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We are interested in purchasing a VW Beetle for our daughter as it is her dream car and she will soon be off to college. Having never owned a convertible, I have a few questions. Do they truly get much colder in winter? Are they ok to drive in the winter or does snow have bad effects on the convertible tops? Has anyone had problems in general with their convertible tops i.e. getting stuck, not operating correctly, cracking/damage? I've also heard that convertible tops are easier access for thieves to cut open and steal from? Lastly, I understand the love of the beetle...I've always loved them myself but...are we looking at costly upkeep in general? I've read a few posts here and I'm feeling a bit leery. We are looking at a 2006 or newer model (with heated seats;)...low miles 40,000 under if possible. Thanks for any insight or help vw beetle community...it's much appreciated!
 

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I bought my wife a 2003 GLX 1.8t convertible new. The 2003 was the first year for the convertible and we had a lot of issues with the windows, but this was resolved with updating the windows regulators and motors to 2005 and things have been fine since.

This has been a daily driver and has spend most of its life outside. It is now been handed off to my 16 year old daughter, but I have fun with it as I have to test drive and shake down the car for her.

Here is what I can tell you. No issue in the Winter time, the Beetle heater CRANKS, heated seats are great, would never own a car without them. In a vert heated seats are great for cooler top down days as well.

The tops typically hold up for 10+ years, BUT, there have been a lot of problems with the rear window coming unglued, took 10 years for mine to finally come unglued. You can fix them, its not easy or fun, but you can nurse the rear window for a few more years. No issues with snow, actually if you brush the snow off and there is any sun, the convertible will warm up and melt snow off faster than a metal top.

Door latches are problems in these cars, partially as they are fragile and complex, partially because with the convertible the window drops to clear the top when opened and the top does not hold back pressure when closing the door. You can close the door with your pinky, but most people SLAM them.

Automatic transmission have had valve body problems, not sure if and when they resolved the issue, I would try to get a 2008 or newer if I had to buy today.

I have yet to have problems with the top, but you are more likely to have problems, so just be prepared.

As for theft, yes you can cut a top easily, but on these cars you would have to pull the inside door handle to open the door, so likely a window will be broken before the top will be cut. Hope this is the case as door glass is cheaper and easier to repair than the top anyway. Just do not keep things in sight that would be interesting for thieves.

As they say, YOLO (You Only Live Once), so I would consider it and hope that you maintain the car well and you should have a fun and reliable car. My car has never left us stranded, but it has had its share of problems.
 

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Thanks much!

Thanks so much for the replies. Jfoj...your insight and and detailed feedback were very helpful. We are currently looking at a 2006 model, sounds like maybe we need to step it up a few years to help with the valve body problems. Decisions...decisions! We want to make sure we get her a good car as this will be her daily driver and transport during her college school years, so we want it to last for her. Again, thanks so much...I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this site, so informative! Who knew there was a whole underground world of beetle owners out there. I will definitely be frequenting this site from here on out!
 
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