Since I’m the sensible one around here — I daily-drive a Kia, nuff said — I’ve always maintained that value for money is the most crucial factor when it comes to defining a great car. Others at wheels HQ bang on about the ‘soul’ and ‘character’ of a car and I think it’s nonsense.
What I’m getting at in a long-winded and arguably self-aggrandising manner, is that our long-term Beetle Cabriolet represents superb value at Dh140K. That may sound steep to some, but hear me out.
If you’re in the market for a convertible there is very little you can get at the Beetle’s starting price of Dh128,000. Yes, you could buy a Peugeot 208CC, a 308CC and, if you’re being really obtuse, a Renault Mégane CC. But all the cars mentioned above are, well, dreadful, slow and heavy. They don’t look particularly good either. Which means that for a few grand more you could get a proper convertible that drives like a hot hatch, for example, the Beetle drop-top.
The cabin is superbly put together with plenty of plush leather and loads of kit. Even the back seats, which are a token addition in most four-seat convertibles, are actually roomy enough to accommodate two average-sized adults. The boot is reasonably roomy, too, adding a modicum of practicality.
The oily bits come from the Mk6 Golf GTI, which is no bad thing. The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine delivers a zingy
210 horsepower; adequate for a car of this size. Unlike the aforementioned Peugeots and Renault, there is a feeling of solidity and you can tell proper engineering has gone into the making of this thing.
I know its styling is polarising, but I’m steadfastly in the ‘like’ camp here. I think it’s an interesting-looking thing without being wilfully quirky or chintzy.
So my final verdict, as the Beetle Cabriolet leaves our long-term garage, is that it’s a great car that should be on your shortlist if you’re specifically looking for a convertible.
However, if you just need a practical, comfortable car, then might I suggest a Volkswagen Passat, starting from just Dh94K? Told you I’m sensible.