NEW FOR 2008:
– 16-inch spare wheel replaced with 15-inch
– Passenger door LED deleted
– Passenger front floor mat shortened
– New optional 16-inch alloy wheel design
For 2008, the Volkswagen New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible are virtually unchanged. Prices change by $5.00: the New Beetle goes down by that much, while the New Beetle Convertible goes up.
Both the coupe and convertible use a 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder engine with five-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Each comes in a single trim line, called “Trendline”.
Features on the coupe include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, anti-theft alarm, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, heated “leatherette” seats with height adjustment, one-piece folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic wheel, adjustable intermittent wipers, heated washer nozzles, and heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The convertible adds manually-operated cloth top, fifth window switch to open and close all windows simultaneously, and automatic rear rollover supports. The rear seat does not fold on the convertible, but it has a lockable pass-through. Among the available options is a semi-automatic power folding roof.
Instantly recognizable from any angle, the New Beetle is fun to drive, with surefooted handling and instant steering response, and supportive seats that offer long-distance comfort comparable to cars costing four times as much. The round design provides exceptional room up front, but very tall passengers in the rear seat will smack their heads on the coupe’s sloped rear window. Be sure children are old enough to buckle their own seatbelts, as it’s a long way back to reach them, even with the easy-entry front seats.
The convertible adds to the driving pleasure with its drop-down roof; it doesn’t disappear out of sight, but rearward visibility is still not too bad. The semi-automatic roof requires that you unlatch it manually, and then it all opens or closes by itself at the touch of a button.