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Cars Worth Noting – 2003 VW Beetle Cabriolet

2003 VW Beetle Cabriolet

Fans of the New Beetle sedan have been waiting a long time for this car and it was well worth it.

This is a fun car to drive and one that makes it easy to lose track of changes in posted speed limit. Just ask Trooper Cornish. She clocked me doing 64 mph in 45-mph zone, but as luck would have it, she’s a Bug fan and had been wondering when VW would get around to a convertible version of the New Beetle it introduced in 1998. So instead of writing me ticket, she had me show her the car.

Volkswagen redesigned its 115 hp, L, SOHC engine specifically for the topless Beetle. It’s got two balance shafts in the crankcase to dampen engine vibration and a twin-path intake manifold that produces a broader torque band.

To accommodate the top, the rear was modified. Among the changes, the back seats are smaller, creating a tight for some rear seat passengers.

As convertibles go, this car is quiet, top up and top down. With the top down, conversation with a front-seat passenger is easily manageable. An optional wind blocker only helps.

My criticism of this car is the trunk space. You can forget about a trip to the grocery store to stock up or taking your in-laws for a round of golf.

But then as Trooper Cornish reminded me, “You don’t buy a convertible for the trunk space.”

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Fri. May 26th, 2023

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