Fall is ideal convertible weather and on-cue, Volkswagen offered us a sample of its most affordable drop-top. The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1.8T SE comes equipped with exactly what one needs for a great fall leaf-peep, and nothing extra to weigh down the budget.
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At just $27,570 the Beetle SE Convertible joins the Mazda Miata at the entry-affordable range for convertibles. For this price, one gets a very responsive 1.8-liter turbo engine with 170 hp and good low-end torque. The 6-speed automatic our tester was equipped with had a Sport mode that kept the engine in the rev-band on back roads and made the drive even more involving if one used the stick to select gears. With a 28 MPG Combined fuel economy rating, this VW keeps the gas budget in line as well.
Inside, the Bettle SE Convertible has manual leatherette seats with heat, an adjustable steering column, and a wide area for knees. The top of the door is a perfect perch for your arm and the center armrest is adjustable for height. It is easy to get comfortable in this 2+2.
The power soft-top is simple to operate and makes short work of opening or closing the roof. The side glass does a good job of keeping the wind at bay when one needs a break from it. The infotainment system didn't have navigation, and we didn't miss it since Android Auto and Apple Car Play are in included. We rocked Pandora while using Google Maps on the 6.3" display and were happy to see that VW has embraced this new idea of mid-trim infotainment. Frankly, we like as much as any in-dash system. The audio quality is excellent and the bass is deep, even top-down.
The Beetle is a polarizing car design. You love it or you don't. If you do, this Beetle is a fun to drive car with a platform very much like the Golf's. At under $28K it is hard to find a better convertible cruiser.
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