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2004 Volkswagen Beetle 1.9 TDi 100 2dr £5,295

There’s something to love about a car that comes complete with its own, built-in flower vase. There it is, just to the left of the steering wheel in our picture (below). It offers just enough space for a single bloom. Most owners use it but only the most proud and careful opt for a real flower, taking on the flapdoodle of changing the water and then regular stops at the local florist’s when nature wilts. The majority go for artificial.

But the go-happy take on life that in-car flowers indicates is very much part of Beetle ownership. It’s the kind of car you’d give a name to – though, please, something a tad more inspired than ‘Herbie’, if you don’t mind. And, if you’re going to buy a Beetle, it makes sense to go to the full and buy a convertible such as this, offered for sale in Autoweb.co.uk classifieds by our friends at Staverton Cars, Cheltenham.

Now, your first response to our proposal here might be that now, mid-way through September as we are is exactly the wrong time to buy a soft top, what with the nights drawing in and the cold on its way. We’d disagree: there’s a distinct joy in a roofless drive on a cold, crisp winter’s day. Provided that you’ve a sturdy coat, hat and gloves, and the heater’s turned to max, there’s nothing to disappoint and everything to delight in.

If you’re close to our way of thinking and so a Beetle is on your car-shopping list, here are a few thoughts. For such a quirky looking thing, it promises to be relatively easy to own. The engine and mechanicals are shared with the VW Golf, so it has an engine at the front, driving the wheels directly beneath it – so making it a predictable, undemanding drive.

Volkswagen Beetle convertibleAt the wheel, though, you are set far back from the front of the car. Judging where the wings and bumper are in a tight spot is more down to guesswork than observation. Out back, you can’t see the rear extremities, either.

And, although it is a full four-seater, leg space is tight for those in the back, while the boot is tiny for the car’s size. On the plus side, however, this one has a diesel engine, which pulls well and should return up to 50mpg overall. With servicing and cambelt changes every 4yrs/60,000 miles, it is also a motor that should run to huge mileages without complaint.

This one’s just had a service at a VW dealer’s, has a full record of past work and the spec is good, too, having leather seats (heated at the front), air conditioning and a 6 CD multichanger handily mounted beneath the centre arm rest.

If like us you fancy a Beetle, this is definitely one to consider.

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