Used Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (2003 - 2010) Comfort

Review by David Ross on
Last Updated: 24 Sep 2009
3
Four years after the 'new' Beetle was launched, Volkswagen introduced the convertible version - an obvious step for a car that appeals to those after something fun and stylish. Adding open-air enjoyment to the Beetle certainly makes it more enjoyable, but it's let down in key areas.
2 out of 5

Comfort

Passenger space is very cramped in the back and there's limited leg room for adults, although a couple of kids will be happy. Wind buffeting is considerable with the roof down, which becomes less comfortable on colder days or at higher speeds. A wind deflector can be fitted to reduce this, but its location behind the front seats means the back seats can't be used.

Where fitted, the optional heated seats (in conjunction with the heater) are good enough to make roof-down winter driving an enjoyable possibility.

1.5 out of 5

Practicality

The boot is very limited in size and has a very awkward small opening. You'll probably end up keeping the tonneau cover in there too, eating into what little space there is. It'll just about take a weekly shop, but forget about anything larger and there's no where for a pushchair either. There's reasonable stowage in the front with twin cupholders in front of the gear lever, however the door pockets - with their netting cover - aren't very useable.

The roof is electric on most models - except the 1.4-litre Luna model where you have to open and close it manually.

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How does the boot space compare?

266 litres
249 litres
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (03-10)
201 litres
120 litres
3 out of 5

Behind the wheel

While the Beetle Cabriolet may look funky from the outside, the interior is a bit of a let down. It's fairly drab and there's little to catch the attention apart from the unusual dash-mounted vase and body-coloured door tops - although these only stand out if you go for a bright colour. The three-spoke steering wheel is another nice touch, but the rest of it is standard Volkswagen - neatly laid out but not especially exciting.

It also feels a little dated, but build quality is good. However, visibility is a little compromised by the windscreen pillars and with the roof down, rear visibility is poor. The extremities are difficult to judge which can make parking difficult, so the optional parking sensors are a wise investment.