Popular Tags Cars

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

$25,995 - $29,995
Price Range (MSRP)
Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review: End Of An Era

by Jared Rosenholtz

The Volkswagen Beetle is conceivably one of VW's most recognizable compacts ever created, and an instrumental design icon of its time. But for almost as long as we had the bug, we've had the convertible, which began its life with the type 15 Convertible - its first-ever iteration, way back in 1949. Fast forward 70 years, though, and the 2019 Beetle Convertible belongs to the third Beetle generation first introduced for 2012. Crucially, the 2019 model will be the Beetle's last. As such, the "Final Edition" trim variations of the SE and SEL feature in the 2019 lineup, powered by a familiar 174-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, and rotating the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The Mini Cooper Convertible and Fiat 500C make up the Beetle's competitors, both also seen as highly recognizable design icons of their own. So what differentiates the Beetle from the crowd, and should one invest in the last ever iteration of the Beetle Convertible?

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Beetle Convertible?

As the Beetle enters its final ever year of production, in commemoration of the Beetle's discontinuation, VW has introduced the Final Edition SE and SEL trims for the 2019 model year, replacing the Coast and Dune trim variations within the lineup. Blind-spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert have been made standard across the range.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful yet fuel-efficient engine
  • Stylish and comfortable cabin
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Nimble handling dynamics
  • Modern and user-friendly infotainment system
  • Iconic design
  • Impractical cargo hold hatch
  • Compromised rearward visibility
  • Noisy interior
  • Offers much less than a Golf for the same money

Beetle Convertible Exterior

It's almost impossible to not recognize the Beetle for its iconic design and style, with the 2019 year model carrying the classic silhouette of the third-generation Beetle coupe, only with a traditional soft-top bedecking its top-end. All models also feature sport-designed front and rear bumpers, exterior color-matched side sills and exterior mirrors, and a rear spoiler. While the S rides on 16-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, SE models get 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, with 18-inch alloys available in the Premium Package. The Final Edition SEL is the only model outfitted with bi-xenon high-intensity headlights, with LED Daytime Running Lights and taillights as standard, while 18-inch disc white alloy wheels fill its wheel arches.

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Front View
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Rear View
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Front View Driving
See All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Beetle is a lot bigger than what one may perceive; alongside the Mini Convertible, it measures 17.3 inches longer with an overall length of 168.4 inches, stands 2.3 inches taller at a height of 58 inches, and is 3.2 inches wider at 71.2 inches. It rides with a ground clearance of 5.6 inches and a 100-inch wheelbase. The Beetle Convertible is around 213 lbs heavier than the Coupe variant, each drop-top model in the lineup sharing a curb weight of 3,225 pounds.

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Exterior Colors

  • Habanero Orange Metallic/Black Roof
  • Deep Black Pearl/Beige Roof
  • Pure White/Beige Roof
  • Tornado Red/Beige Roof
  • Silk Blue Metallic/Beige Roof
  • Deep Black Pearl/Black Roof
  • White Silver Metallic/Black Roof, Build Out: 01/01/2019
  • Platinum Gray Metallic/Black Roof
  • Pure White/Black Roof
  • Tornado Red/Black Roof
  • Silk Blue Metallic/Black Roof
  • Safari Uni/Black Roof
  • Stonewashed Blue Metallic/Black Roof
  • Deep Black Pearl/Brown Roof
  • Platinum Gray Metallic/Brown Roof
See all 19 colors

Beetle Convertible Performance

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Front View Driving
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Rear View Driving
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Wheel

Engine and Transmission

The Beetle's 2.0-liter turbo four-pot engine supplies reasonably peppy performance, its 184 lb-ft of torque comes on early at 1,600 rpm, while the peak 174 horsepower kicks in at 4,400 rpm. While acceleration off-the-line is decent, the turbo takes a palpable minute to spool up, and when at speed, power delivery can be rather lackluster and lag behind inputs through the go-pedal. The powertrain certainly feels more suited to the lower-end of its rev range, where it's aided by the standard-fit six-speed automatic gearbox, a transmission that delivers smooth and accurate responses and is willing to downshift swiftly when needed.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

On either the 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels, every Beetle model rides reasonably comfortably; imperfect road surfaces are suitably smoothed over and undulations and bumps are absorbed by the standard suspension setup. Even with the softly sprung setup, the Beetle manages to remain competently composed, with the setup effectively dampening the majority of body motions. Steering responses are quick and accurate as well, and the steering's weighting is suited to the driving conditions - lightening up when maneuvering at low speeds, and weighing up when pressing on. While the slight bouts of turbo lag and slow-going acceleration aren't too difficult to overcome, deceleration can be more of a chore as the brakes aren't very quick to respond. Unfortunately, however, being that the Convertible is equipped with a soft-top, outside and engine noise do permeate the cabin considerably at any speed, even with the top closed.

Beetle Convertible Gas Mileage

Though reasonably fuel-efficient in general, the Beetle Convertible isn't very competitive, with its EPA gas mileage estimates of 26/33/29 mpg with city/highway/combined driving cycles; it's beaten by both the Mini Convertible and Fiat 500C, with their gas mileage estimates of 33/25/28 mpg and 28/33/27 mpg, respectively. The Beetle is equipped with a 14.5-gallon gas tank, which, when filled with the required premium unleaded gas, avails the bug with a maximum range of around 420 miles before requiring a refill.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/33 mpg
* 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 2.0T S Automatic Convertible

Beetle Convertible Interior

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Dashboard
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Dashboard
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Steering Wheel
See All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Beetle Convertible seats four occupants in a two-plus-two seating configuration. With its large windows and high roofline, its cabin feels cavernous upfront, which along with the large doors make ingress and egress fairly effortless. Room in the rear is, however, significantly limited, no adult will find enough head or legroom back there, and the small rear window, curving roof, and retractable soft-top roof render rearward visibility highly restricted. All other sightlines are otherwise unhindered, and the driver is positioned well behind the relevant controls. Considering the Beetle shares MQB underpinnings with the Golf, the interior packaging is a far cry from the practical side of the VW family.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater

Beetle Convertible Trunk and Cargo Space

The Beetle's cargo capacity of 7.1 cubic feet is pretty average for the class, it's a bit less than the Mini Convertible's 7.6 cubes, but dwarfs the diminutive Fiat 500C's 5.4 cubes. There's enough room in the Beetle's trunk for a week's worth of grocery shopping, but the trunk is accessed via an awkward hatch. The rear seats are 50/50 split-folding, which extends storage capacity to allow for larger and bulkier items, but the loading of such items is again hampered by the awkward hatch.

There's not much more offered on the inside either, although the front doors are fitted with minuscule pockets with straps that'll hold a bottle in place. There are also two cupholders between the front seats and a single in the rear; the passenger-side glove box is small, and there is a seatback map pocket behind each front seat.

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Rear Spoiler
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Rear View Driving

Beetle Convertible Infotainment and Features

Features

Every Beetle Convertible comes standard with a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel and gear shift-knob, six-way manually adjustable front seats, heated and power-operated exterior mirrors, and - in the way of driver-assistance - a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and cruise control all included as standard. The SE gets keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, and ambient interior lighting. From there, the Final Edition SE and SEL receive predominantly bespoke trim elements such as a signature Beetle nameplate in terms of features. The Final Edition SEL is only additionally outfitted with automatic headlights and park distance control. The standard SE model has access to an optional Premium Package, which comprises all the standard features found on the Final Edition SEL.

Infotainment

An integrated five-inch color touchscreen display adorns the center dash in the Beetle S, while a 6.3-inch color capacitive touchscreen display is a better fit on the dash in all other models. All are connected to a single auxiliary input and USB port for device charging and connectivity, and feature standard Bluetooth technology for compatible devices. There's also SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, and, in the SE outfitted with the Premium Package and the Final Edition SEL, 2.5D navigation with one-shot voice destination entry. All models except the base S come standard with Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, as well as MirrorLink capability. The top-of-the-line Final Edition SEL is also outfitted with a premium Fender audio system.

Beetle Convertible Problems and Reliability

The Beetle has been the subject of two recalls commissioned for 2019, one for the possibility that the key could be removed from the ignition while the vehicle was not put in 'park', and the other for the fact that the vehicle offered no visual warning of any possible brake failure if the case arose. If J.D. Power's predicted reliability rating of three out of five doesn't bolster your confidence, then VW's class-leading six-year/72,000-mile limited warranty just might.

Beetle Convertible Safety

Neither the IIHS nor NHTSA has evaluated the Beetle Convertible for crash safety, but the Coupe was evaluated by the IIHS in full, scoring generally Good results, which should largely carry over. Standard safety and driver assists include six airbags including front and rear head protection, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, and cruise control. Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the Final Edition SEL and optional for the rest.

Verdict: Is 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible a good car?

The 2019 VW Beetle Convertible is a relatively average car, though reasonably capable, fuel-efficient, and practical, none of those have it stand out from the crowd with most of its core rivals simply outperforming it and offering more at the price point. More than this, the MQB-based Golf simply does everything the Beetle does and more. Its crash-test safety ratings are subpar, along with its gas mileage estimates and cabin room, which also carries a cheapish impression. Its infotainment system is decent, but the touchscreen is smaller than that which many compact rivals offer.

Nevertheless, with the 2019 model year Beetle being the last of its kind, it will be the last opportunity for anyone to get their hands on a brand new Beetle Convertible. And VW has added some appeal to this final model year lineup, incentivizing its offering by pricing the better equipped Beetle Final Edition SE cheaper than the regular Beetle SE. This means that any true VW Beetle enthusiast can get their hands on this special edition variant at a reasonable price. It won't be a logical buy, but then the Beetle was never the most logical car, to begin with.

What's the Price of the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible?

The most affordable Beetle Convertible is the S, starting off with an MSRP of $25,995, the Final Edition SE comes up next with a price of $27,295, followed by the SE at $28,395. The Final Edition SEL tops the lineup off at $29,995, excluding any tax, registration, or licensing fees as well as Volkswagen's destination charge of $895. The SE model is the only trim with availability to the Premium Package, which will cost buyers an additional $2,500 to option on.

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T S
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,995
2.0T Final Edition SE
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$27,295
2.0T SE
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,395
2.0T Final Edition SEL
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,995
See All 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Trims and Specs

What Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Model Should I Buy?

The Final Edition SE offers the best value for money within the lineup and is, therefore, our recommended trim option. It's only $1,300 more than the base S trim and crucially cheaper than the SE on which it's based, and comes outfitted with a considerable amount more features, significantly improving comfort, convenience, and luxury. It's also a very special VW Beetle to own considering that it's one of the Beetle's commemorative models, aptly named the "Final Edition" in celebration of the marque's final year. We suggest staying with the standard 17-inch wheels for the sake of comfort and we'd also recommend adding in the available wind deflector for improved comfort, especially if you're not planning on making much use of the cramped rear seats.

Check out other Volkswagen Beetle Styles?

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Comparisons

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible vs MINI Cooper Convertible

Though only $1,000 more expensive than the Beetle, the Mini is well worth the trade-off, offering not only a more refined engine with better performance capabilities, but also greater refinement and better fuel-efficiency, too. With 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, the Mini is faster off-the-line by a full second. It also features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot engine and six-speed automatic transmission, but returns far greater gas mileage estimates of 33/25/28 mpg. Additionally, the Mini boasts a much more contemporary and high-quality impression from its cabin and offers a slight bit more cargo capacity. It also received better safety ratings than the Beetle, having received the 2018 Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. The Mini is more expensive than the Beetle but comes out on top as the better all-rounder in performance and luxury - it definitely feels like the more premium offering over the more simplistic Beetle, and would be our pick of the two.

See MINI Cooper Convertible Review

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible vs Fiat 500c

The Fiat 500C is a lot more affordable than the Beetle Convertible; with the base 500C available at $17,990, it's around $8,000 less than the base Beetle. It stays true to its tiny heritage and comes equipped with a much smaller turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four engine with outputs of 135 hp and 150 lb-ft. Despite better power to weight, though, the 500C is slower and its powertrain less refined, but in its favor, the 500C is available with a five-speed manual transmission, which makes the 500C slightly more fuel-efficient than the Beetle, returning 28/33/30 mpg. It's less economical than the Beetle with its automatic transmission, however. The 500C is also a whole lot less practical, offering less passenger room and a trunk of only 5.4 cubic feet. The 500C is as much of a style icon as the Beetle, and carries its own unique and attractive design aesthetic; and, at its price point compared to the Beetle, makes it a reasonable choice, especially for the segment being one that doesn't prioritize practicality.

See Fiat 500c Review

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Popular Comparisons

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Video Reviews