2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line convertible with Sound and Nav: Long name, big fun!

11 Sep 2014 | 1,428 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds The calendar says summer is well past the midpoint now, so if you want to get in some sun, better hurry! Or you can wait for fall; we think that's a much better time for top down driving. And if you're looking for a companion, look no further than the 2014 VW Beetle Convertible R-Line with Sound and Nav.  That's a mouth full, we know.  But it won't take you nearly as long to fall in love with the car.  The R-Line is the sporty performance side of Volkswagen.       According to the company  news release, " Inside, the Beetle Convertible R-Line features “metallic-finish” dash and door trim; a sporty flat-bottom R-Line multi-function leather steering wheel; stainless-steel R-Line scuff plates; aluminum sport pedals; and leather sport seating surfaces. Other interior appointments include the RNS 315 navigation system; Keyless access with push-button start; and the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, which delivers rich sound via a 10-channel, 400 watt amplifier with eight speakers and a rear subwoofer. "     Power comes from a 2.0 liter, 210 horsepower turbocharged in line four cylinder direct injection engine.  It has the aforementioned sport suspension, electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, electronic brake force distribution, antilock braking and 19 inch alloy wheels.    Ordering the Beetle Convertible R-Line adds performance-inspired exterior and interior treatments. On the outside, the R-Line features unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on lower-profile all-season tires. Paired with the Beetle Turbo’s sport-tuned suspension, the combination gives more dynamic driving characteristics. Additional enhancements include an R-Line badge on the front grille and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, air conditioning,  telescoping steering wheel, split folding rear seat, cruise control, aluminum pedal trim, power heated mirrors, power windows, and other items. The six speed DSG automatic transmission comes at no charge, and the same is true for the beautiful lustrous Tornado Red paint and black leather interior. We also should tell you that the fabulous sound system that comes with the R-Line convertible--the Fender Premium audio system, is well worth the experience.  Nicki Minaj and Drake never sounded so good, and the speakers are absolutely awesome. For ages, the VW Beetle was considered a "girl's car."  And what's wrong with that?  Absolutely nothing. But VW decided the Beetle needed a more butch image, and the R-Line Beetle Convertible sure offers that.  Blipping that accelerator pedal a few times results in a rich, mellow, deep tone from the exhaust system, and the fatter tires and more athletic stance add up to a car that surely nobody would assume is a car that won't appeal to men. Given the glances we got in it--we'd say VW has nothing to worry about here.      Handling was terrific.  The little convertible took corners like a champ, with no body lean, and acceleration that was strong across the board kept us entertained and ahead of the crowd on the highway. And while we were enjoying that, the interior was treating us to quite a bit of luxury.  Everything was tastefully done, and the interior, especially the flat-bottomed steering wheel,  really had the quality and ambiance of an Audi--no surprise because Audi is, after all the luxury division of Volkswagen.  This car's interior sure looked the part! We know convertibles are all about the fun, but just so you know, this model is rated at 23 city and 29 highway, and 25 combined mileage.  It uses four gallons per 100 miles driven, annual fuel cost is $2,250, based on $3.75 per gallon gasoline and you save $250 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new car. Problems reported by consumers writing to Edmunds.com include wind noise, interior lighting issues, squeaky brakes and passenger window regulators. But we hasten to add that our tester was in pretty good shape. If you want one of these babies, you can expect at $34,495 price tag, and after everything was said and done, the bottom line came to $35,525. That's about what we expected; a Mini Cooper convertible would cost about the same or more, and of course, the Mustang  and Camaro convertibles would cost considerably more equipped the same way as our tester. By the way, the Beetle convertible felt roomier than the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500 C convertible as well.    It's a blast to drive, and it would be welcome in a home of us guys any old time.                                  

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