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Flower Power
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
GLS 1.8 T
By Alain Gayot

In short: A really cool car that's easy to fall in love with.

Really, how many automobiles come with an integrated flower vase? Would that qualify the New Beetle Convertible GLS 1.8 T as the most romantic car? Anyway, it's a good start and we certainly fell in love with it. With a design that will never tire, you are already driving a classic. This model offers a lot and the pricing point is quite attractive.

Convertibles are often perceived as second cars, but you'll want to drive this one as often as possible. A bright point is that the back seat is still fully usable, but the trunk is more in line with what you'd expect from a convertible. The top is easy to operate and with all four windows closed, you get a fair amount of protection.

Speaking of easy, most of the cars delivered in the U.S. come with an automatic transmission and, coupled with the Tiptronic and the Turbo 20 valve engine, you get plenty of easy power. While not the best road car, the New Beetle is a lot of fun around the city and perfect for the beach and a hot date.

Volkswagen packs in all the creature comforts and safety features in the modernized traditional bug, which is now replacing the Golf and Rabbit convertibles of the last two decades.

Warranty/Service: 4 years/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and 5 years/60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. 12 years/unlimited mileage limited warranty against corrosion perforation.

Price as tested: $24,820

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

- 1.8 litre Turbo, 150 horsepower, 20 valve, 4-cylinder

6-speed automatic with Tiptronic®
Front wheel drive

Front, driver and passenger airbags, Head thorax side impact airbag, Automatic rollover support,
Anti-intrusion side impact beams

Top Speed: n/a

Acceleration: 0-60 mph 9.6 sec.

Front and rear power-assisted disc brakes

Fuel Economy:
22/city, 29/highway

Independent strut front suspension; track correcting independent torsion rear beam suspension

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 07/25/08 HC)

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