2018 Volkswagen Beetle convertible

Pros: Unique retro looks; good build quality; peppy acceleration; availability of slick, stylish convertible body style

Cons: Swoopy styling takes precedence over ergonomics; pricier than similarly equipped Golfs and Jettas; cramped back seat

CG Says: The 2018 Volkswagen Beetle has a new engine. The previous 170-horsepower turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder has been replaced by a 174-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. The sporty R-line and its 210-hp turbo 2.0-liter engine have been discontinued. Manual transmissions have also been dropped and a 6-speed automatic is now the sole transmission. There is a new Coast model with unique interior trim and paint. Beetle is based on the same platform as the previous generation of VW’s compact Golf and Jetta, but has retro styling. We class Beetle as a Sporty/Performance Car. While Golf and Jetta can seat five passengers, the Beetle has seating for only four. The beetle is offered in both  2-door hatchback and convertible bodystyles. Available features include blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and keyless entry and starting. The current-generation Beetle is just as style-driven as the New Beetle was, but it’s also more practical in everyday terms, feels more substantial, and is arguably better to drive. Trouble is, it costs a fair bit more than a comparably equipped version of a Golf or Jetta, which offer many of the same virtues, plus far better rear-seat and cargo room. So what we have here is another nostalgia trip that makes sense if you love the styling, can accept the compromises that go with it, and are willing to pay for the privilege.

The Facts
Class Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 2-door hatchback, 2-door convertible
Passenger Count 4
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Mexico
Base Prices S coupe: $21,070
S convertible: $26,290
S w/Style and Comfort coupe: $22,545
S w/Style and Comfort convertible: $27,245
Coast coupe: $23,970
Coast convertible: $27,690
SE coupe: $24,870
SE convertible: $28,890
Dune coupe: $27,640
Dune convertible: $32,940

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
174
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
33-34

2016_beetle_dune_5653
2018 Volkswagen Beetle Dune coupe
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - NA
0%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 4
80%
Side Crash - NA
0%
Rollover - 4
80%

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