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1309 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible August Update
four seasons long-term tests

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible - Fun in the Sun

Roy Ritchie
FALL 2013 volkswagen beetle turbo convertible
2013 Volkswagen Beetle reviews to date
A cute convertible was the perfect tonic to completely unwind.

As we approach the inevitable end of warm weather, we're still trying to take full advantage of our resident summer-mobile, the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible. The Bug has seen even more summer lovin' lately with road trips to Milwaukee, the shores of Lake Michigan, and the Road America race track in Wisconsin.

This month, a debate emerged over the Beetle's 2.0-liter turbo engine. On a trip back from Lake Michigan, deputy editor Joe DeMatio praised the Beetle's highway demeanor and powertrain. After friend of the magazine Scott Corlett was less than complimentary of the turbo four last month on his 3000 mile road trip through the northeast, DeMatio felt the need to temper the negative comments by revealing the contents of Corlett's personal garage: two E39-generation BMW 5-series models. Maybe Corlett is simply accustomed to powertrain perfection from the company that has "motor" in its name.

However, associate web editor Jake Holmes agreed with Corlett, remarking that the 2.0-liter doesn't have the same spunk here as it does in other VW 2.0T models. Holmes found the Beetle Turbo to be "lazy, lethargic, and thoroughly reluctant to build any boost," adding, "It doesn't help that the long, ropey shift linkages feel like they come from an economy sedan, not a performance Volkswagen."

Apart from rants about the powertrain, most editors were thrilled with the VW's top-down motoring experience. Compliments abounded about the Beetle's lack of wind buffeting thanks to an effective air deflector, the quick roof operation, and the Fender audio system's great sound even with the top lowered.

Fun in the sun with the Beetle's top down did have a few downsides, however, as associate web editor Evan McCausland found on a quick jaunt to lunch. After leaving the Beetle's interior exposed to the sun for just a few minutes to grab a bite, McCausland noted, "These seats seem to soak up as much thermal energy as possible." Luckily for us Michiganders, though, the Beetle's tan leatherette seats are heated, which we will definitely appreciate come winter.

The Beetle also received its first scheduled service this month, with a free oil change and tire rotation at 9760 miles. Even after an unscheduled service in June to fix a rattle in the door, numerous editors still complained about the Beetle's unseemly noises. "This car sounds like it's rattling itself apart," said one staffer. "The doors and windows all rattle, clunk, and clank." The combination of sill-less windows with a fabric convertible top isn't great for the Beetle's structural integrity.

Still, new associate editor Greg Migliore seemed to capture the Beetle's essence after his first stint in the Bug. "I had fun in the Beetle convertible. That's the point of this car. It's blood red, and, duh, it's a convertible. Obviously, I didn't overthink the Beetle, but I was spent after getting through my first late night at the Automobile office, and a cute convertible was the perfect tonic to completely unwind."

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 2-door convertible
Accommodation 4-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$28,590
As tested $29,990
Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement 2.0 liters (121 cu in)
Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque 207 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Four-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 21/30/24 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 3.0 turns
Turning circle 35.4 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 18-inch aluminum
Tires Hankook Optimo H426
Tire size 235/45R-18 94H
Headroom F/R 39.3/37.6 in
Legroom F/R 41.3/31.4 in
Shoulder room F/R 55.3/43.1 in
Wheelbase 100.0 in
Track F/R 62.1/61.2 in
L x W x H 168.4 x 71.2 x 58.0 in
Passenger capacity 81.4 cu ft
Cargo capacity 7.1/29.9 cu ft
Weight 3230 lb
Weight dist. F/R xx/xx%
Fuel capacity 14.5 gal
Est. fuel range 350 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)
  • Standard Equipment
    • Power convertible roof
    • Sport suspension
    • Fog lights
    • Adjustable interior-ambient lighting
    • 8-speaker audio system
    • Auxiliary audio jack
    • Height-adjustable front seats
    • Heated washer nozzles
    • 50/50-split folding rear seats
    • Cruise control
    • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • Bluetooth
    • Air conditioning
    • Heated front seats
  • Packages & Options
    • Sound package
    • $1,4090
    • 9-speaker Fender audio system Keyless entry and ignition SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
    Christian Schmidt
    Nice how it keeps the original beetle lines.
    Kwok Carl
    Nice :-)
    Kyree S. Williams
    Those are the very wheels that I would get.
    Richard Macintyre
    the wheels really got my attention too, the weird flush wheels on other models, come off as really cheap looking
    Richard Macintyre
    the new coupe is what the new beetle should have looked like in the first place. The new coupe.... very nice with panoramic sunroof, dash is much more sensible too but I admit, I've always been curious what it would be like to drive the previous beetle with that insanely deep dashboard. New Fender edition dash trumps all beetle dashboards though.
    Kyree S. Williams
    Lol. I agree that it's finally become the kind of car that everyone would appreciate. All of the men that I polled said that they would feel embarrassed to drive the 1998-2010 "New Beetle", but that they really like this 2012 and later Beetle...
    Sa'eb Foroughi
    Big Like (y) With permission from admin http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-and-beautiful-cars-pictures/281557068633336
    Richard Macintyre
    it finally doesn't look *as* much like it was made for cheerleaders and then it's presented in the cheerleader color combination... Maybe it really is made for cheerleaders? I like the coupe though, Fender edition in particular.
    Kevin Carr
    Still a chick car to me.
    Justice Howlin Mad Edwards
    I want a black one, with the new/old school wheels...just...put the engine in the back, please.
    Roger Alan Auerbach
    A 4wd beetle? Typo or fact?

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