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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
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 63 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Economical sporty convertible

By on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, cheep on gas, eco-porsche drop-top"

Cons: "Expensive considering it's a VW"

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

"I originally went into the dealer to buy a Golf for my teen driver, but this little silver turbo convertible caught my eye, and I took it for a test drive. I was really impressed with the power that little engine put out and it just looks great with the factory alloys. The interior seems like a real step up from those older "new" Beetles you see on the street. This one had black leather seats, a kicking Fender sound system, navigation, bluetooth interface with your phone, and all the other mod cons you would expect. In the end, I bought it on the spot and kept it for myself. This little convertible looks class and is a blast to drive through the city and on twisty country roads. I often get complements from strangers on this car."

14 people out of 20 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Sunday, May 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,100

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 to drive, good gas mileage, styling gorgeous"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"I just got my new 2016 Beetle in February and fall more in love with it everyday. I ordered a black one with black interior and sunroof. The retro look is so good with the chrome hub caps and trim. It is comfortable and easy to get in and out of. That could apply to many cars but none have every made me smile just looking at it. The handling is superb on our western Washington roads and mileage is excellent. I love the turbo. The sound system - fantastic! Can't wait for my grandchildren to see it."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Amazing

By on Saturday, May 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Its a Beetle!"

Cons: "If it came in AWD it would be my only car"

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

"A creative little car with character like no other. Drives great, fuel is remarkable, pick up...very good. Put the top down and within seconds your bad day at work goes bye bye. Apple Car Play is great, you do not need Nav is you have this. Every house hold should have one!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This is my first VW product, I grew up in '50.

By on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun drive and handle the road real good."

Cons: "sunroof not needed, wish to tow"

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

"I traded my Tacoma truck for 2015 Beetle Yellow since I retired from 41 years or work. Almost a year since I got it now have 22,000 on it. The comfort and driving is great. Gas milages are good, too. I have driven in the mountains for skiing and it was fun. I had one problem with the trunk latch won't open during winter cold. I was in Whitefish, MT and had the VW dealer replace it with no problem. I have the sunroof but don't use it very much since the sun glares in your face. To my surprise the color yellow is not on the 2016 anymore. The color is great for finding my car in the parking lot. The only thing I miss about my truck is the 4x4 drive in the snow."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

My 2014 is the 5th Beetle bought in succession.

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Rides great; more truck space; awesome retro look"

Cons: "Limited retro colors in newer models"

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

"I am a Beetle lover! No other car has the ability to make me feel like I am 18! I have owned, in succession, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2010 Convertibles, and now a 2014 hardtop. I did have issues with the convertible tops on the other vehicles. My new Beetle is one of my favorites! It took me awhile to get used to the design when it first appeared. The car rides much nicer than it's predecessors. The sunroof is awesome, I am sold on keyless entry, and the six changer CD player I use constantly, when I don't listen to SIRIUS radio. I put on approximately 24k miles per year. I can't see myself driving anything else. I love my Beetle, and their look never goes out of style and appears dated. They are timeless."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

very nice vehicle

By on Saturday, September 5, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,414

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "price, gas mileage excellent, easy to drive"

Cons: "not snow friendly"

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

"The problem I personally have... it is a bit too small for my size.(5'7") It is not the best in snow. Overall.... Great car! fun to drive... easy to park... great on gas."

43 people out of 77 found this review helpful

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