2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible side view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear 3/4 view

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible headlight

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible fog light

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible logo

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible wheel

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible wheel

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible side mirror

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible badge

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible side trim

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear spoiler

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible taillight

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear bumper

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible logo

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible engine

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible engine

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible engine

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible interior

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible interior

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible steering wheel

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front seats

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear seats

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible top

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible gauges

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible auxiliary gauges

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible infotainment system

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible climate controls

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible shifter

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  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible start button

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  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible door

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible
  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible trunk

Vital Stats

Engine:
Turbo 2.0L I4
Power:
200 HP / 207 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,272 LBS
Seating:
2+2
Cargo:
7.1 CU-FT
MPG:
21 City / 29 HWY
Base Price:
$24,995
As Tested Price:
$33,190
Less Flower, More Power



Pardon our political incorrectness for a moment, but the Volkswagen New Beetle was, undeniably, a "chick car." There was almost nothing that the New Beetle offered to enthusiasts (of either gender), and by the end of its run, VW had even stripped all of the exciting engines from the car's lineup. Looking to resurrect some of the excitement behind the Beetle, the third generation of the iconic car ditched the cuteness when the coupe debuted for 2012, and now the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible aims to show how much fun drivers can have without a top.

Celebrating almost six and a half decades of the Beetle convertible, Volkswagen is offering a trio of distinct special editions that celebrate three of the car's most popular decades (the '50s, '60s and '70s), but as one of the unofficial cars of the 1960s, it would almost be a crime not to test this version, right? Besides, this is also the only special edition to get the turbocharged engine. While our first drive of the 2013 Beetle Convertible was in the fuel-miser TDI variation, our two-week romp in the 2013 Beetle Convertible '60s Edition came just as peak convertible weather was kicking off down in Florida.

The retro styling craze caught like a wildfire in the early 2000s, but quickly fizzled out as automakers realized that redesigning these cars for a subsequent second generation became a challenge in itself. This is likely the very reason why the New Beetle remained relatively the same for almost its entire 12-year run, but in creating the third-generation Beetle, Volkswagen tried to distance itself from adjectives like "cute" and "bubbly" by using more mainstream-friendly cues, which carry over nicely to the convertible form.
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible side view2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front view2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear view

VW managed to keep the styling between the coupe and convertible almost identical with the top up.

The Beetle still has an overall shape similar to the previous model, including the signature circular headlights and the wide, rounded fenders, but the longer nose, flatter roofline and D-shaped taillights all do wonders to add a little athleticism to the Beetle's look. As hard as VW tried to get away from the quirky design of the New Beetle, though, it's still kind of hard to pull off the Denim Blue paint job of to the '60s Edition model without having some people refer to it with some sort of dainty phrases. Thankfully, even in this color, the Beetle is hard to criticize with its 18-inch five-spoke wheels, red-painted brake calipers and the subtle rear spoiler.

VW even managed to keep the styling between the coupe and convertible models almost identical with the top up, but the biggest improvement made to this car is the better packaging of the roof when lowered. No longer is there a giant mound of fabric blocking rearward visibility when the top is down, and this is accomplished with a totally redesigned top mechanism, which you can see the differences between in this comparison of VW stock photos showing the 2003 Beetle Cabriolet and the 2013 Beetle Convertible.



The soft top lowers in less than 10 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

Looking to take away even more of the New Beetle's quirkiness, the latest Beetle has a conventional interior design that fits in much better with other current VW products and is devoid of a dash-mounted flower holder, but the 2013 Beetle Convertible hasn't lost all of its fashion sense. This car has ribbed seat backs and bottoms for the classic '60s look and a flat-bottomed steering wheel for more of the sporty look and feel. The '60s Edition convertible carries the Denim Blue exterior color into the cabin covering most of the interior including the steering wheel, seats and instrument panel, and like all Turbo models, it comes with a three-gauge cluster mounted atop the instrument panel including an oil pressure gauge, boost gauge and a central dial housing both digital and manual stopwatches.

Coming fully loaded with the Sun and Sound Package, the Beetle Convertible '60s Edition leaves no option box unchecked, ranging from the touch-screen navigation system to the Fender premium audio system. Speaking of the audio system, the door speakers have driver-selectable color-changing lights that add to the car's nighttime ambiance. Of course, when we're talking about the Beetle Convertible, we have to mention the soft top, which has a padded headliner helping to keep most road noise out of the cabin and lowers in less than 10 seconds at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible headlight2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible wheel2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear spoiler2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible taillight

We tried numerous times to get the vinyl tonneau cover in place to hide the top when lowered, but eventually gave up.

In terms of comfort, there is no shortage of space for front occupants, but the rear seat, like all convertibles, is severely limited. We're sure you could fit four adults inside this car, but you better be quick to call "shotgun" if you aren't holding the key. That being said, one of the features we did appreciate about the Beetle's manual seats is that they come with a memory mode so that when people are getting out of the back seat, the front seats automatically lock back into place.

The overall look and feel of the Beetle's new interior should play just as big of a role in attracting new buyers as the exterior design, but even after two weeks with this car, two things stuck out as being overly complex. First, there is the push-button starter, which, as introduced on the current Jetta, is mounted on the center console next to the shifter in a very non-intuitive position. One of the problems with only having these cars for a short period of time is that it's harder to learn some of their intricacies – for the Beetle Convertible, it was trying to figure out how to install the tonneau cover when the top was lowered. We tried numerous times to get the vinyl cover in place to hide the top when it's lowered, but eventually gave up leaving the lump of vinyl to consume a large portion of the car's 7.1 cubic-foot trunk.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible interior2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible front seats2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear seats2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible top

One thing that left much to be desired from the Beetle Turbo is its fuel economy.

Unlike the base Beetle – and the '50s and '70s models – the '60s Edition comes standard with the same engine used in the Beetle Turbo. This turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is widely used by Volkswagen, and it is good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet in all applications. Coming in at only a couple hundred pounds more than a GTI using the same engine, the Beetle Turbo Convertible is essentially the closest thing that US buyers can get to a convertible version of VW's hot hatch, including the much heavier Eos. In addition to the turbo engine, those opting for the '60s Edition Beetle Convertible will also get the quick-shifting DSG six-speed gearbox to help hammer the car's performance intentions home. One thing that left much to be desired from the Beetle Turbo is its fuel economy. We get that this car is doing its best to be a fast, peppy drop-top and its EPA ratings of 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway aren't awful, but if the bigger and heavier V6 Camaro and Mustang models can muster up 30 mpg in highway driving, the Beetle Turbo Convertible should be able to do better... especially when sucking down premium fuel.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible engine

Then again, you don't buy a Beetle Convertible for its fuel economy or even its practicality; you buy it for its top-down driving enjoyment, and this car definitely delivers. From the very first push of the push-button starter bringing the turbo engine to life with a surprisingly deep and burbly exhaust note, the Beetle Convertible rarely disappointed. Acceleration is quite zippy, and with the Turbo models getting a sport suspension with thicker sway bars and bigger brakes up front. the Beetle handles and stops really well, too. As usual, the DSG can be rather jerky at lower speeds, but it delivers quick shifts that are really noticeable when you get on the gas hard. There are also paddle shifters and a sport mode for wringing every last bit of performance from this engine. VW does not offer any official 0-60 times, but we averaged just under the seven-second mark after a few runs checking it with a built-in stopwatch. That performance is pretty good for a 3,272-pound convertible.

The fully loaded 2013 Beetle Convertible '60s Edition is priced at a staggering $33,190.

Convertibles usually get a bad rap for cowl shake and excessive wind noise, but we found the Beetle Turbo Convertible to be very solid while driving through corners or along rough roads, and the most noise you'll get in the cabin with the top up is the great exhaust note or the powerful Fender audio system. When it comes to the '60s Edition car (and most Turbo models), though, you're going to pay dearly for this kind of enjoyment.

Despite coming in at a rather affordable $24,995 in base form, the fully loaded 2013 Beetle Convertible '60s Edition is priced at a staggering $33,190 including destination. At that level there is no shortage of competition, including style-driven models like the Mini Cooper Convertible and Fiat 500C, as well as more conventional convertibles like the Chrysler 200 and V6 versions of the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible rear 3/4 view

It still isn't a mainstream vehicle, even though its sales might suggest otherwise.

As many improvements as the 2013 Beetle Convertible received over its predecessor, it still isn't a mainstream vehicle, even though the nameplate's sales numbers so far this year might suggest otherwise. The Beetle's triple-digit year-over-year sales increase is good enough to make the car the third-best-selling product in Volkswagen's US lineup behind the Jetta and Passat... even outselling the Golf!

The restrained styling and enjoyable engine options both help give this Beetle more mass-market appeal to attract new buyers, but this "retro" design continues to resonate with owners of previous Beetles and New Beetles, which was evident in the waves and thumbs up we received while driving the car. For us, it was just good to drive a Beetle without having to defend our manhood.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      Duck
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't care how gay a light blue convertible Bug is perceived to be, I still like it.
      Zippswitch
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have seen a few of these on the road. red is the best looking of the bunch.
      Gary & Karen
      • 3 Months Ago

      My 2013 VW Beetle is the best car I have ever driven!  I want to keep driving it.  It's wierd how I don't want to go home.  I need an excuse to drive it again!!  It's fun and kind of drives itself.  Takes all sharp turns easily.  Easy to park!!  Has very quick acceleration!  Very smooth ride, even on the hi-way.  Doesn't lose it's power on any hill!  Great on gas.  Sound system AMAZING!!  Very comfortable!  Very quiet.  I feel like I'm going a lot slower than I am.  Drives GREAT on snow and icy roads.  Long, big windshield gives an awesome view.  It attracts people everywhere.  :)  So cool and Beautiful to look at with the new look connecting to the old, original style!  Great price with all the new "state-of-the-art" equipment!  Factory paint is amazing.  I love it!!!

      Enki Ea
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who gives a crap about fuel economy? Sincerely, you guys should stop talking about fuel economy as if that was of any importance to a decision to (or not to) buy a car. Style, engine performance, interior features, all is 100 times more important that fuel economy or efficiency!
        Mr E
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Enki Ea
        Who gives a crap about fuel economy? How about people who bought their own cars, and don't rely on allowance from mommy and daddy.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Enki Ea
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have to say, VW has done an excellent job here. This will make a perfect car for women with mid-life crisis.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        Keen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        desiNERD, you mad because Hyundai can't attract wealthy mature women?
      Taint
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not gay but I could pull off a 2013 beetle. A tinted black turbo with black wheels would be hot. And lets be real, it would be hotter than most autoblog commenters cars.
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      what a very gay car
        razorpit
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        And this comes from some one who is?
          Keen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @razorpit
          My guess is, pver9000 is only "slightly" gay.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @razorpit
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @razorpit
          [blocked]
      Mr E
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regarding all the "gay" bashing... http://southfloridagaynews.com/articles/top-5-gay-cars-in-the-market-for-contrarians/106255 Apparently the top gay cars are "black BMWs, silver Audis, and snot-green Priuses".
      ChrisH
      • 2 Years Ago
      I took ownership of my 2013 TDI Convertible at the end of March. Six speed manual, thank you. Has Navigation and Fender audio. I gave them my 2013 V6 Mustang Convertible; premium Pony edition. Never could be happier. Back to your story, that cover goes on in less than five minutes if you would just look at the manual. Don't look at the manual and your going to look like an idiot fast; damhik. I will compare it to the two convertibles you mentioned I have experience with, Mustang and Camaro. LOL, you buy the Mustang or Camaro because of what they represent, not what they are. In some sense you can say that of the Beetle but execution amongst the three the Beetle just walks away. Deficiencies, include some harder plastics in the controls than need to be, but everything fits so nice and tight it doesn't matter much. Yeah that back seats aren't for long hauls and when without passengers the first thing you must do is remove those rear head rests, at least in the Mustang they would fold down out of sight. Comparing tops between the three, first the Beetle's will go up and down in ten seconds flat, moving up to speeds of 31mph. Its far far quieter than either Mustang or Camaro top up and down. Let alone this car is not ponderous like those two. The Fender audio was surprising. I never expect much from audio in cars, this especially true after suffering Sync and the lousy stereo of the "premium sound" Mustang. Night and day here, the sound is incredibly crisp and being able to play from iPod without fault, my phone, or best yet 32g SD cards makes it easy to haul all your tunes. So yeah, I am happy with mine. Did Toffee with black top and interior, didn't care for tan interiors as there are too many pieces level black it looks disjointed. Probably have sold two more of these to people that simply stopped to see it. As for mileage, many with Turbos report easily beating the EPA numbers, hell the 2.5lumps are doing good. My dealer tank on the TDI was 38.5, my current tank is over 40 average for the same commute my Mustang averaged 24 on. Enjoy, its really a good car... color me surprised.
        jeffreynross
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ChrisH
        for Mustang and Camaro, i was referring to the fact that this particular Beetle is priced very similarly. as for the cover, i did read the manual and it was still a pain. i might have to chalk that up to it being a brand new car and maybe the vinyl top still wasn\'t flexible enough. as for your TDI, that is definitely the way to go when buying this car! i think that it would\'ve been fitting had they made the \'70s model the diesel version.
      Keen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oddly, VW has already updated the TURBO front and rear fascia. Pictured are the fronts on the RETRO, 2.5 and TDI convertibles.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Keen
        [blocked]
        ChrisH
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Keen
        Because of R.Lines Mary. Apparently VW decided to go the cheaper route and just make all Turbo's look like Rs. Makes manufacturing easier
      Donnie
      • 2 Years Ago
      To everyone making the gay comments; I am gay myself, just turned 19, and if all goes well I am planning on purchasing my first vehicle this summer. Can you guess what model I've been holding out for? Nope - not a Beetle, but an MCI TC40-102N with a 71 series Detroit Diesel V6.
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Donnie
        There's a black guy at work that is a big fan of Creed. Doesn't make Christian rock "black music" compared to say rap. Keep fighten those stereotypes though brah!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Donnie
        [blocked]
      Worx2749
      • 2 Years Ago
      The car's just too feminine...only women seem to drive them. I had VWs in the '60's when they were Rear engined, RWD. Probably the most unsafe car on the road...nothing up front! No seatbelts that I remember, but nobody put those on anyway. Glad I survived unscathed.
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