Used Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 1999 - 2012 review

Category: Convertible

Section: Our recommendations

1999 - 2012 review
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (99 - 12)
  • Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (99 - 12)
  • Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (99 - 12)
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Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Beetle sports should I buy?

Originally, the Beetle had 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol engines, soon joined by a 1.4-litre petrol and a 1.9-litre diesel option. A 1.8 turbocharged petrol engine came along later.

Sadly, although it's topless, this is one heavy Beetle, so the 1.4 is just too feeble to cope. The 1.6 is probably the best all-round choice, because it's cheap and doesn't show up the limitations of the car's handling.

The other engines aren't worth bothering with, but, for the record, the 2.0 uses the engine from the Mk 4 Golf GTI, making a faster cruiser, and the 1.9 TDI diesel option is frugal, but more expensive to buy. The 1.8T brings almost pointless performance, with a 0-60mph time of less than 10 seconds.

No matter which engine you go for, all cars have a high level of safety kit as standard, but basic models come with a lower specification than you might imagine, including a manually operated hood.

All others have an electric roof, and generally it's worth seeking out the higher-specification models. And, if you can, go for a model from after 2006, when the range range was revised and given a mild face-lift.