI and TDI with Sound and Navigation. Both cars come standard with V-Tex leatherette, a secondary glove box, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, keyless entry with push-button start and iPod integration for the audio system. The Sound and Navigation models adds an SD card reader, touch-screen based navigation and a 400-watt Fender/Panasonic audio system.

Beetle Classic

Available for a limited time only, the value-oriented Beetle Classic model features model-specific upholstery on the seats, navigation, an automatic transmission and 17-inch alloy wheels offered in black or white.

Safety

All Beetle Convertibles come equipped with dual front airbags and combination side/curtain airbags. Other safety systems include traction and stability control systems as well as an Intelligent Crash Response System that automatically unlocks the doors, disconnects the battery terminal from the alternator cable, shuts off the fuel supply and turns on the warning hazards and interior lights in the event of a collision.

To protect passengers in the event of a rollover incident, the Beetle Convertible comes with two concealed rollover bars behind the rear seats that pop up when needed.

Key Competitors

As an inexpensive front-wheel-drive convertible with seating for four, the Beetle Convertible's most direct competitor is the MINI Cooper Convertible, which is less roomy than the Volkswagen but more fun on a curvy backroad. Other alternative include the diminutive Fiat 500c in addition to bigger, more powerful rear-wheel-drive bruisers like the Ford Mustang Convertible and Chevrolet Camaro Convertible.

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Sources : 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Photo | 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Article

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