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2013 Volkswagen Beetle

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle Review

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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)

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 56 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.6/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

The Beetle Classic is the Car to Buy

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

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: "Looks, comfort, Included Accessories, MPG"

Cons: "None so far!"

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

"The Classic looks drew our attention, but the included features at a price below other Beetles and most competitors made purchasing our Classic an easy choice. Without adding a "dime", you get automatic, navigation, leather steering wheel with handy on wheel controls, heated seats and mirrors, rear spoiler and more all for the base price. The 1.8 Turbo paired with the 6 speed automatic is quick and efficient. Our MPG for the first 600 miles is holding right at 31.6 with combined highway and in town driving. Go for it; you won't regret your choice!"

Wonderful peppy sports car

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, handles great, great looking"

Cons: "no power seats?!"

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

"I pretend I'm driving a ferrari when I'm driving in Sport... it handles great and really picks up, not to mention how slick the Turbo R-Line looks. My only complaint.... no power seats?! Absolute only complaint. It's great."

Toy! fun, fun, fun,.

By on Monday, August 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

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: "Fun!! nothing but."

Cons: "to small to haul a plant stand, or Rocking chair."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"this is a fun car, however to small for me to use daily. I find myself needing a truck more than a convertible."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Starter issues

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Like the style, color, interior, and it's adorable"

Cons: "Better gas mileage w/Mini, not starting regularly."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"I really like my 2014 Beetle. However, several times when I tried to start it, all the lights would come on, but the engine was dead silent. I kept trying and trying and it would eventually start. It was in the repair shop for over two weeks. During this time they replaced the ignition switch and a few other things. Brought it home and when I went to turn it off, the engine quite, but all the dashboard control lights stayed on! I will see what happens... I would really LOVE for this car to be reliable."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Fast and fun

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of character. Comfortable and quiet interior."

Cons: "not enamoured with cloth interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Excellent power and handling. Great modern body style with hints of Porsche Boxster and Audi TT heritage. Superb audio with Fender designed speakers,"

38 people out of 79 found this review helpful

comfortable and economical convertible

By on Monday, February 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Electronics.....Maybe"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"So far so good Puts you in a good mood when driving. Concerned about power window issues but none yet."

38 people out of 75 found this review helpful

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