12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible - Turning Heads

October 16, 2013
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible Front Right Side View
View All (6) Photos
Long-Term 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Update - FALL 2013 (2 OF 3)
Miles to Date: 13,238
""The Beetle collected more compliments than any car in recent memory.""
Our 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo convertible definitely stands out in a crowd, thanks to its tornado red paint and quintessential rounded shape. Of late, the car has been attracting a lot of attention when editors get behind the wheel.
Just ask associate editor David Zenlea. "I figured the Beetle wouldn't attract much notice more than a decade after the launch of the New Beetle, but I was wrong," he wrote in our logbook. While driving the Beetle one day, Zenlea stopped to help a pedestrian who had fallen. The Beetle clearly made an impression on her. "She thanked me and then, still bleeding from her lip, took the time to say, 'Nice car!'"
Volkswagen's attempt to butch up the Beetle's image doesn't seem to be successful in everyone's eyes, however. As Zenlea noted: "Some teenage boys riding in a Mercury Mountaineer were less complimentary. 'Hey, how much horsepower you got under the hood?' one asked amidst laughter from his friends."
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible Front Left Side View
Like Zenlea, managing editor of digital platforms Jennifer Misaros was somewhat surprised by the way the Beetle elicited comments. She drove it to a party and remarked that it "collected more compliments than any car in recent memory." However, as much as the Beetle's styling was praised, it didn't convey how well it performs. Most people were surprised to hear that the Beetle comes in a Turbo model. On the other hand, they thought that it cost more than it's $29,990 list price. Perhaps the styling is sending out more of an upscale message than a sporty one.
One thing that's definitely not upscale is the Beetle's ongoing problem with rattles. Many editors complained about noises coming from the passenger's-side door, and some noticed that the passenger's-side window felt loose in its track. When we took the Beetle in for service in June to correct a similar problem, the dealer found that a nut had worked its way loose inside the doorframe, causing the window to fall off its track. We'll be taking the car back soon for another unscheduled service to see if the dealer can find the source of this latest rattle.
This has not deterred our enthusiasm for the Beetle thus far, though, as the car racked up the miles -- 13,238 of them -- at a faster rate than nearly anything else in our Four Seasons fleet this summer, save for the road-trip ready Mercedes-Benz GL450 SUV. Check back next month to see if dropping temperatures affect the number of miles we put on the Beetle this fall.
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
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

Long-Term 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Reviews to Date:

go back to top of article


Photo Gallery

  • The Beetle's classic shape attracted plenty of attention this month.
  • Some were surprised to learn that the cutesy Beetle offered a Turbo model.
  • A noticeable rattle from the passenger's door persisted this month.
  • The Beetle's rounded lines and bright color make it a styling standout.
  • "Hey, how much horsepower you got under the hood?"

Select a Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing, photos, compare and much more
research now

Research A Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing, see photos, compare similar vehicles and much more.
Research Now

Top Lists

Find Local Car Deals