Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2013 Volkswagen Beetle

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle is the kind of car you buy not because you need it, but because you absolutely want it. Nowhere is this reality more strongly represented than in the new Beetle Convertible. As a "boutique" car, the VW Beetle delivers heavily on style, image, emotional appeal and ownership that transcend mere transportation. This niche segment could reasonably include the likes of the Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, Hyundai Veloster, and even the sibling VW GTI. Yet, the 2013 Beetle is an attractive selection in its own right, with all the mechanical, technological and feature benefits you would expect from Volkswagen. It's powered by a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder, a 2.0-liter turbo-4 powerhouse or a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel, and wrapped in the most familiar shape on the road.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're attracted to the striking shape – as we certainly are – you can't help liking the 2013 VW Beetle. Inside and out, it's a constant reminder that you're making an unmistakable style statement.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want an economical 2-door with plenty of room for four occupants and all their stuff, there are better choices than the 2013 Beetle. The back seat is a little cramped, the low roof line detracts from interior room, the sleek shape cuts into trunk capacity, and there are certainly less-expensive alternatives.

What's New for 2013

Diesel power comes to the Beetle for 2013. Available in hardtop and convertible models, Volkswagen's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine posts some impressive numbers: 236 lb-ft of torque and 28/41 city/highway mpg. Also, the Beetle Fender Edition, a special trim package presented in cooperation with the iconic electric-guitar maker, is currently available through dealer order.

Driving the Beetle

Driving Impressions Driving the 2013 Beetle, we are both entertained and disappointed. Entertained, because it does everything well: All controls feel direct and responsive, and the behavior is stable and refined. Disappointed,...

because we wish this latest iteration of the Beetle had the more spirited dynamics of VW's GTI, one of our all-time favorites. The Beetle seems tuned for a softer ride and less aggressive handling, though truthfully, most drivers won't mind. The 2.5-liter 5-cylinder base engine is adequate, but we prefer the 2.0-liter turbo-4, which delivers lusty performance with little penalty in fuel economy. The new diesel engine changes the character of the car some, as its thrust lives low in the rev bend, but it's still entertaining. The 2013 VW Beetle feels like one solid piece whether you're going down the road or carving up mountain passes.

INTERIOR LAYOUT
Too often, efforts to evoke the past in modern incarnations do an injustice to both the past and the present. But the 2013 VW Beetle's interior layout and instrument panel salute the original Beetle while managing to be attractive, functional and up-to-date.

POWERTRAIN CHOICES
The 2013 Beetle's base 2.5-liter 5-cylinder is completely satisfactory, but the 2.0-liter turbo-4 is a real stormer throughout its rev range, and our preference. For the truly economy-minded, the new-for-2013 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel offers exceptional fuel economy and impressive low-speed torque.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Details
Interior

The instrument panel of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle is simply one of the best. It recalls the original Beetle's rounded edges and curving shapes, it's a testament to clean design, and it shows the sort of classical timelessness exemplified by, say, a 1959 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. The entire layout inside the Beetle celebrates function, with all the necessary controls and information displays arranged for ready access. Case in point, the Beetle Convertible's power soft top activates with the touch of a button, even while traveling at speeds up to 18 mph.

Exterior

The 2013 VW Beetle looks bigger in the metal than it does in photos, so many people expect something more compact. Actually, the overall form owes more to the original Beetle than to the "New Beetle" of the last several years. Where the previous model was very rounded, with a high-arching roofline, this version is lower, certainly more aggressive-looking and has a stronger family resemblance to its earlier ancestors, particularly in the side profile and window treatments. We think this is a good thing, as the car looks more assertive and more firmly planted on the pavement.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2.5L, Turbo and TDI models each come in three trim levels. The 2.5L model has 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, Leatherette seating and stability control. Moving up to the 2.5L w/Sunroof adds (surprise!) a sunroof, satellite radio, Premium VIII audio and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The "Sun, Sound and Nav" package brings 18-inch alloy wheels, a Fender Premium Audio System, a trip computer and navigation with touch screen. Similar progressions happen with the Turbo and TDI lines, though the sportier Turbo starts with 18-inch alloy wheels and "Cross Differential" limited-slip system, and ends up with 19-inch alloy wheels and bi-xenon headlights.

Optional Equipment

Since the Beetle add-ons are largely grouped into trim-level packages, the only additional options are minor items having to do with vehicle protection, floor mats and graphics treatments. But one item worth special mention, if you can pop for one of the top-line trims, is the terrific Fender Audio System. It's easy to operate and delivers great sound. If you're an audiophile, you need to check this out.

Under the Hood

The base engine in the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L is a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder available with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L is rated at 170 horsepower and delivers perfectly acceptable, if not exactly soul-stirring, performance. There are two commendable optional 4-cylinder engines. The 2.0-liter Turbo, a favorite of ours in other VW models, makes 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Fitted with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG automatic, this inline-4 delivers performance that is more than just spirited. The Beetle TDI's 2.0-liter turbodiesel delivers 140 horsepower and a very impressive 236 lb-ft of torque, and is matched with a 6-speed manual or Tiptronic automatic transmission. The TDI offers remarkable around-town get-up-and-go and thrifty fuel economy.

2.5-liter inline-5
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg (manual), 22/29 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/30 mpg (manual), 22/30 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/41 mpg (manual), 29/39 mpg (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 47 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.3/10
    Quality
    7.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    7.6/10
  • Comfort
    7.5/10
    Styling
    7.9/10

This is my 10th VW and I have always been thrilled

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, value, fun to drive and curbs well."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This week, I purchased my 10th VW. It's my 7th Beetle--3 were convertibles. The other 3 were Jettas. I have never been disappointed. After owning many other makes, I always come back to VW because of the reliability, value and joy to drive. Several of my Beetles had over 138K miles and still ran great. I've never had a problem with any and hope my luck continues."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Reliable, fun to drive!

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handles road well and very well build!"

Cons: "Hard to get into back seat."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned many VW's in my lifetime. They are not only reliable, but attractive and fun to drive. They handle the roads well. The VW Beetle seems particularly good in the snow."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

An excellent ride and beauty.

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "smooth ride, comfortable ride, beautiful, cheap."

Cons: "small, but fun, no other problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The vehicle that i have is denim blue in color. it has an amazingly smooth ride. it is in very good condition and it has never caused any problems for me. if you like small comfortable cars, this is the car for you."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent Compact Car

By on Thursday, December 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive because of the awesome motor"

Cons: "Wind noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my Fifth V.W... I've had 1969,1974,2001 Beetles and a 1962 Notchback. I have had many other cars in between but this time I returned to Volkswagen for their excellent Turbo Diesel,(TDI). I commute 140 miles a day round trip and I need good fuel economy, longevity and reliability. My previous commuter,(2013 Chev.Cruze), let me down after 61k. So I went back to V.W... I chose the Beetle because of the roomy front seat. I'm 6'3" and 250. This car rides like a much larger car while maintaining very good handling characteristics. The engine is awesome! It will keep up with So.Cal. traffic with no problem at all. Average traffic speed on So.Cal. Freeways during off peak hours is 80 mph. Passing is amazing, just step on the pedal and feel the torque. Seldom do I have to down shift to pass anybody. Yes I have a 6-speed manual. I have seen 50 mpg so far. My average is 44 mpg because I run at approx. 78 mph most of the time. The only complaint I have is wind noise and some road noise emitting through the rear hatch. Other than that, I love the car. It has 6100 miles on it and its only two and half months old. No problems have surfaced. This motor has a reputation of running 300-400k. We'll see."

21 people out of 44 found this review helpful

A quirky but unmistakable icon!

By on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Character, comfortable, quick, fun."

Cons: "So-so fuel economy, some interior quality issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought my 2012 Beetle as a certified pre-owned vehicle from a local VW dealership. It has been the car of my dreams since I was a kid (even though I am a guy). I bought my Tornado Red bug cash and drove home with a smile on my face. Mine had the window issue, which was replaced under warranty. I also had my seat cushion replaced from collapsing (no, I am not fat), a few speakers replaced due to rattling, and an attempt at silencing some squeaks and rattles in the interior. Everything was replaced effortlessly, but the squeaks and rattles come and go. In the bigger picture, it is a minor issue. It is roomy up front (I am 6ft tall) and is comfortable for extended drives. It rides well and soaks up bumps. It isn't "sporty" but can definitely be tossed around a bit. Mechanically the car is a dream. The 2.5 5 cylinder is the safe way to go; it is a tried and true powertrain with the 6-speed auto. It is not fast, but very torquey and pulls. Gas mileage lags in city, and could be better highway but VW's gas engines were never known to be fuel efficient. I average about 23-24 mpg in mixed driving and 29-30 mpg on full highway trips. Not too bad when you consider the size of the engine and the power you get. All in all, I am completely satisfied with my bug. I plan to never get rid of it and keep it by my side, even as a second car. It is an unmistakable fashion statement and icon. It is something that people of all ages can point out in a crowd. Buy one, but get a later model (2013+) they seemed to have worked the bugs out of those. (no pun intended haha)"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

best car ever

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, comfort seating, good traction"

Cons: "doesn't pump its own gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 3rd VW Beetle in a row. I had a 1999, 2006 and now this, my 2013. I have traveled the US from Maine to Florida and NJ to CA. I won't drive anything else unless someone would give me a free car. I will only buy VW products. Best comfort for sitting long periods of time. I have even slept in the car comfortably during my travels and I am 5'10". I get about 34 mpg/hwy when the avg norm is 28 mpg/hwy. I recommend this car to anyone who doesn't have to haul a houseful, although I have moved a studio apt in mine. Take care of your car and it will take care of you."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?