Volkswagen has announced pricing for the third version of the new Beetle: the diesel-swilling Beetle TDI will start at $24,065, after a $770 destination charge. The 2013 Beetle TDI goes on sale in August.
Volkswagen introduced the Beetle TDI at the Chicago auto show in February, following the launch of models powered by 2.5-liter inline-five and 2.0-liter turbo-four gasoline engines in 2011. The TDI uses Volkswagen's familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four diesel, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be mated either to a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission; with the former, Volkswagen says the Beetle TDI should return 32/41 mpg (city/highway).
The 2013 Beetle TDI will be offered in three trim levels. Standard equipment on the base model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, push-button start, satellite radio, an iPod interface, and cruise control. It starts at $24,065 with a manual transmission, or $25,165 with the DSG.
The next step up is the Beetle TDI with Sunroof, which predictably adds a tilt and slide sunroof, as well as Volkswagen's touch-screen Premium VII sound system. This model costs $25,665 with a manual transmission and $26,765 with the DSG. The top-spec model is the aptly named Beetle TDI with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation. It adds on Volkswagen's RNS 315 audio and navigation interface, as well as an upgraded Fender amplifier and speakers.
The new diesel version is nearly the priciest of the Volkswagen Beetle range, coming in just a few hundred dollars less than the sporty Beetle Turbo. The base Beetle, when equipped with the 2.5-liter engine and manual transmission, starts at $20,565. It is rated at 22/31 mpg. Stepping up to a Beetle Turbo with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission requires $24,156. That model is rated at 21/30 mpg.
The 2013 Beetle TDI is now the second-cheapest diesel car in Volkswagen's U.S. lineup. The 2012 Golf TDI starts at $25,005, the 2012 Jetta TDI is $23,545, and the 2012 Jetta SportWagen TDI costs $26,310. The 2012 Touareg TDI, which uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, costs $47,745.