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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks! Now that I've had a chance to put some serious miles on New-Putz, I thought I'd share my thought of what I think of going Bug-Convertible. This will be a work in progress as I'm jotting down my thoughts as I have time. Hope it helps for those of you considering a Beetle for an open air driving experience. Cheers, Alex

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Overview
Anyone who has been a fan of the 2012+ Beetle will instantly recognize the lines of the New New Beetle. It's as if someone took the New Beetle and hammered in a few straight edges to (as it's been said many a time) "masculinize" it to a certain degree. I never had an issue with the New Beetle, but I will say that I've always preferred the look of the New New Beetle. :) It's got a hint of sportiness that its predecessor (no offense) lacks, lending it a bit more of street appeal. Again, just my humble opinion.

In the sub-realm of Convertible New New Beetle (y'know, I'm going to refer to that from here on out as "NNB" lol), there are no significant changes. At a glance, one would be hard pressed to tell if my own Converti-Bug is a '12, '13, '14, '15, or '16. The way I look at things, VW has pretty much gone with the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Any differences from an earlier model will likely be restricted to small items, such as the sound system.


Looks Are Everything
Again, no major changes in the basic looks of the Converti-Bug. I went with the 1.8T w/Tech, which in the middle of the Bug ragtop lineup. Thing is no matter what way you go, it's going to look pretty much the same. For example, ALL New New Beetles 2016 lineup are going to come with a rear spoiler. Maybe this has always been the case, but as I am a fan of how it compliments the appearance of the car, I think it's a major plus. Only when you approach the R-Line do aesthetics take a turn in the form of wheels and lights.


Take A Seat
Taking a note from the exterior, nothing major has changed. Seats are still covered in V-Tex Leatherette, the seat recline control is still a rotary knob (not my favorite thing about VW), even the "Customizable Interior Ambient Lighting" has carried over from the initial 2012 interior features list to the 2016. In fact, all these things are standard in the 2016 year.

So in a nutshell, if you've ever sat in a post '11 Bug, you're going to feel right at home, especially if that Bug you remember was a ragtop. Up front, ergonomics are virtually identical to the '12 Turbo I used to own. Controls are right where they should be, operate more of less the same - muscle memory will kick in, my friends. I can't say the same for the rear, with the seats seeming to be a little more upright, and the available space seeming to be a little more right (both side to side as well as legroom). But again, I did move from a hardtop to a ragtop; I imagine that lost space is because of the top's operating mechanism.

And speaking of lost space, the loss of trunk room isn't nearly as bad as one imagines. Of course, there is some loss in the boot, but that's to be expected considering that the top needs to go somewhere when it's pulled down. Where you WILL feel the loss is due to the fact that a convertible, by nature, ceases to be a hatchback, so ACCESSING the boot is not nearly as easy as it is when do so with a hardtop.


Vroom Vroom Stuff
Now here's where I encountered some dramatic changes in the NNB. First off, I had no idea they did away with the 2.5L engine; things start off at the 1.8T powerplant. Alternate choices are the 2.0T 6-spd Manual Transmission and the 2.0T DSG Automatic. And it's here where some people might go scrunchy-faced.

From baseline convertible model all the way up to just shy of the R-Line (this includes the "Classic"), the sole powerplant option is the 1.8T auto. People who wish to exercise manual transmission goodness MUST go with an R-Line model. Logically, this makes sense to me as a person seeking a stick shift are likely wanting a more sporty experience, hence go with a 2.0T, right? However, one could also argue that maybe there are some people out there that like to keep things simple with the less-complicated manual transmission. Sorry folks, but it is what it is. If you want the stick shift option, expect to pay more.

That all said, the 1.8T is so far a good engine. Obviously, it doesn't have the pep that my prior 2.0T had, but wouldn't expect it to. It's delivers plenty of power for accelerating on a freeway, and holds it's own on the steep streets of San Francisco. And the huge bonus for me, gone are the requirements for Premium Gasoline!!!! ( WOOHOO!!!:) )Just expect to press on the gas a little more.

Ride quality is excellent. I love the more soft ride of the standard suspension... maybe it's an age thing, where my bones of four decades don't quite appreciate feeling a speed bump as registered by the more sport-tune suspension of what is now an R-Line Bug. Haha. I have't put New-Putz through the aggressively-taken-twisties yet (one wonders if I ever will), but I can imagine that it's not going to quite grip the pavement like Old-Putz. What curve-maneuvering I have done at what would be considered as "done legally" have been taken in by the suspension with aplomb. Both the wife and I are completely happy with it.

Short version - If you're the kind of guy/gal that intends to tear up the asphalt and NEEDS to do so Beetle-style, automatically look towards the R-Line. Otherwise, all other 2016's may not be up to the task, but do just fine in the more-reserved category of driving.


Top Coming Down
The whole reason you looked at a convertible in the first place! Let me preface this section with the fact that, per my research, I have found that in over the course of 3-4 years, there hasn't seemed to be any major issues develop that involve a NNB-top. That's a great thing to know regarding anything in a potential car purchase, but even more so when it applies to the top of a convertible.

You get two choices of the top for a NNB, Black and Beige, both in fabric and both fitted with a glass rear window. It seems that not every body color gets the choice of both shades of top; the Yellow Rush, for example, is only available with a black top. Something to think of when you go shopping. I went with the Beige top... primarily because of the fact that it was the only convertible on the dealership's lot... haha. But even if a Black top had been available, I might've held off. I like the contrast of the Beige on Black, and I think the color throws in a nice classic-appeal to the car.

That's just me. ;)



TO BE CONTINUED
 

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Thanks for your ongoing review plans and your thoughts! San Mateo and the Bay Area; is a great cruising environment for a convertible! Volkswagen's life cycle; for the last New Beetle was 1998 to 2005 (7 years) with a revision in 2006 and a major change in 2012 (6 years). It will be interesting; to see, if Volkswagen does something similar time wise or shortens their design change cycle, this time around. I look forward; to your ongoing thoughts and experiences, especially in regard to the newer version of the 1.8T and would also like to hear your feelings about which transmission you chose, how you like it. :) Thanks again; from a former Bay Area kid! :wave2:
 

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Love the Beetle Convertible

Just bought me a Tornado Red 2016'convertable. I am in Nova Scotia,Canada. Today the 1st of March it was 17*C top down weather
 

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Hello I am thinking about trading my 14 hardtop for a rag top and was wondering what you are thinking about space after having it for a while my main concern is the usable trunk space. Thanks!
 
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