If your heart is set on the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle, this is your last chance, because this will be the last year you can get one. Yep, 2019 will be the final year of production for the Volkswagen Beetle. But at least it’s exiting gracefully with its classic shape and some upgraded standard equipment.
When VW introduced the New Beetle in the late 1990s, the car’s appeal was mostly about looks. This modern Beetle, however, has a peppy-yet-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It also has more space than most of its compact convertible rivals. Pricing is favorable, as the Beetle offers an open-air experience for less money than many competitors.
The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle is a two-door, four-passenger convertible with a standard power-operated soft top. There are four trim levels: S, SE, Final Edition SE, and Final Edition SEL. Every Beetle Convertible, like the test vehicle I drove, comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available.
The base S comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 5-inch touchscreen interface, one USB port, and an eight-speaker sound system that includes a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a media player interface.
The SE adds 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, HD and satellite radios, VW Car-Net App-Connect, and VW Car-Net.
The SE Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights and LED taillights, front and rear parking sensors, a Fender audio system, and a 6.3-inch touchscreen with navigation.
On top of the standard SE equipment, the Final Edition SE gets unique 17-inch wheels, special cloth upholstery with simulated leather inserts, some additional Beetle badges on the exterior and interior, and stainless steel pedals.
The Final Edition SEL adds all of the SE Premium’s added elements plus unique 18-inch wheels, heated front sport seats and genuine leather upholstery.
Driving-wise, well, this VW is just plain fun! Steering is responsive and quick on the highway, and it’s light when maneuvering at slow speeds.
On the comfort-meter, this car is definitely one of the more comfortable and refined small convertibles on the market. The seats hug you without being oppressive, and the suspension dispatches road imperfections without transmitting any harshness to the driver.
Once inside you’ll see the Beetle is bigger and generally easier to use than its few competitors. It has logically placed controls and it is easy to enter and exit. Its roof is also high enough for a pair of tall adults in the front.
Granted, there isn’t much space in the cabin for personal items, and the small trunk is accessed by an awkward opening. But to be fair, virtually every comparably sized or priced convertible suffers from trunk issues.
So, if you are looking for a fun, unique, and reasonably priced convertible, you can’t beat the overall value and features offered with the 2019 VW Beetle — all that and you get a pretty decent EPA mileage rating of 26 city and 33 highway.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.