Beetle Life: Welcome Beetle!
So here is our new summer steed! A 2014 VW Beetle Cabriolet Design. This spec gets you a DAB radio with Bluetooth telephone and USB inputs, a colour co-ordinated dash and the retro look wheels. The car has all the standard kit you’d ever need like air conditioning electric mirrors, windows and remote central locking. The boot is a decent size for a convertible and is has a manual gearbox and cloth interior. After years of leather interiors in our cars, the cloth seats are a hugely welcome change. They are supple, comfortable, will look great even with three million miles on the clock and don’t suffer the hot and cold issues of their moo-cow counterparts.
The fit and finish is lovely, and makes our 2005 Porsche Cayenne feel positively ancient. The tech is bang up to date, the doors close with a soft, yet reassuring thud and open easily with a welcome lightness that makes the Porsche feel like a ham fisted tank.
The engine is a 1.4 Turbo and it certainly has some poke! You get into sixth gear pretty early on in speed cycle (the on board display tells you the optimum time to shift up) and has lots of low down torque resulting in fewer gear changes.
Why is it here?
My wife cannot get on with the Cayenne, try as she might. She thinks it is too big, too clunky and absolutely hates the automatic, citing it never feels like you are in control. We have a Mini Cabriolet as a second car, but this is too small to use as an everyday car really, a bit too ramshackley for longer journeys. As a B-road blaster though, the Mini is stupendous fun but as I utterly love driving the Cayenne and want to keep it for a while longer, we needed to upgrade our occasional car to something a little more practical and comfortable. Enter the Beetle.
The Dealership Experience
We found our car at VW Leeds. My good lady didn’t know what she fancied next so our first stop was a car supermarket to look at options and ideas. A Renault Captur made the short-list as she likes the look of these, as did a Jeep Renegade(later discounted from choice as we already have a 4×4). Ideally though, we both wanted to retain a soft-top car in our lives and I suggested we look at a VW Beetle. They are unusual, quirky cars and we like cars that are different to the norm.
As soon as we got to the dealership, the beaming smile on my wifes face as she sat in the front seat told me that we were buying one. I have to admit, it does look really striking and a Beetle is also on my ‘to own’ list so I was happy too. And what about my 4-year old daughter? Well, she had set up shop with the very amenable receptionist who had her perched at the desk next to her, showing her the ropes! All the signs were good. The friendly sales guy came over to answer all of our questions and took us out for a test drive, all good. We left to consider it and I called the next day to seal the deal. A crap deal mind, as he flatly refused to discount the car. Initially I was offered the tax for free, but this was rescinded when it transpired I wasn’t taking out VW finance at a ridiculous 10.9% APR.
This prompted a brief look at a new car rather than this two-year-old model. Using carwow.co.uk there are some awesome buys to be had and it was a strong contender until the declaration of a 22 week wait time killed that idea stone dead.
Come collection day and the car had been prepped, a few scrapes I had noticed on the bumper had been removed and a scuffed hub cap replaced. The car comes with one-year warranty and £70 towards any repairs required for the first MOT. Nice!
So far, so good!
The Beetle has only covered 10,000 miles and still drives as good as new. It has two services in the book and I expect we’ll cover about 3,000 miles per year. As the car is big enough and comfy enough to use for long journeys, I expect that we’ll use this car more in the summer with the Cayenne bidding a warm welcome to the garage until winter, being occasionally called upon for long distance cruising and holiday jaunts over summer.
Our car collection for 2016 is now complete. We’ve got a big comfy Cayenne tank for cruising and a wonderfully funky Beetle for summer and local outings that we can all enjoy as a family. Perfect! I am still missing a sports car in our fleet, but I’m not missing the hassle of owning a sports car, so I’ll defer purchase until 2017 for one of those – perhaps a 40th birthday present to myself?