The 2015 Volkswagen Convertible TDI is definitely a keeper.
The Beetle has come a long way and there is no turning back. The engineers have defined the true meaning of the Beetle with its classic yet refined appearance.
I have always been an avid lover of the Volkswagen and while test driving, it took me back to my childhood days.
My mother owned a manual ’80s Beetle and I enjoyed watching her shift gears and enjoyed the loud noisy engine at the time.
However, the Beetle has reached adulthood and has heads turning.
My tester was very sexy, coated in toffee brown metallic exterior with beige leatherette interior loaded for $31,015.
Gas Mileage is still great with 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway and with the new gas prices decrease, there’s no reason this diesel gas powered vehicle should be on empty, regardless of how many errand runs that are accomplished.
For the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle, the optional 2.0-liter diesel engine gets 10 additional horsepower, yet also delivers a slight increase in fuel economy. A new trim level called the Beetle Classic enters the lineup, and all but the base Beetle now comes standard with a rearview camera. Unfortunately, my package didn’t include the rearview camera.
The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is a four-passenger, two-door hatchback available in coupe and convertible body styles with three basic trim levels that correspond to the available engines: 1.8T, R-Line and TDI.
The Beetle comes standard with 17-inch alloy all-season wheels, heated windshield-washer nozzles, heated mirrors, full power accessories, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and height-adjustable front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
My tester, the convertible Beetle TDI includes the 1.8T’s standard equipment along with chrome exterior accents, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a touchscreen audio interface and a performance gauge package. As an option, it also offers the optional Sunroof, Sound and Navigation package.
The standard engine for the front-wheel-drive 2015 VW Beetle is a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (1.8T) that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque. The 1.8T is paired with a five-speed manual transmission on the coupe as standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The 1.8T convertible comes only with the automatic. For the coupe, EPA- estimated fuel economy with the 1.8T stands at 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway) paired to the automatic and 27 mpg combined (24/33) with the five-speed manual. Opt for the convertible where you can only get the 1.8T with an automatic transmission and estimates fall to 26 mpg combined (24/32). During Edmunds performance testing, a convertible Beetle 1.8T accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, which is a good time for the segment.
Under the hood of the Beetle TDI is a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder with 150 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. As with the R-Line, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and a six-speed DSG. Regardless of transmission choice, fuel economy estimates stand at an impressive 34 mpg combined (31/41) for the coupe and the convertible.
On the Safety Side, the Volkswagen Beetle comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics system. Car-Net bundles crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlocking and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers).
In government crash tests, the Beetle coupe received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars awarded for total frontal protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the coupe its top “Good” rating in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In IIHS’s small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Beetle scored a rating of “Marginal,” the second lowest rating. The seat and head restraints were rated “Good” for whiplash protection in rear-end impacts.
During Edmunds testing, a convertible Beetle 1.8T came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is about average for the segment.
Get inside the 2015 VW Beetle, which gets plenty of inspiration from the original flower-power model, but it still includes the same features, controls and construction as other modern Volkswagens. This translates to a pretty classy passenger environment. The trim that runs across the dash and doors can be color-keyed to the exterior just as in old Bugs, while the R-Line gets secondary dash-top gauges and available two-tone seats.
The optional navigation system is easy to use, though its small screen limits usefulness. The premium Fender sound system, on the other hand, is well- worth the extra cost and provides impressive sound quality.
Despite its seemingly low roof line, the Beetle still provides plenty of room for tall drivers, and most people will find the front seats pretty comfortable. The rear seat also has a lot of headroom. Legroom in back is fairly tight, but it’s still a little more than what you’ll get from most rivals.
The Beetle coupe has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, though the convertible cuts maximum cargo capacity to just 7.1 cubic feet. That is around 1-2 cubic feet more than the Fiat 500 convertible or the Mini Cooper convertible, but loading luggage or other items can be difficult because of the Beetle convertible’s awkward, upright trunk opening. Fold the rear seats flat in the Beetle coupe and you’ll have about 30 cubic feet of cargo space to work with.
For the convertible, the power soft top folds down in about 10 seconds and it can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. Problematically, though, when the top is folded down, it sits on top of the rear deck lid and rear visibility is limited.
Unfortunately due to winter’s fury, I was unable to put the top down and enjoy the convertible side, it was simply too cold.
Until next week, drive safe, buckle up, don’t text and drive, it’s the law.