2013 Volkswagen Beetle Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 07, 2013
  • Three engine options
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 41 mpg on the highway
  • Coupe and Convertible body styles
  • Free factory-scheduled maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Up to 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • 4-passenger seating


Redesigned in 2012, the Volkswagen Beetle returns for 2013 with a new Fender Edition trim level, an optional diesel engine, and, after a 3-year hiatus, an all-new Beetle Convertible.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle lineup consists of several trim levels, the first of which is a 2.5L Coupe equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim, heated windshield washer nozzles, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, and a 5-cylinder engine. That model is followed by the Beetle 2.5L with Sunroof, which adds a power tilt/slide moonroof. Next is the new-for-2013 2.5L Fender Edition, equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, and LED daytime running lights. All of those items are also standard on the Beetle 2.5L with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation trim level.

With a nod to driving enthusiasts, Volkswagen offers the 2013 Beetle Turbo Coupe. Based on the Beetle 2.5L, the Turbo Coupe is equipped with a turbocharged engine, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. A Turbo with Sunroof and Sound variant adds the power tilt/slide moonroof, while a Turbo Fender Edition Coupe stands out with brushed chrome mirror housings and the upgraded front lights. Volkswagen differentiates the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation trim with 19-inch alloy wheels and auto-leveling headlights, features also found on the Beetle R-Line, which boasts a sport suspension and an extra 10 horsepower under its hood.

TDI models, named for their turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine, sit atop the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe lineup. Base, TDI with Sunroof, and TDI with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation trim levels are offered, with exterior features mirroring those of the corresponding 2.5L models.

Of course, that's only half the story. There are also several 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible trim levels, all equipped with a power-operated soft top. With the exception of its roof and a rear spoiler, the base 2.5L Convertible is a carbon copy of the 2.5L Coupe. The same applies to the 2.5L Convertible with Technology (comparable to the 2.5L with Sunroof), 2.5L Convertible with Sound and Navigation, Beetle Turbo Convertible, Turbo Convertible with Sound, Turbo Convertible with Sound and Navigation, base TDI Convertible, and TDI Convertible with Sound and Navigation. The drop-top Beetle does not offer a Fender Edition trim level, though buyers do have their choice of three unique trim packages not available on the Coupe. These include the 50s Edition, made distinct with its black paint, 17-inch chrome/black alloy wheels, brushed chrome mirror housings, and beige leather interior; a 60s Edition model finished in Denim Blue paint and fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport suspension; and a 70s Edition sporting a Toffee Brown Metallic body, beige roof and boot cover, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Interior Features

While it may be the entry-level model, the base 2013 Beetle 2.5L Coupe is delivered with amenities such as a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats with manual height adjustment for the driver, cruise control, leatherette upholstery, USB port with iPod cable, 8-speaker sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2.5L with Sunroof adds push-button start, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and a touch-screen sound system featuring HD and satellite radio service, while the 2.5L Fender Edition Coupe gets a 400-watt sound system and a dash applique that mimics the wood finish on a Fender guitar. That audio upgrade is standard on the 2.5L Sunroof, Sound and Navigation trim level, as is a touch-screen navigation system.

Inside, the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Coupe features an imitation carbon-fiber dash panel, cloth upholstery, front sport seats, unique gauge cluster, and alloy-like covers on the foot pedals. The Turbo with Sunroof and Sound offers the Fender audio system, HD and satellite radio service, push-button start, and more. As its name implies, the Turbo Fender Edition Coupe is equipped with the wood dash and 400-watt sound system; the Turbo with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation, as well as the R-Line, boasts leather upholstery. Satellite radio, steering wheel controls, and push-button start are standard on the base TDI. Otherwise, the TDI variants match their 2.5L counterparts.

For the most part, Beetle Convertible trim levels offer the same equipment as the Beetle Coupe variants. Differences exist with the 50s Edition and its sport seats wrapped in beige leather; 60s Edition with two-tone upholstery, navigation, special gauges, and Fender audio; and the 70s Edition that sports a beige leatherette interior.

Optional Features

All of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle's available features are included as standard equipment on one or more of the many available trim levels. However, there are also a number of optional dealer-installed accessories, such as larger alloy wheels, exterior stripes, and splash guards.

Under the Hood

Base 2.5L versions of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible are equipped with a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Output is routed to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and sport modes.

For Beetle Turbo models, Volkswagen utilizes a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine generating 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. In R-Line trim, horsepower is bumped up to 210, though torque output is unchanged. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while the 6-speed automatic is optional.

Beetles wearing the TDI badge are fitted with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine featuring turbocharged direct injection, generating 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, and mated to the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle are:

  • Beetle 2.5L Coupe with manual transmission: 22/31/25 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Beetle 2.5L Coupe with automatic transmission: 22/29/25 mpg
  • Beetle Turbo Coupe with manual transmission: 21/30/24 mpg
  • Beetle Turbo Coupe with automatic transmission: 22/30/25 mpg
  • Beetle TDI Coupe with manual transmission: 28/41/32 mpg
  • Beetle TDI Coupe with automatic transmission: 29/39/32 mpg
  • Beetle 2.5L Convertible with automatic transmission: 21/27/23 mpg
  • Beetle Turbo Convertible with manual transmission: 21/30/24 mpg
  • Beetle Turbo Convertible with automatic transmission: 21/29/24 mpg
  • Beetle TDI Convertible with automatic transmission: 28/41/32 mpg


The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle's standard safety features include 4 air bags, traction control, daytime running lights, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

In government crash tests, the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Beetle Coupe received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate frontal-offset crash protection.

As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.
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