The new VW Beetle is perfect for those seeking a retro cool soft top whilst still enjoying a certain degree of practicality and everyday comfort. The Coupe was introduced in 2012, with the cabriolet joining the range in 2013. There’s plenty of different specs to suit all tastes and budgets, but thankfully this one that we are in today has head turning looks for the right reasons and has managed to impress us at CarBuyer. And that’s because it really does look the part with its non threatening smiley face and distinctive bulbous wheel arches. The small spoiler on the rear plays up to its cheeky and playful side, too.But first and foremost we are interested in its practical side. Despite not having a huge amount of space — which is to be expected from a car like this — the folding roof doesn’t affect bootspace in any way thanks to the fact it folds on the outside of the boot. Thanks to this, you will always get this much room , no matter where the roof is. And although quite cramped, these seats are brilliant for occasional use — as opposed to having none at all.The first thing I noticed when I got in this car was the combination of tones, there’s some tasteful shiny painted, colour coded, trim here, soft touch materials, which enhance the overall quality and the retro theme we saw on the outside is very much present in here too. There are six equipment levels available however the mid-level Design provides everything you really need including air-conditioning and DAB radio, while the options list includes a touchscreen sat-nav and a upgraded Fender sound system. The 50s, 60s and 70s versions are a bit more expensive, but if you want retro flair, those are the cars for you.Anyway, enough tech, let’s get this roof down. It can be operated of speeds up to 31mph so you can put the roof up and down as much as the weather fluctuates on your journey. Bringing me on to my next point, it isn’t noticeably noisier to travel in than the coupe thanks to the multi layered fabric hood that provides plenty of sound insulation. Bringing me on to my next point, there is hardly any wind buffeting with the roof down, as long as you have installed the easy-to-fit wind deflector thus allowing me to talk to you about how economical this car is. As expected there are a number of different petrol and diesel engines to choose from. However the most economical is the 1.6 Bluemotion Diesel returning a claimed 62.8 miles to the
gallon and emitting just 118g/km of CO2. All can be teamed up with a manual or Automatic DSG gearbox, apart from the one that we’re in today – the 1.4 twincharged engine only comes in manual and that returns 41.5 miles to the gallon and certainly has enough pace to complement the comfortable ride.And that does bring me on to the Beetle’s downsides. While it drives much better than the outgoing model, mainly due to the fact that it shares its platform with the previous generation Golf and is just as much fun as the Coupe due to extra bracing, it isn’t quite as much fun as the practicality smaller MINI Convertible. The biggest sour grape in the Beetle fruit bowl though is the price. It’s £2,000 more expensive than the MINI, and that’s quite a lot! Well that pretty much sums up the new Beetle Convertible, it’s an easy to live with retro inspired cool soft top that turns heads for all the right reasons. .