Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible GLS 1.8T Review

Flower Power

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.


Read a review of the 2006 New Beetle Convertible 2.5
and the
2008 Volkswagen Triple White Beetle

Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. Twelve-year/unlimited mileage limited warranty against corrosion perforation.

Price as tested: $24,820

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 1.8-L Turbo, 150 hp, 20 valve, 4-cylinder

Transmission: Six-speed automatic with Tiptronic®; Front wheel drive

Safety: 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 in 9.6 sec.

Braking: Front and rear power-assisted disc brakes, ABS

Fuel Economy: 22 city,
29 highway

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

Check out other Volkswagen models
Read all Automobile Reviews
Visit the Volkswagen website

Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 12/14/11 NW)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!